Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco was a pleasant surprise for me. I went into the novel with a bunch of groundless assumptions: since I liked the cover so much and the concept, I assumed the book would be terrible. What? I’ve been burned before. But this book was far from terrible. I loved it.
Audrey Rose Wadsworth is torn between her father’s traditional, if excessively germ-based, expectations and her uncle’s world of death. After her mother’s death, Audrey’s passion for forensics, for understanding death, took hold. Her uncle’s expertise gave her the tools she needed to become an adept apprentice in forensic science. But when she becomes embroiled in an investigation into Jack the Ripper, Audrey’s personal and professional life collide in unexpected and unfortunate ways.
This novel is wonderfully atmospheric, has a strong female lead, contains an interesting – if not fully developed – cast of characters, and features a love story that wasn’t vomit-inducing as with a few YA novels I’ve read (I’m old and less than romantic). I also truly enjoyed the writing in this novel, finding Maniscalco’s prose to be the perfect amount of flow, description, and action, with diction that is both formal and educated while being clear and precise.
I already have the second book in the series, Hunting Prince Dracula, and the third book, Escaping Houdini, ordered.