Review: Capturing the Devil (#4) by Kerri Maniscalco


Goodreads | Waterstones

Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell have landed in America, a bold, brash land unlike the genteel streets of London they knew. But like London, the city of Chicago hides its dark secrets well. When the two attend the spectacular World’s Fair, they find the once-in-a-lifetime event tainted with reports of missing people and unsolved murders.
Determined to help, Audrey Rose and Thomas begin their investigations, only to find themselves facing a serial killer unlike any they’ve heard of before. Identifying him is one thing, but capturing him—and getting dangerously lost in the infamous Murder Hotel he constructed as a terrifying torture device—is another.
Will Audrey Rose and Thomas see their last mystery to the end—together and in love—or will their fortunes finally run out when their most depraved adversary makes one final, devastating kill?

I really didn’t know if Kerri could top Escaping from Houdini and then she pulled this out of the bag. I knew I was saving that half star for a reason and she didn’t let me down! I’ve been reading this series with my lovely friends Amy and Jo and it’s been so fun – we’re also going to be buddy reading Kingdom of the Wicked soon and I can’t wait to read it. This series improved ever so slightly with every book and I could see Kerri’s writing getting better and more enthralling.

The characters in this book are my absolute favourite and I adore them. I became more connected to Thomas and Audrey Rose with each book and I really went on a rollercoaster with them throughout Capturing the Devil! It left my gasping, shocked, in tears and also with a warmth in my heart. Even though I had an idea of where this book would lead, I was absolutely hooked at the twists and turns.

Love is immortal. 

Audrey Rose is honestly one of my favourite female leads ever. Her character and romance with Thomas is absolutely timeless. Her determination and individualism is amazing, especially for the time, and I admire her so much. She suffers from an injury at the end of Escaping From Houdini that leaves her with a limp and she uses a cane throughout this book. Not only is this disability rep, but is also Own Voices as Kerri has a disability herself!

I adored the setting of this book and I really enjoyed reading about New York and Chicago! Reading about the Chicago World Fair was enchanting and I loved that element of the book, it allowed me to really picture it. I also really enjoyed the Author’s Note at the back of the book which explained the inspirations for the story, what was based on real events and places, and even how to visit where the locations of this book are set! I really appreciate Kerri adding these little details as it fascinated me.

Death can neither touch nor steal it.

Overall, this was an epic rollercoaster of a conclusion to a series I’ve really enjoyed. It has some of the best characters I’ve read and has made me fall in love with a historical series which I would not usually pick up! Thank you Amy for introducing me and Jo to this series!

5 out of 5 stars


May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: Becoming the Dark Prince (#3.5) by Kerri Maniscalco

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Enigmatic, brooding, and darkly handsome, Thomas Cresswell has always been the one mystery Audrey Rose has never been able to fully solve. As brilliant partners in crime investigation, they understand each other perfectly…but as young lovers, their passionate natures have led to both euphoria and heartbreak throughout the Stalking Jack the Ripper series.
This novella features a collection of scenes that takes place during and after the pair’s horrifying Atlantic voyage in Escaping From Houdini. Experience new and familiar scenes from Thomas’s unique point of view, including an intensely personal look into his plea for Audrey Rose’s hand in marriage.

This is a novella from Thomas’s point of view, focusing on his relationship with Audrey Rose. This has only been published in ebook format, and is set at the very end of Escaping from Houdini and before the events of Capturing the Devil. I’d definitely recommend reading this after Escaping from Houdini like we did! Again, I read this one with Amy and Jo as part of our buddy read of the whole series. I’m really glad Amy recommended we read this one too as we all enjoyed it quite a lot!

Winning is an archaic way or looking at romance.

I really like Thomas as a character and a love interest. Learning about his perspective on their relationship and his own inner demons was really interesting. His passion and love for Audrey Rose is so heartwarming and his willingness to let her make her own choices (especially in this historical setting) is so beautiful. Their relationship is so great to read about and I love how they treat each other as complete equals, especially due to the time period.

The setting was lovely, and I’m really excited to read about the couple exploring New York! I love the descriptions of the surroundings and the clothing, it really makes the books feel historically accurate.

Her heart isn’t like a cheap round of cards. Love isn’t a game. It’s a choice.

I really enjoyed this novella and I’m glad it was my first read of the year! If you like the series, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this one.

4 out of 5 stars


May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: Stalking Jack the Ripper (#1) by Kerri Maniscalco

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.
Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

I read this with my lovely friends (and colleagues!) Amy and Jo and I really liked it. Amy has been wanting us to read it for a while because it’s her favourite series ever and I’m so glad she did! We buddy read it over 2 weeks and we all loved reading it together.

I’m not usually one for historical fiction at all but this one was more steampunk horror which I loved the aesthetic of. The Victorian Gothic vibes worked so well and I loved reading about the city of London in the late 1800s. It felt like the perfect set for this book!

Roses have both petals and thorns, my dark flower.

Audrey Rose was my absolute favourite and I loved her as a female main character. She was so ballsy and brave and was such a strong character that I fell in love with her instantly. Some of the lines she came out with even in the first few chapters were amazing and I loved her for it. The way she defies societies norms is great and I really admired her as a character. This is exactly what we need from YA fiction for young female readers!

I also didn’t feel like the love interest took away from her character or the plot at all, I’m glad it was more of a side addition to the plot rather than the main plot. In fact, I really enjoyed the plot and I thought the element of her being a female ‘detective’ looking for Jack the Ripper. It had a real mystery element to it that intrigued me so much, especially in the last 50 pages or so! I didn’t know who Jack the Ripper was either, and was constantly kept guessing.

You needn’t believe something weak because it appears delicate. Show the world your bravery.

Overall, I really loved this book and I can’t wait to carry on with the series! The only slight thing I struggled with was the actual cutting up of the cadavers, which I honestly think I found more difficult because I’m vegan! But it only got me a couple of times and I really enjoyed reading it despite those very few scenes.

4.5 out of 5 stars


May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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