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Stalking Jack the Ripper #2

Hunting Prince Dracula

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Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper's true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe's best schools of forensic medicine... and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.

But her life's dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school's forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.

In this New York Times bestselling sequel to Kerri Maniscalco's haunting #1 debut Stalking Jack the Ripper, bizarre murders are discovered in the castle of Prince Vlad the Impaler, otherwise known as Dracula. Could it be a copycat killer...or has the depraved prince been brought back to life?

448 pages, Hardcover

First published September 19, 2017

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About the author

Kerri Maniscalco

15 books22.6k followers
I'm mostly on instagram--where I'm always ready to talk fictional crushes and nerd out over books. (Okay, okay. And I've also been known to share snippets and teasers from my upcoming novels, if you're into that sort of thing...) Please feel free to chat with me there @KerriManiscalco. I love talking with fellow readers!


Kerri Maniscalco grew up in a semi-haunted house outside NYC where her fascination with gothic settings began. In her spare time she reads everything she can get her hands on, cooks all kinds of food with her family and friends, and drinks entirely too much tea while discussing life’s finer points with her cats.

She is the #1 NYT and USA Today bestselling author of the STALKING JACK THE RIPPER quartet. The final installment, CAPTURING THE DEVIL, will be released on 9/10/19. KINGDOM OF THE WICKED, the first in a new YA fantasy series, is slated for fall 2020.

For more information, visit Kerri online:
www.kerrimaniscalco.com
www.facebook.com/KerriManiscalcoAuthor

Follow Kerri on Twitter and Instagram:
twitter.com/KerriManiscalco
instagram.com/kerrimaniscalco

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 8,577 reviews
Profile Image for chai ♡.
321 reviews150k followers
January 20, 2019
Shoutout to me for making it through this book!

Seriously. If you’re looking for a better substitute for humor, mystery and general fulfillment, look no further than: Buzzfeed Unsolved.
Profile Image for  Teodora .
279 reviews1,534 followers
November 18, 2022
3/5 ⭐

Full review on my Blog: The Dacian She-Wolf 🐺

Okay so. Romanian here.

99% sure I’m not a vampire, but some of y’all seem to believe that everyone in Romania is from Transylvania and we all have fangs and hate garlic with a passion so you make me question my initial statement with your fairytale determination.

I still haven’t discovered my fangs though, but now if I think on it I might have put them into a glass of water somewhere in my mountain castle and forgot about them. Whoops.

Now, moving to the actual review, I have to say it: I didn’t really like this (because I am biased af), but it wasn’t entirely that bad.

I didn’t know exactly how to grasp the general atmosphere of the book from the first few chapters. Because this book’s action was supposed to be set so close to where I actually live in Romania, I kind of know the geography of the place. I kind of got lost at some point while reading this…

They were talking about Bucharest and the snow-capped Carpathian Mountains in the same sentence and just try to imagine my confusion because, let me tell you, Bucharest is nowhere near any mountain. It’s a meadow all the way. Not to be rude or offend my friends from Bucharest (hello there, frumoșilor 👋), but people there have no idea how a snow-capped mountain is supposed to look like as seen from the window of their flat. Trust me, I lived there for three years, haven’t seen a hint of mountain.

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Another super confusing thing for me – Audrey Rose and Thomas were planning on taking a carriage from Bucharest to the Bran Castle (which btw has nothing to do with Dracula but I will just let the rumour fly around anyway) after the Orient Express arrived at its destination. Again, how? In 1880-ish Romania, such a trip with a carriage was supposed to be at least a week long. It is a freaky almost-four-hour-trip-depending how-fast-you-drive now, in modern times, highways and all.

I am definitely being too judgemental here, it is only fiction after all, but this is the first time something like this really bothered me. Bear with me, a sister is trying to cut back on judgement and it is hard.
(Don’t do like me people. It’s just fiction and in fiction, people can write whatever the hell they want if they feel like it. This is just me being a total bitch).

What I thought was quite all right was the fact that the book was seasoned with various Romanian words and phrases that were, in fact, correct. And it was somehow kind of accurate because us Romanians (I’m going to generalise now, don’t kill me) tend to throw in a word in Romanian or two when we’re speaking just because sometimes we don’t really know how to find its best equivalent in English. We don’t really give a shit if the other people do not understand it, we just throw it in there and move on.

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The plot was easy to follow and the mystery was definitely super easy to solve (at least for me). I still haven’t decided if I am glad that I knew who the criminal was here from the first chapter I met them or I am kind of annoyed that it was so obvious and I wasn’t surprised at all when everything unravelled.

What is beton though (aka concrete aka Romanian for super cool) is that there is some interesting Romanian cultural insight in here – there are some passages that are not really the typical facts everyone seems to know about Dracula and they are quite accurate actually (historically speaking) and there are also these little legends and mythological stories that are so damn great like, for example, Thomas’s story about the strigoi.

Oh, and, talking about strigoi here and Thomas’s story – the story is quite real.

The strigoi are the Romanian equivalent of what the rest of the world calls vampires. In Romanian mythology (which is coming straight from the Dacian) they are the unrested souls of the undead that wake up from their own graves and roam around the villages torturing the living.

I am telling you now and I am not even joking, there have been at least two cases confirmed in modern-times Romania about rituals of killing strigoi. The traditional rituals may vary from region to region though, but people (especially those from villages who seem to still be anchored in their hundreds-of-years-old customs) still perform them. For instance, in my region when there is a strigoi case, people open the coffin of the supposed strigoi, read to them something from the Holy Bible and then they impale the strigoi’s heart with a thick wooden stake.
Thomas’s version of the story is actually something that happened some time in the ‘90s in the region of Romania called Oltenia. If you’re curious about this macabre thing, be my guest and read this book ;)

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This is actually a good read, but I honestly think that the problem is with me. I cannot read something that might imply my culture and be totally, 100% okay with it. I am a true Romanian, we question and dissect everything because we know everything.

It is worth a try though. Simply because the cultural insight is kind of mișto.

(Book-styled)
Profile Image for Katerina.
420 reviews16.7k followers
September 23, 2017
Delightfully morbid.

I loved Stalking Jack the Ripper. It was a book I will always hold dear, mainly because I was enchanted by the gloomy Victorian London ambience and disturbingly fascinated by the gruesome murders and their riddles. Yet Hunting Prince Dracula, with its mystifying touch, with lores whispered by supersticious villagers and seemingly crazy professors, medieval orders and forests covered in white snow yet somehow tainted by crimson blood and chilling howls, is the reason I bowed to Kerri Maniscalco's exquisite pen.


“Has the Immortal Prince returned?”

After the tragic events of Stalking Jack the Ripper, Wadsworth and Cresswell head to Romania, to attend the Academy of Forensic Medicine and Science. But the prestigious Academy hides many secrets, from dark corridors and chambers to brutally murdered corpses that indicate one thing; the Impaler Lord has returned, seeking blood. Whose blood though and why, that's a different story. Trying to reason with evidence of the supernatural while fighting the nightmares that haunt her, Audrey Rose must find some answers and give justice to those who have already perished, before her time comes to join them in the eversleeping realms of Death.
“There's nothing quite like the aroma of a bloaded corpse to get one in the mood for adventure.”

My dear Mr. Thomas Cresswell cound not be more right. From the grey streets of Victorian London, Kerri Maniscalco transferred us to Romania, and painted with her colourful palette Dracula's castle and picturesque villages, blending red with white. White for the blinding snow. For the innocence lost. For the shroud that covered the victims of a villain utterly terrifying, that made your stomach churn with disgust and terror. Red for Wadsworth's lips, lips that craved to taste Cresswell's with a searing need. Red for the Prince of Blood, and his horrendous domain. For the autopsies performed by brilliant students who could not shut down their humanity. The atmosphere was eerie. Foreboding. Danger lingered in every corner. Everyone was a suspect, and everyone a potential victim. There were many times I wished for Ms. Harvey's traveling tonic to help me steel my nerves and keep reading. But in this deadly and macabre puzzle that gave you gooseflesh and toyed with Wadsworth's (and your very own) sanity, between the constant suspense and the legends of warrior societies and a brutal Prince worshipped by his countrymen, Kerri Maniscalco managed to ease the tension and make your lips curl up with mirth.
I suspect you already know the reason.


“I have a feeling you haven't invited me here for kissing. Though it never hurts to ask. You're dressed for sneaking about Dracula's castle. Be still my thawing, dark heart. You certainly know how to make a young man feel alive, Wadsworth.”

And along this witty and charming duo, you also felt alive. Belly rumbled with laughter, heart that pounded rapidly with the snarky dialogues that oozed sarcarm yet tenderness and affection at the same time, lungs that ran out of air when tension was too much to handle, Cresswell and Wadsworth are a couple the likes of which you haven't encountered so far. Wadsworth struggled with her demons, and the wounds the events of the previous book were raw and fresh, depicted in a powerful and devastating way. I won't lie and say that I was on board with every decision Wadsworth made. I think that she could become so fixated on her independence that she misinterpreted the attempts to protect her as actions to cage her, and she could be really unfair towards Cresswell. But she came a long way overcoming her emotional trauma, and her development was evident. Her sharp mind and equally sharp tongue make her a remarkable heroine.
Now let's talk about Cresswell.



“You've stared fear in its nasty face and made it tremble. You will make it through this, Wasdworth. We will make it through this. That is a fact more tangible than any dream or nightmare. I promised I'd never lie to you. I intend to honor my word.”

As my dear friend Nastassja once said, Mr. Thomas Cresswell turns bloody and creepy into sexy so, so easily. While his social skills are still rusty, and his good intentions don't always work out as planned, his arrogant and (completely) inappropriate remarks, his flirtatious ways and the intensity of his feelings towards Wadsworth make him utterly delectable. Their scenes crackled with pent-up tension, and you couldn't help but pant a little even when there was no touching involved. Only heated stares. Innuendos. Sinful thoughts. And a love deep and powerful. From every challenge, they emerged stronger. Together and as individuals. I think I'm in love with them both.

All in all, a delicious and macabre tale, with the perfect blend of suspense, horror, Romanian folklore and sparking romance, Hunting Prince Dracula surpassed its predecessor and established Wadsworth and Cresswell as the new hot duet of crime solvers!

*ARC generously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

You can find this review and more over on BookNest.eu!

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BEFORE
Delightfully morbid, with the perfect blend of suspense, horror, Romanian folklore and sparking romance, Hunting Prince Dracula surpassed its predecessor and established Wadsworth and Cresswell as the new hot duet of crime solvers!

Full review to come!
Profile Image for Emma Giordano.
317 reviews116k followers
August 13, 2018
As I was not a huge fan of Stalking Jack The Ripper, I was unsure if I would continue with the series until hearing rave reviews of book two, especially from people who also did not enjoy the first installment. I did enjoy Hunting Prince Dracula more than book one, but it still just wasn’t for me.

CW: murder/gore, sexism, ptsd

My absolute favorite part of this series is the characters and romance. I wasn’t the BIGGEST fan of Audrey Rose in book one, but I actually loved her in book two. I adore her independence, her intelligence, her passion, her determination – she just has so many loveable qualities! I also love Thomas even more than I did in book one (which I didn’t think was possible.) He is analytical, witty, flirtatious, respectful and all around wonderful. I adored the development of their relationship in this installment. It is so refreshing to see a YA couple that view each other as equals. Thomas and Audrey have a fulfilling, healthy relationship and they complement each other in the best way. Their growth as a couple is the perfect slow-burn and I would honestly read anything where they are together, even if this series is definitely not one of my favorites.

I really enjoyed the setting of this story. I’ve always loved vampire folklore so the added exploration into how these legends play into Romanian culture was fascinating. I also loved the choice to transform Bran Castle, a place of great mystery and history, as the primary location of the novel. It was equal parts enchanting and creepy.

Truthfully, there are not many distinctive critiques I have for this novel – It’s just not a favorite of mine. I do not frequently reach for historical fiction, but the plot of this series is too intriguing for me to pass up. The prose is fine, but nothing profound in my opinion. Similarly, the mystery was “okay.” I will admit I was bored for some of the story as I feel it was extremely slow-paced up until an intense ending. I just was not as engaged as other mysteries I have read.

While this series is overall not for me, I am glad I read book two and I definitely plan to read book three. I don’t feel it is within my capacity to love this series as much as others, but I really love the premise of each story and hope to be surprised even more by the next installment.

I received a free copy of this book from Little Brown at Book Expo 2017. I had no obligation to review this book and all opinions are my own.
Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,609 reviews5,000 followers
April 23, 2022
#1: Stalking Jack the Ripper ★★★★★
#2: Hunting Prince Dracula ★★★★★
#3: Escaping From Houdini ★★★★★

Are you guys ready for some serious fangirling?! This series has utterly bewitched me.

Perhaps it was time for fathers to teach their sons how to behave around young women. They were not born superior, no matter how society falsely conditioned them. We were all equals here.

While we got to see Audrey's feminist snark come into play a little in SJTR, she is loud, proud, and feminist as hell in this sequel. I am so here for this! Despite struggling with PTSD from the ending of the first book (and her PTSD is represented really solidly!), when she arrives at Bran Castle, Audrey refuses to let the headmaster or any of her male colleagues look down upon her. True to her nature, she claws her way to the top despite her trauma and the scorn of the men around her.

"Mr. Thomas Cresswell would descend into each circle of Hell if you needed him to. You are the beating heart inside his ribcage."

Really, though, my favorite thing about this book was how much time we get to spend with Thomas and how much his character develops. He is shamelessly head-over-heels for Audrey, and while he occasionally slips up, his intentions are always good. He learns from each mistake along the way and views her as his equal in all ways. In a genre filled with unhealthy and/or unrealistic relationships, Kerri has written a romance that feels authentic, legitimate, exciting, and so sweet.

His eyes were my favorite constellations to gaze at; each fleck of gold surrounding his pupils were new galaxies begging to be discovered.

Audrey develops tremendously as well, and opens her heart to the possibilities of a life filled with more than just cutting open cadavers and chasing down villains. I found it really delightful to watch her come to terms with the idea that she could be a strong, feminist woman without sacrificing her emotions or blossoming romance.

"Society at large is staggeringly obtuse. If one simply looks to others for their opinions, they lose the ability to think critically for themselves. Progress would never be made if everyone all appeared and thought and loved in the same manner."

Did I mention there's a queer romance in this book? Because there's totally a super precious and adorable f/f relationship between a couple of side characters. ❤

If you couldn't tell already, I loved every freakin' moment of Hunting Prince Dracula. The setting is incredible - a creepy old castle, what more could I ask for? - and the suspense is on point. I know there were some complaints that SJTR threw out too many red herrings, but I don't feel that was the case at all with this sequel. I found myself legitimately considering every possible avenue for the culprit, and while the ending didn't shock me, I loved how everything played out. Plus, we learned some delicious secrets about Mr. Cresswell, which I really hope will come into play in the next book!

If you enjoy YA suspense/thrillers, mysteries, gothic horror, and/or an adorable romance in bloom, I highly encourage you to pick this series up ASAP! You won't regret it.

Thank you to Jimmy Patterson Books/Little, Brown and Company for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review!
Profile Image for She-who-must-not-be-named .
179 reviews1,143 followers
November 7, 2020
“Monsters are only as real as the stories that grant them life. And they only live for as long as we tell those tales.”

This book has really advanced from Stalking Jack the Ripper in terms of character development and plot twists.

The story begins with Audrey and Thomas on a train to Romania, to attend one of Europe's best forensic institutes. But as people start turning up dead with their bodies completely drained of blood, students of the Institute are on high alert and suspect that Dracula himself is going about on his vampiric murder spree. With a murderer on the loose, Thomas Creswell and Audrey Rose Wadsworth must work together to investigate and put a stop to him/her.

The romance in this book was nothing less than sheer delight. Yes, it felt slow and regressive at times, but unlike the first book, I loved how Thomas manoeuvres his way through the castle just so he could meet Audrey furtively and how they both sneak away to eerie and creepy places, risking their lives for the sake of investigation. Their loyalty towards each other touched the heavy pieces of my heart and made me want to fangirl. I love Thomas with all my heart and I don't think any amount of words will do him justice. Just when I thought I couldn't love him anymore than I already do!

Audrey Rose comes out stronger than before. The events in Stalking Jack the Ripper threw her off balance, tampering with her focus and nagging at her with delusional thoughts. But despite her better judgement, she is confident of who she is and is not afraid to persist on following her dreams and passion. Being a female in an institution dominated by males, she faces harsh criticism and sneers from her fellow classmates and the Headmaster but she just brushes them off and proves them wrong. I also admire how she stands up to Thomas and saves him on countless occasions. Her ability to stand up for what is right, make her own decisions and her desire to be treated as an equal is amazing.

The story gives us an insight on Vlad The Impaler
known to be one of the most important rulers of the Wallachian history, also infamous for his acts of cruelty, notably impaling his enemies.

The main plot was unpredictable as the focus kept drifting between different suspects, rendering it difficult to deduce the killer. Despite the aforementioned point, the twist isn't all that jaw-dropping. The only reaction it drew from me was "Meh.... okay". The story was moderately paced but the investigation felt slow and dragged because of Audrey and Thomas' inability to make headway in the investigation.

Overall, it was an intriguing read that had me second-guessing various interactions and the central mystery. 3.5 ⭐️
Profile Image for jessica.
2,477 reviews29.7k followers
March 1, 2020
wow, i love how informative this series is. its obvious KM has put in some serious medical and historical research when writing these books. i feel like i learned so much whilst reading that i probably could go and become a coroner/medical examiner. if only it were currently the 1890s. lol.

im still a big fan of audrey roses character and what she stands for. i like that she continues to act upon her curiosity, even when it is perceived as unladylike. but, i mean, if i had my own thomas cresswell, im pretty sure i would be doing all kinds of improper things just to be near him, too. amirite, ladies? :P

the only reason im not rounding up my rating is because i didnt quite enjoy this as much as the first book. its probably due to the subject - ive never been interested dracula/vlad the impaler - so the frequent and extensive history given throughout the story didnt really capture my attention.

that being said, the next installment sounds absolutely delightful, so i am more than willing to continue the series. and also because i cant get enough of my boy, thomas.

3.5 stars
Profile Image for Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink.
257 reviews4,848 followers
August 11, 2017
"Lead the way, Wadsworth. I'm simply along for the brute strength and charm."

Omgah. This was FANTASTIC. I loved the first book, but this one blew it out of the water. Kerri Maniscalco can WRITE. (Thank you to the publishers for sending me a gorgeous arc!)

Every page was brilliant. The prose was gorgeous. I loved loved loved it. (Mind you, I had to skim some of the bloody parts-weak stomach eek!) But seriously you guys, don't miss this.

"Flowers need plenty of water to grow. Love, too, needs attention and affection or else it slowly withers away from neglect."

Let's start with the most important matter.
Thomas. Freaking. Creswell.

Just when you think you have him figured out, well... trust me. You have no idea. He was the highlight of this book. The banter and chemistry was OFF THE CHARTS. I mean, he was pretty freaking great in the first book, but the heat between him and Aubrey Rose was multiplied ten times over here. Just because they ended on a happy note in the last does NOT mean anything loses its steam. Like wow.


"Do you want to know what I think? The Truth?"
"Yes." He gazed unabashedly into my eyes. "Make it scandalous too. This is bit too serious for my tastes."


Not to mention, Thomas is hiding one little detail that makes him EVEN MORE LEGIT OH MY LORD. Ugh I can't spoil but like...ermergersh. (Seriously can someone freak out with me please?)

Aubrey Rose and Thomas are off to attend an academy set in the Brahn Castle in Romania (Dracula's castle- yes it exists.) The setting was so flipping cool. Creepy castle with secret passageways? Check. Enchanting forest and medieval village? Check. Bits of history and rumors woven throughout? Check.

I'll admit the story was a bit on the creepy side and I'm not really a fan of horror or macabre, but I was able to skip the bits that disturbed me easily enough. Sorry Kerri, you're brilliant with the whole cadaver scenes but ahhh I had to skim that. Either way though, the story was brilliant (have I said brilliant enough? I'm going to say it more.) I don't want to give anything other clues about the plot, but just enjoy the ride.

But even aside from the cool-as-crap setting and the edge of your toes storyline, the character development was phenomenal. Aubrey Rose is suffering from PTSD throughout the book, and it wasn't dealt with lightly. I was a little unsure of how everything played out in the end of the last book, but I was impressed with how well it was written in this one. Thomas, on the other hand, has his own dealings that broke my heart. But even amidst it all, they find little ways to move forward. I also loved the addition of Thomas's sister who is BAMF omg. But most of all? I loved discovering everyone's secrets ahhh!

"For there are no limits to the stars, their numbers infinite. Which is precisely why I measure my love for you by the stars. An amount too boundless to count."

So all in all, this gets a glowing review from me.

My Blog ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Etsy
Profile Image for Kerri.
Author 15 books22.6k followers
September 19, 2017
9/18/17 PUBLICATION EVE UPDATE!

don't forget to submit screenshots of your preorders to receive the MEETING THOMAS CRESSWELL novella! ends TONIGHT at midnight! (open INTL even though it says US/CA, promise.)
http://jimmypatterson.org/hunting-pri...

8/16/17 UPDATE!

The map for finished copies of HPD has been revealed! Check out my social media if you'd like to see it. I'm also hosting two giveaways, one on twitter and one on instagram! xoxo
*****
8/8/17 UPDATE!!!!

SECRETS ARE SO HARD TO KEEP, but the wait is officially over—i can FINALLY share the HUNTING PRINCE DRACULA pre-order campaign with you!

i wrote an exclusive STALKING JACK THE RIPPER novella narrated from Thomas’s point of view. that’s right…for everyone who’s ever wanted to be inside Mr. Thomas Cresswell’s Sherlockian brain, this is your chance.

MEETING THOMAS CRESSWELL is a special limited-edition offer—you won’t be able to get this novella anywhere else once the campaign is closed.

from deductions, to sass, and how he felt meeting Audrey Rose for the first time, i hope you enjoy Cresswell’s story!

details on how to pre-order giveaway can be found on http://jimmypatterson.org/hunting-pri...

It is open internationally, even though it says US/CA. (That's for physical giveaways and this novella is a digital download. I checked with my publisher!)

***all receipts must be received and uploaded by September 18th at midnight.


************
Here it is! The cover reveal plus first chapter are up on Entertainment Weekly!

http://ew.com/books/2017/03/13/kerri-...

****

3/10/17 update: the cover plus first chapter will be revealed on MONDAY! (3/13/17)

****

well...i'm obviously super biased because i wrote it, but i love this next installment so much and cannot wait to share the official summary and title with you.

xoxo
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,367 reviews9,433 followers
October 3, 2017
I have always wanted to travel to Romania so it was fun to go with Audrey and Thomas =)



Audrey and Thomas are going to study at a medical school inside of Bran Castle. Oh what joy =)

But along the way, while riding on the Orient Express, they find a body outside of Audrey's compartment with a stake through his heart! And thus it begins....

There are some wonderful new friends they meet at the school and some not so nice.

AND

more bodies show up. What is happening to these people? The towns people think Vlad has come back! But I know the real story =) It's a little cray, but not too much. There were some little tidbits of things that I enjoyed finding out though.

Also, Thomas finds some interesting things out about his family tree.

This was so much fun! I could just picture every little thing going on and the creepy atmosphere. Oh the joy! Well, accept when they were doing autopsies. Luckily this time around I wasn't snacking. I learned my lesson in the first book!

The next case will take place somewhere in America! I wonder what they are going to do next? I can't wait!

Happy Reading!

Mel ♥

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List
758 reviews2,358 followers
October 23, 2017
Hello everyone, I would really love it if you all start addressing me as Sherlock Holmes because your girl right here, solved it. I mean I had my theories and ideas and screamed when I was right oh em gee.

I really didn't like the first book because it was just so dull and focusing a lot on the forensics, leaving me uninterested and bored, but this book??? was so much more intriguing and interesting.

!!!!!!Spoilers from the previous book from here on!!!!!

So what is this book about?
After finding out who Jack the Ripper was and facing very disturbing events, Audrey's father let's her go to Romania to study at one of the best forensic schools with Thomas Creswell!!! Somebody is murdered on the train she's traveling on and a killer is on the loose murdering people the way Dracula did.

●This book is honestly so great!! Audrey Rose is the perfectly, flawed and strong character. She's bullied and made fun of because of her sex. No one thinks she's capable of doing anything because she's a fucking female!! But she speaks up and doesn't back down. She proves to them that's she's just as capable as males and can do whatever the fuck they can. And it's fabulous.

Oh? Where in a medical dictionary does it say a woman cannot handle such things? What is a man’s soul made of that a woman’s is not? I had no idea my innards were composed of cotton and kittens, while yours were filled with steel and steam-driven parts.


●She's so strong and badass!!! She wears dresses and cuts open dead bodies. She shows, that as a woman she can do anything anyone else could. I honestly don't understand why it's so hard for people to just understand the fact that a woman should be treated equally as anyone else and she can do ANYTHING!!!

Perhaps it was time for fathers to teach their sons how to behave around young women. They were not born superior, no matter how society falsely conditioned them. We were all equals here.


●She has anxiety, hallucination and flashbacks of what happened in the previous book. She's dealing with the loss of her brother and mother. And tbh, that makes her so so perfect.

●Thomas Creswell is the best person to exist. He's always teasing Audrey with dirty jokes, trying to get a kiss from her, always there to support her, HE MADE A HUGE MISTAKE!!!!!, but so does everyone because we're all humans. He goes through some incredible character development and learns so much about himself. He's a little closed off and mysterious. And he's always there to support Audrey and respects her.

'You are not mine to take.' He brushed his lips against mine. Softly, so softly I might have imagined them there. My eyes fluttered shut. He could persuade me to build a steamship to the moon when he kissed me. We could orbit the stars together. 'You are yours to give.'


I need this boy in my life. I just love how he's not portrayed as the perfect, heroic guy. Audrey here takes her own lead while he helps her. He isn't the main hero and more of a sidekick type when solving the mystery and it's perfect. She saves him multiple times and he's totally fine with that. I mean, it should be fine with everyone.

●This book is so much more intriguing and complicated from the previous. I, personally, LOVE Romania, Vlad Tepes and the whole Vampire, Dracula thing. I remember watching this one show about the whole history of Vlad, his castle and how he was imprisoned and the gore and murder. So the mystery and plot were much more interesting.

●Romania is beautiful and I just loved it.

●there's!!! a!!! F/f!!!! Couple!!!! And!!!! I!!!! Love!! Them!!!!!!

Spoiler about who dunnit and how ya girl solved this case!!!

/////////////

I knew for a fact it was going to be a female because of how Maniscalco portrays woman empowerment and I realized the murderer was definitely going to be a woman. Then Anastasia's giddy, cheery behavior, taking Audrey out to the woods at night and giving her the warning of being careful, her being the headmasters daughter and also talking about how she has to prove she's good enough as a woman in their eyes. I realized she was trying to appear innocent by trying to "help" out Audrey with the case. Then when we find out she's the headmasters niece or something, we all go, nahhh she can't be it, BUT I KNEW IT WAS HERRRRRR because it's all too suspicious!!!

I got hints that she was the murderer because of all that, but then when she "died" I was like, "aw shit, it's not her" and thought it was thomas's sister. BUT THEN AT THE END THIS BITCH IS BACK AND I WAS LIKE AW YEAH FUCKERS, I WAS RIGHT EAT ALL OF MY DUST HOLMEYYYY

SPOILER ENDS

////

So like, overall, you guys should really read it because this book gives amazing messages about feminism, equality and it's such an intriguing read!!!

Also, I'm opening my own detective school where y'all can learn from me because I'm fabulous at this ;pp
Profile Image for Riley.
422 reviews20.5k followers
June 27, 2018
Audrey Rose is not here for anyones misogynistic bullshit
Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,079 reviews17.2k followers
September 10, 2018
3 1/2 stars, rounded up because… well, it was really entertaining, and also overall of much higher quality than book one. And wow, I suddenly love the two leads?

I’m going to be talking about this a lot in relation to Stalking Jack the Ripper. So here’s that review.

First let’s talk about the mystery, because that was something I didn’t like in book one and… wow, I love him. The cleverness of the solution here has really stepped it up. I didn't guess the solution at all.

Okay, for the most important part, let’s talk about characters, because that is the real success of this book. I really really really like Thomas - I only liked him in the last book - and I never like love interests in books like these. He’s such a good man. There’s a scene in this book where he totally fucks up, and I was expecting it to be glossed over completely, but he immediately apologizes and doesn’t blame Audrey Rose at all. Speaking of such, I love Audrey Rose. Audrey Rose is suffering from severe ptsd and I think the way she is written here is so clever, so beautiful, so stunning. I love her. And I also love their relationship. Just… every scene between them is so tense. I love it.

K, let’s talk about Same issue with the lack of discussion of colonialism in Audrey Rose’s backstory - she’s biracial and Indian and that’s really awesome but colonialism is like… not discussed at all. BUT I will say the feminism thing has improved a lot - so many of the major characters in this book are ladies and it's great. There are even side sapphics and it's what I deserved. But perhaps more in the vein of feminism, I adored the narrative around Audrey not wanting to be protected and Thomas having to learn not to violate that but being totally willing to work on his own privilege. I felt like the takedown of that was missing from book one?

Unfortunately, I did think this one could've used some editing down - it's a hundred pages longer than the first book and it really drags in the middle. Part of that is the fact that the plot points feel less convoluted and weird and thrown-in, which is good, but Kerri Maniscalco hasn't quite gotten a handle on how to make plot points that aren’t convoluted but are still interesting, which means there are just fewer interesting plot points.

I think my slump ruined my enjoyment of this book a lot but also... it was good. I’m so invested in the two leads.

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Profile Image for ♛ may.
801 reviews3,763 followers
October 3, 2017
Full review posted

I was going to forgive 2017 for all the crap it gave us if this book didn’t disappoint and THANK GOODNESS 2017 GETS ANOTHER CHANCE

Antique pages were a scent that should be bottled up and sold to those who adored the aroma.

description
(s)


Reasons why this book saved 2017

- Anxiety/hallucination rep from one of the most badass woman to ever walk
- So much fem power bois this is a good one
- Thomas Cresswell, my husband
- In book 1, Audrey was so impassive to gross things and I totally get it but seeing how they impacted her more in this book MADE ME RELATE TO HER SO MUCH
- Thomas and Audrey go on lots of adventures together
- And their banter is epic as always
- BASICALLY YOU’RE JUST SCREAMING AT THEM TO BLOODY KISS BC THEYRE SO PERFECT AND YOU JUST NEED TO SEE THIS SHIP SAIL DAMMIT
- The twists, man
- The revelation of the killer got me good
- I didn’t guess right 
- Cresswell is a shameless flirt
- I want to marry him, im so done with the world why does he have to be fictional
- Lots of science-y things
- I LOVE HISTORIC ANYTHING AND HISTORIC ROMANIA WAS AWESOME
- Audrey basically gives a middle finger to gender roles and social conducts, its great
- Lots of unchaperoned adventures 😏 😏 😏
- THOMAS’S SISTER IS SO PRECIOUS
- Everytime Thomas opens his mouth you’re just bracing yourself for the adorableness that will pour out of him
- The teacher guy was creepy tho, not a fan
- If you want a mystery set in historic Romania with two darling characters that you will be screaming at THEN PICK THIS BOOK UP ITS SO GOOD WORTH IT WORTH IT WORTH IT

description
(s)


5 stars!! gimme book 3 right now please



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
*screams in the general direction of the sun* I AM READY FOR SOME AUDREY AND THOMAS BANTER AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

3/13/2017 update

THE
COVER
HAS
BEEN
REVEALED

looks hella creepy and mysterious

I'M IN

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
*touches cheek*
where did these tears come from????!!!????


BOOK
TWO
IN
ROMANIA
WITH
AUDREY
ROSE
AND
THOMAS
CRESSWELL


can i have now?????
description
Profile Image for Lucie V..
980 reviews1,518 followers
July 17, 2022
Monsters were in the eye of the beholder. And no one wanted to discover that their own hero was the true villain of the story.


✅ Murders to solve
✅ Strong main character
✅ Great secondary character
✅ Mysterious Romanian and folklore vibes
✅ Funny banter
✅ Cute romance
🆗 Not so unexpected ending
❌ Secret society drama that I didn’t really enjoy
❗️❗️ Trigger warning : autopsies and graphic descriptions of dead bodies

Hunting Prince Dracula starts a few weeks after the end of Stalking Jack the Ripper. Audrey Rose and Thomas are on their way to Romania to enroll at their elite forensic medicine school. Audrey Rose is still trying to deal with the aftermath of the tragedy that took place a few weeks prior, and she is clearly suffering from PTSD (or high-level anxiety). She has trouble deciphering what is real and what is not, she uses her brother in the face of strangers and she imagines the dead bodies she's working on moving and coming back to life, among other things. Honestly, I liked that she is struggling to cope with everything that she recently went through. She remains a strong character, but she is definitely not okay, and it made her feel more real.

I did not believe there was any line one wouldn’t cross when it came to those one loved. Morals crumpled when faced with heartache. Some fissure within us would forever remain irreparable.


Of course, Audrey Rose is not welcomed with open arms when she arrives because... drumrolls... she is a woman! even though she struggles with her inner turmoils, she does not hesitate to shut the boys down and to show them that she is just as good as them when it comes to reading dead bodies.

"I would not be treated as if my mind were inferior because I'd been blessed with ability to bear children."


There is a series of murders happening at the castle and near it, and it doesn't take long for Thomas and Audrey Rose to get involved and to decide to track down the killer (or killers) on their own. The folklore has an important part in this book as people are convinced that strigois (Romanian equivalent of what we call vampires) are behind it all. According to Romanian mythology souls of the undead can't find rest, and wake up from their graves to torture the living around them.

I have to say that I liked Thomas more in this book than in the previous one, and I understand now why he is a favorite among the readers. Audrey Rose and he are fighting some heavy attraction to one another and it was GREAT. I wasn't into Thomas that much in the last book, but not anymore! I am smitten by Thomas Cresswell. I love how he sees Audrey Rose as an equal and a partner, even though he's obviously in love with her and wishes to protect her. I also LOVE the gentlemen vibe mixed with the sarcastic vibe. It's two things that I adore, so the result can't be bad!

“Body heat is scientifically the best way to stay warm. In fact, there are studies that suggest removing your clothes entirely and pressing skin to skin is the surest mean of avoiding hypothermia. Should you fall prey to that, I’ll use every weapon necessary to save you. It’s what any decent young gentleman would do. Seems terribly valiant, if you ask me.”


The two of them are an awesome duo for solving murders, and I love how the author managed to mix some funny moments in the story, even among the darker and sinister moments.

On a side note, I did see the end coming a little bit (the same happened in the first book with Jack's true identity), I was not 100% sure about the murderer's identity, but I was not really surprised when it was revealed. Also, I am not sure that I am a fan of the whole "secret society" thing that was also present in the book, but not that well developed. I felt that it could have been an interesting aspect, but the way it was presented made me more confused sometimes, and I am just not convinced by it... But I still enjoyed the book very much, and I will definitely read the next one very soon!

Stalking Jack the Ripper ⭐⭐⭐⭐



Fanarts by Rosalynnart and Gabriella Bujdoso


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Profile Image for Stacee.
2,670 reviews701 followers
September 19, 2017
I loved SJTR, so I was 10000000% on board with this being a series and as soon as I got this book in my greedy hands, I dropped everything.

I love Audrey Rose. She's smart and sassy and doesn't back down. It's so much fun being in her head. And don't get me started on Thomas because I wouldn't know where to start. I live for the banter between them and it's even better when they're flirting at the same time.

Plot wise, it's a big bundle of mystery. There are creepy castles and late night searches and oh yeah, bodies. There are some new characters introduced that I hope we get to see in the next book and a few revelations at the end that had me practically screaming.

Overall, it was a fun read that had me captivated from the first page. I can't wait to get my hands on book 3.

**Huge thanks to Kerri for spoiling me rotten and sending me to the book**
Profile Image for Grace (BURTSBOOKS).
153 reviews346 followers
May 25, 2018
So, since I've never actually figured out the art of writing reviews for sequels I'm just gonna direct you to my review of Stalking Jack the Ripper for any coherent thoughts on this series you might be interested in while I gush here about how much I loved this book.

1. I am in actual love with Audrey Rose and her genius self and will never not be and if this book series turns one more person she trusts into a murderer I will riot. She needs a break - someone buy her a bath bomb

2. I also love Thomas and his stupid, emotionally stunted ass hole self and if he ever makes the ill-advised decision to play dead and make me ugly cry again I will kill him for real myself.

3. The school setting was perfect.

4. Audrey Rose's aversion to marriage is so damn relatable to me and it's so interesting to read about because it is never explored in YA

5. The audiobook voice actor is so talented it's insane

6. GIVE ME THE NEXT BOOK IMMEDIATELY

7. I don't give a shit about romance but if Audrey Rose and Thomas don't end up together by the end of the fourth book I will no longer believe in love
Profile Image for Tucker  (TuckerTheReader).
908 reviews1,573 followers
June 21, 2020
Stalking Jack the Ripper (#1) - ★★★★★
Hunting Prince Dracula (#2) - ★★★★★
Escaping from Houdini (#3) - ★★★★★
Capturing the Devil (#4) - ★★★★★


-------------

[9/15/2019] -

[Credit: Kerri Maniscalco]
I don't know who the girl in the picture is but she is perfect as Audrey Rose!!

--------------

[9/10/2019] - [9/10/2019] - POP QUIZ! Anybody recognize this voice?

--------------

I really don't know what to say. Partly because this book is so amazing but mainly because, as you can see below, I've already review this. Instead, I'll just note the things I noticed this time around.
1) My crush on Thomas is much strong this time. - I think this is because when I last read this, I was still holding back my inner gay-ness but this time, I'm out of sh*ts to give about what people think of my sexuality so Thomas has gained a spot on my fictional crushes list! Yay!


2) Audrey Rose is ironically sexist - I love Audrey Rose but she is so tightly forced into the "Empowered Young Woman" role that it literally feels stale and she ends up being sexist. If any word, action, etc. that a man did rubbed her the wrong way, she instantly thought it's because I'm a girl
NO IT'S BECAUSE YOU'RE A B*TCH! Again, I love this series and AR but she needs to curb her pride. goodness.

3) This book is f**king scary - Not terrifying but definitely unsettling. Especially that spider scene... *Shudders*
***************
It was just as great the second time around
***************
WHY YES! I AM READING THIS AGAIN!
***************
This book puts all sequels to shame. Usually, sequels are boring or cheesy (*cough* Insugrent *cough*). This wasn't. In fact, it might be even better than the first one.

It took me about one chapter to fall back in love with these characters. Thomas is his usual annoyingly charming self and Audrey Rose is her usual brave and dying spirited self. Throughout, the book Audrey Rose deals with what I think is PTSD after the events of book one. (Don't sorry I won't spoil).

The romance between Thomas and Audrey rose....
 SO CUTE
It was so cute! They are such an amazing couple and they deserve happiness!!! Hopefully they'll have a happily ever after unlike some book. *cough* allegiant *cough*

The mystery was not as good as book one but probably because this book focused more on the romance. It didn't have as much build up and the creepiness factor wasn't as chilling. The ending was honestly a little disappointing but then again book one was just so amazing.

|blog|

Bottom Line:
4.5 Stars: Great romance, lacking in creepiness.
Age Recommendation: 14+ (Brief kiss, gore)
TW: arachnophobia, homophobia

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Profile Image for Nastassja.
423 reviews966 followers
October 6, 2017
Monsters were in the eye of the beholder. And no one wanted to discover their hero was the true villain of the story.


Wadsworth and Cresswell are back and this time they are hunting Dracula himself! Before starting this review I should probably mention that Stalking Jack the Ripper was one of my favorite books last year. I had an absolutely illogical crush on Thomas Cresswell, which was pretty obvious from my review (note: fangirling rumblings without stop is a better way to describe that review), and I cannot express with words how excited I was to read Hunting Prince Dracula. Of course, I preordered the book as soon as possible and the waiting began. Months of anticipation and teasers from the author and finally the book was in my hands! But than something unexplainable happened: I absolutely loved the gothic atmosphere of book two, I loved the mystery, which I didn't guess as soon as i did in book 1, but my dear Cresswell didn't make my heart jump out of my chest and didn't turn my breathing erratic as it was before. What happened, I asked myself? Was it due to the stress I am having at the moment in real life that everything feels less bright to me? But no, the answer was buried much deeper than the influence of the outside factors. Simply, Cresswell stopped to intrigue me as a character, because he lost the spark he had in book 1. What I mean is we have the same problem as many YA books before: a hero turns into obedient, character-less puppy in the presence of a strong independent feminist heroine. Sigh. I get that Audrey Rose is all modern and amazing, but why Cresswell's character must suffer because of it? What about strong male characters that could be equals to strong female characters? Everyone remember Rhett Butler. Huh? I don't remember him turning into a goo in the presence of a very strong Scarlett. Moreover, it seems that Cresswell lost his genius mind along with his temper. It literally explained to us because of his love for the heroine he couldn't deduct simplest of things. Well, if things has turn this way than I demand this couple to break up! If Cresswell was with me he wouldn't've lost a ounce of his geniality, that's it! Sorry for my rumble, but I was extremely disappointed with Cresswell in this book. I still hope book 3 will bring me back my snarky dashing hero with his geniality intact.

Apart from some out-of-character behavior I enjoyed the story a lot. I mean: Europe, Dracula's castle, secret passages, monstrous creatures and everything dashed with mystery and romance - a perfect mix to take one's mind from everyday problems. I felt myself fully engaged by the storytelling and couldn't wait to find out who the main culprit was. And in the case of Hunting Prince Dracula I didn't guess the murderer as soon as I did in book 1, and it added to the level of enjoyment I received from this story.

I am extremely curious as how the story will evolve in book 3, what will be the main theme; what legend or real life murder case the author will choose for the story. Plus, you know, the story takes place in America and it's interesting to see our beloved characters in new surroundings testing their minds and relationship.

The writing was as perfect as in book one: the words were coming alive and flying from the pages in a cadence of perfect symmetry, and images were born before my eyes with a perfect clarity and a dash of morbid anticipation tickling my nerves in the best way possible (I love to test my nerves like that). I noticed more than once that I was reading some lines aloud, enjoying the way words were built into sentences and pictures in my head. Kerri Maniscalco once again proved to be a queen of storytelling. Bravo!

If you haven't read the book yet, I don't want to give extra details about the plot. Better dive into the story without knowing much about the storyline and enjoy every revelation waiting for you on book's pages. As for me, I am mostly satisfied with everything, but still waiting for some improvement for my dearest Cresswell. So hopefully my fangirling over his awesomeness will be back in book 3. And for those who haven't started this series yet: just give it a chance and maybe you will find the world of Thomas Cresswell and Audrey Rose Wadsworth to your liking, and, who knows, maybe even to you adoration *wink*.

"If you were guilty and wanted to hide, where might you go first?"
"Depends on what I'm guilty of. Dirty thoughts or wanton follies, I'd send myself straight to your quarters to be punished."


Profile Image for The Girl Murdered by Her TBR.
388 reviews891 followers
February 21, 2020
5 freaking stars!!!

If Nancy Drew and National Treasure had a book baby it would probably this book (just add gory murders).

If I had some issues with Stalking Jack the Ripper, this book managed to wipe all of it. It was phenomenally awesome!!!

The suspense, mystery, horror, adventure, and romance was superb! In the first book I had a problem with the identity of the culprit because it was too obvious, but with this book? My brain totally failed to guess the culprit. It was that surprising and good. The setting was more exciting because I love everything about Transylvania. This place is rarely featured in books and even movies, which made me more thrilled and happy to read this book.

I still love Audrey Rose and Thomas Cresswell in this book. Audrey was somewhat different from the girl she was on the first book. She experiences extreme sadness because what happened in the first book. Well. There is no doubt that Thomas Cresswell managed to wipe me off my feet. I really wish this dude is a real person so I can make him mine. I love him so much. I love how smart, observant, brilliant, charming, flirty, and absolutely adorable he is.

I'm glad how the sexual frustration was solved in this book. I was half-swooning, half-frustrated with their flirting because THEY ARE A TEASE. A FREAKING TEASE.

I can't wait to read Escaping from Houdini!
Profile Image for Hailey (Hailey in Bookland).
599 reviews86.9k followers
October 14, 2017
The Short
Actual rating: 4.5*

Perfect for fans of: Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco (obviously as this is the sequel), And I Darken by Kiersten White (I haven't finished this one but it reminded me a bit of what I have read of it, mostly due to the setting)

Writing: 4.5 stars
Characters: 4.5 stars
Plot: 4.5 stars
Originality: 4.5 stars
(All out of 5 stars)

The Long
This series is soooo good ahhhh. I listened to the audiobook for this one, which is what I did with the first book, and it was a great decision. The audiobooks are awesome, I highly recommend them.

The romance is this book was excellent. I've become very low tolerance in terms of romance in YA and its tendency to highlight very unhealthy relationships (possessive language, particularly). Before I read the first book, I expected to see a relationship I would hate, but I was pleasantly surprised to find quite the opposite. In this sequel, the relationship is really unpacked. Audrey Rose's position as a proper Victorian girl is brought even further into the spotlight as she and Thomas try to find a balance in their relationship. I loved that the power balance and her autonomy became a central focus of the book. It showed how a real relationship should work, IMO. Also Thomas is the first love interest I've found incredibly swoon worthy in a LONG time. But I love him. A lot.

Audrey Rose is an independent, intelligent young lady that calls Thomas out on his bullshit. It's amazing. She's super headstrong and driven and you see her developing even more into the precious scholar that she is in this sequel. Watching her learn and grow as this series goes on is an absolute pleasure. She is such a great heroine. The author writes the story in a way that gives you a true sense of how her mind works, with its tendency to favour logic and analysis (very left brained). It felt like I was watching the gears turn on a well oiled machine watching her to try and piece together the mystery. She's also a very authentic character. She went through a lot in the first book and you don't see her just brushing that aside. She has to work through her newfound fears in order to do what she loves again.

The setting in this book is where it stood out against SJTR. While SJTR did a wonderful job of immersing me in Victorian London, that's a place I've been many times (though I really do LOVE revisiting it). But this book is set in Romania and o h m y g o d THE CASTLES. I love castles and boy did this book ever have beautiful castles and just an overall enchanting setting. It was described wonderfully and it just felt like you were in a fairy tale. I loved it!

The mystery in this was jam packed with twists and turns and I loved how it pulled from the tale of Dracula. I've yet to read Bram Stoker's Dracula (I'm hoping to before the end of the month), but I am familiar with the legend, as I feel most are. It was a delightfully spooky Halloween read with this looming question of the supernatural hanging over the whole book. Just SO good.

Overall, this series is excellent. Fantastically written (the descriptions are ON POINT), you follow characters that steal your heart (terrible joke if you've read the first one) as they trapeze around eerie locales trying to solve murder mysteries. It is great. If you're looking for the perfect Halloween read, look no further than this series!

I'm so sad I have to wait a whole year for the next book.


*Thank you to Indigo for the ARC! All opinions expressed are my own, as per usual.*
Profile Image for demi. ♡.
206 reviews278 followers
October 4, 2019
❥ 5 / 5 stars

Oh my godddd. I’m so in love with this book. I already like Stalking Jack the Ripper but I think this one is much better and I love it even more. The location of ACADEMY OF FORENSIC MEDICINE AND SCIENCE in Romania is perfect. I also like when the characters discuss in the class. It’s so interesting for me because I don’t know about these things before and I’m always excited when it comes to their discussions.

Oh! And I’ve got my new favorite characters from this series too which are Daciana Cresswell and Ileana ! I don’t know whether they will appear in the third book or not but I have high hope that they will appear at least just a little.💕

Last but not least, for Thomas and Audrey Rose, your SLOW BURN romance is KILLING me!! At first, I thought you would kiss only one time but thank god, you didn’t.🤣

Finally, Thomas Cresswell, you are officially my new book boyfriend. I’m so in love with you that sometimes I imagine I’m Audrey Rose!



Stalking Jack the Ripper (#1) : review
Hunting Prince Dracula (#2) : review
Profile Image for Whitney Atkinson.
903 reviews13.7k followers
January 2, 2019
I think I'm in for the ride with this series strictly because they're fun to listen to, but the characters both got on my nerves in this book and I still think Audrey Rose is hypocritical and her feminism is often blunt and overly modern for the time period. The plot in this one wasn't as interesting as it seemed from the description, but I still love the atmosphere that Maniscalco makes with the creepiness of the basement tunnels and the dead bodies and stuff.

Not a huge fan of the romance because the angst is really choppy but i'm interested to see where it goes.
Profile Image for Wren (fablesandwren).
666 reviews1,497 followers
September 17, 2020
This book just screams gloomy-enchantment. Like the ton of Van Helsing or Dracula (that’s probably the point). There’s just so much to talk about but so little that I can say.

Audrey Rose and Cresswell are off to study the dead at a once-castle in Romania. But from the moment they got on the train, there is a trail of murders for them to solve already. No matter where these two go, there is always a mystery to solve.

The worst part about this whole murder-thing is that they all look like vampires did them. Blood drained... bite marks... garlic... the whole package is there. Heck, the castle is even infested with bats to put the cherry on the cake. So could the supernatural make an appearance in this lovely gory series?



The characters are by far the best points of this series. Audrey Rose is are protagonist and she is going through major PTSD from the last book. The author really does show that in a light that is realistic. She doesn’t use it as a tool to make you feel sorry for her or cripple her; she uses it as a growth tool. Audrey Rose has flashbacks to that awful night she discovered who was Jack the Ripper, and it wasn’t just going to go away.

“I have a feeling you haven't invited me here for kissing. Though it never hurts to ask. You're dressed for sneaking about Dracula's castle. Be still my thawing, dark heart. You certainly know how to make a young man feel alive, Wadsworth.”

Cresswell is as charming as ever. His wit is sharp but his understanding is lacking. He constantly is dealing with “I thought that you would think it was funny” or “I thought I was doing the right thing” and he is growing constantly and understanding the people around him (mainly Audrey Rose).

You also get to learn more about his past and where he came from. This whole story is just so thought out and well written. Oh! The writing! It is just a poem and weaves so well together. You get the chills down your spin from the eerie atmosphere and the gore that is so beautifully worded.

---

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH RTC.

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This is just as thrilling as the first book and I'm LIVING for it.

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OH YOU SAY YOU HAVE A BAT PROBLEM IS THAT BECAUSE YOU'RE A VAMPIRE JUST TELL ME

---

She has such PTSD from the ending of the last book... this poor girl 💔
Profile Image for Rachel E. Carter.
Author 9 books3,473 followers
Read
January 27, 2023
THAT ENDING WAS SO GOOOOD!!! I adore Creswell & Wadsworth SO. MUCH. And a total teaser for the next book, I can't wait. GOING TO AMERICA!!!

Also, seriously, you guys need to listen to the audiobooks for these -the narrator is FANTASTIC.
Profile Image for Layla.
315 reviews347 followers
June 8, 2022
The execution of the mystery was once again lackluster, but fortunately, Thomas Cresswell makes up for all the shortcomings.
Profile Image for Lucy Tonks.
415 reviews691 followers
August 14, 2021
”No matter how much death and horror existed, there were still things of beauty left to find.”


2.5
This was kinda predictable and very boring at times. I read Stalking Jack the Ripper around two years ago and really loved it, but this doesn’t even compare to how much I remember enjoying the first book. My standarts became a lot higher since then especially when it comes to murder mysteries.


TW: sexism, gore, PTSD


After the events of Stalking Jack the Ripper Audrey Rose and Thomas Cresswell are off to Romania to study at the Academy of Forensic Medicine and Science. There they stumble upon yet another notorious killer – Vlad the Impaler, who become a legend due to his bloody history. Audrey takes it upon herself to investigate the murders happening in the castle but as the investigation goes on she starts asking some questions. Could the killer just be a copy cat or did the prince actually come back to life?


This book takes place in Romania and oh hello there, I'm from Romania! First, let's get one thing straight. I've seen a lot of people actually believing that Vlad the Impaler was a vampire or more of a legend. He wasn't. He was a very real person and he lived during the 1400s. He was the ruler of Romania (known as Wallachia back then) and is known for his brutality and cruelty thus foreigners transforming him into a vampire story.


Of course because I am me, i have to complain a bit about the acurracies here and there. I know this is a work of fiction and the author said at the end of the book that she took some liberties in order to make the plot of the boo better and entertaining, but I still have three things I wanna complain.


”Derailing that feeling, my focus slid from Thomas’s dark brown hair and crisp cutaway coat to his discarded top hat and Romanian newspaper. I’d been studying the language enough to make out most of what it said.”

This bothered me a bit, just a few months isn't nearly enough for Audrey to know enough Romanian to actually be able to read and understand a lot of what you're reading. Yeah, I know she is very smart, but Romanian is a pretty hard language to learn and in those few months were she had time to learn it, she couldn'tr have possibly learnt this much. Another thing that bpthered me here is that through out the book she said she couldn't keep up to discussions in Romanian, but if she was bale to read and understand this much she should have been able to understand when people talked too.


”Soon we’d all disembark in Bucharest before traveling the rest of the way by carriage to Bran Castle[...]”

I gotta say Bucharest is nowhere near Bran Castle. Bran castle is in the mountains and the mountains have nothing to do with Bucharest. Right now the journey by car there takes around maybe 3 hours so it would have taken way more than a few hours for them to get there. In the dead of winter. Kerri, please do mre geographical reserch.


”Institutului Naţional de Criminalistică şi Medicină Legală” - This is how you say the Academy of Forensic Medicine and Science in Romanian and it's actually gramatically incorrect. All the romanian words and sentences here and there were spot on, no problem with those, then comes this which is repeated on multiple occassions. It should hve been written as “Institutul” instead of “Institutului”. It isn't a very big mistake but still it kept pissing me off whenver I saw it and I couldn't just ignore it.


“Everyone makes mistakes, Wadsworth. There’s no shame in that. It’s how you go about mending them that truly counts.”


The plot dragged a lot. This is also a pretty long murder mystery and I believe it could have been shorter than it actually was. There were so many unecessary things that added nothing to the plot or murder mystery and I wish they weren't in the book. On so many occassions I got bored and I did think bout DNF-ing but I wanted to know if I guessed the murderer. spoiler alert: I did


I was a bit annoyed with Audrey Rose in this one. I understand she has some PTSD from the events of the previous book, but she did not have to overreact to every situation and take all her worries on Thomas. Also I think she forgot how to think rationally. She is trying to get into this school, yet she breaks every rule possible and doesn't listen to the headmaster. Amazing, Audrey, of course you will get in by doing whatever you want. Thomas on the other hand did not change a bit from the first book. He is still an idiot and so many things could have been avoided if he talked and shared more with Audrey. They just need to communicate better and sadly knowing them I doubt they would. Also, Daciana, I love her. I really hope we get more of her in the next books, but I really doubt we will. But oh well, a girl can dream.


One of the few things I actually enjoyed was the romance. I love the banter between Thomas and Audrey and I'm here for it. I just want as much as I can get from it and I really wish we actually got more of the romance. We also get a queer romance between two side characters, but we got so little of it that I really could not form an actual opinion of it. It was cute I guess, but I would have liked more of it.


”Humans were the true monsters and villains. More real than any novel or fantasy could invent.”


I really loved seeing some Romanian culture here and there. My favourite part was seeing people referring to vampires as strigoi as this is how they are known here! They aren't exactly the same thing but they are pretty close and tehre are a lot of legends in Romania about strigoi. We also got to see some facts about Vlad the Impaler and Dracula, which were all, surprinsingly, accurrate.


As I said in the beginning this was pretty predictable. I had two theories about the book and both turned out to be correct. I guessed the murderer maybe 100 or so pages into the book. Audrey Rose confides in some people and from that moment on I knew who it was. It just seemed so obvious and so often in murder mysteries, the author choses for the heroine/hero to confide in someone about their suspiciouns and then the persons thurns out to be the killer. As for my second theory, we got a reveal about Thomas, that honesly if you know a bit of Romanian history and the language, you might guess it easily too.


This wasn't as good as the first one, but it was still pretty entertaining at times. This is a pretty solid read, but of course if my culture is used as inspiration for it, I would be ruthlessly critical and it's just hard to ignore any inaccuracies. Anyway, if you liked the first book, you would totally find this one entertaining.


”Though I knew there were many sides to each person if one searched hard enough. No one was entirely good or evil, another fact I’d learned during the Ripper case.”
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656 reviews1,403 followers
September 22, 2017
Thank you to Hachette Children’s Books for kindly sending me a copy to review. All thoughts are my own, however.
TRIGGER WARNINGS: anxiety, grief, murder, gore and PTSD.

THIS REVIEW & OTHERS CAN ALSO BE FOUND ON MY BLOG

R A M B LE

I try to make it known that Kerri Maniscalco is one of my favourite authors. I don’t know If I’ve made that clear, but I love her. Is that too far? She just seems like an incredible person and I am absolutely in love her writing. Hunting Prince Dracula met every expectation I had and more. Maniscalco manages to weave a haunting and mysterious tale that incorporates romances between incredible characters. She puts her twist on historical fiction and she does it well.

This book features some things that the first didn’t, though. We still have the feminism in place for our main character, and even more feminist characters are introduced throughout the novel. However, the events of the first book are weighing down on our main character. Audrey Rose is plagued with flashbacks to what happened (what I’m labelling PTSD) and anxiety, while also dealing with an immense amount of grief. I’ll speak more on these later, but the author deals with these particular topics in a way that is perfectly integrated into the story. The mental health incorporations are seamlessly introduced and, in my belief, treated with care as they should.

I’m not sure what else I can ramble about. This book features a diverse cast and is one of the only historical fiction novels I can find myself sitting through without getting mad about the treatment of women. Audrey Rose and Thomas are incredible and the overall cast of characters is beyond interesting. Not a single event in this book can be viewed as filler and it is my belief that this book in no way suffers from second book syndrome.

P L O T

Hunting Prince Dracula is quite clearly a mystery. Our main characters are looking at becoming forensic scientists (I believe? They basically cut open dead bodies) and are now travelling all the way to Romania to further their studies. This is pretty amazing since Audrey Rose is a woman in the 1800’s.

However, wherever our main characters go mystery follows, it seems, and soon the pair is caught up in the strange murders that are plaguing the village near them. Villagers are going missing and the legend of Dracula is returning. The puncture marks and lack of blood in any of the victim’s bodies make it easy to believe one thing; the Strigoi have returned.

While all this is happening, Audrey Rose is struggling to come to turns with what happened in London a few weeks prior to her attending this school. The idea of another killer on the loose sends her into a spiral of fear. It was interesting to see her reactions to certain events, how she had to do her best to remain unflinching in order to be seen as an equal to her peers. I loved seeing the friendships she made and how she did her best to remain ‘a proper lady of society’ while doing things that no one of that era would approve of.

The mystery is beautifully woven in a way that you are second guessing everyone. I worked out it was pretty early in the book but I was second guessing myself the whole way until the reveal. It was incredible. I could barely keep my draw my dropping. I was also grinning giddily in public at other parts.

So, warning, don’t read this in public if you are afraid of people watching you.

C H A R A C T E R S

#A U D R E Y R O S E

Audrey Rose is everything I want to be and more. She is an icon. I have gone through some events in my life that have lead to me being slightly untrusting and cautious of new people. However, in some ways, Audrey Rose has gone through more traumatic scenarios and still fights for her rights in a man dominated world. An absolute icon.

Throughout this book we witness her discovering herself more. Who she is when she isn’t surrounded by people she grew up with and when the restrictions that society have placed on her seem to get left behind. It was enchanting. Can I say that? Well, I just did. I just absolutely adored seeing how she dealt with situations and viewing her struggles with her mental health.

It was absurd, in some ways, to see struggles I face on a day to day basis reflected in another character. I don’t know. Whenever there is PTSD in a book I immediately have so much love and appreciation due to my own struggles. Especially when it’s done amazingly well. And, let me tell you, it was like Maniscalco had gone into my head and plucked thoughts and feelings to put in text. I just have no words to describe how reading a character so like me felt.

#T H O M A S

Thomas Cresswell is the actual love of my life. I have never read a character who I would love to meet in person (and probably fall in love with him only to be rejected, it’s how my life goes, friends). He is everything I want in a man. I truly didn’t know it was this possible to fall in love with a character. I may need to change degrees and learn how to create humans (I have no idea on science, clearly) so I can form my own Thomas Cresswell for myself.

On a more professional note (big joke there, when are my reviews ever professional?) Thomas is an incredibly complex character. The way he develops and grows in this series. His charm, his sarcasm, his adoration for Audrey Rose. It is all so completely swoon-worthy. The fact he is merely there to be her sidekick rather than the focal point. He is okay taking the backseat and letting her drive which is a dream.

Thomas was a tad absent this book due to mistakes he made and were dealt with amazingly, but I could still feel his presence as we learnt more about his past and how he was connected to Romania.

Basically, I love Thomas Cresswell and I would give away all my books to find a guy like that (not really, but let’s pretend).

O V E R A L L

Overall, Maniscalco did it again. She has delivered another incredible story that leaves you on the edge of your seat in anticipation. She has delivered a story with a full cast of characters that will instantly become some of your favourites. She has delivered a masterpiece, in my opinion, that has immediately shot to my favourite 3 books of this year (maybe ever). I am truly anticipating book three and what I can do to wrap my greedy little hands on it despite the fact it’s only in the draft stage.

Happy reading, everyone! And, if you have time, you need to pick up this series.
November 6, 2017
"You should stop saying you're going to kiss me... and just do it".

"Deberías dejar de decir que vas a besarme... y sólo hacerlo".

Después del intenso caso de Jack the Ripper que tuvieron que vivir Audrey Rose y Cresswell en Londres, los dos deciden trasladar sus aventuras a Rumania. Allí llegarán a estudiar al Instituto Nacional de Criminalística y Medicina Legal que, curiosamente, tiene su sede en el Castillo Bran, el lugar en el que vivió el famosísimo Vlad Tepes. Sin embargo, Audrey Rose y Cresswell ni siquiera han llegado a Rumania cuando se encuentran de frente con un extraño asesinato en el tren: el cadáver parece haber sido dispuesto como si hubieran matado a un vampiro usando todas las técnicas y supersticiones locales.

Así, en medio de asesinatos de sujetos que parecen tanto vampiros como víctimas drenadas de toda su sangre, empiezan las aventuras de Audrey Rose y Cresswell para averiguar si el famoso Vlad Drăcul se ha levantado de entre los muertos a beber sangre nuevamente o si algún criminal lo está imitando.

Al igual que con Stalking Jack the Ripper, Kerri Maniscalco logra que no confiemos en absolutamente nadie a lo largo de todo el libro. Hilando perfectamente el folklore de Europa del Este con respecto a los vampiros, se va creando una historia en la que la ficción empieza a confundirse con la realidad. ¡Y me pareció súper interesante que incluso se usaran palabras rumanas en medio de la narración! Sentía que el relato se tornaba mucho más auténtico y ambientado en el supersticioso Siglo XIX.

En Hunting Prince Dracula la autora no olvida todos los traumas que los protagonistas desarrollaron por el traumático caso de Jack the Ripper. De hecho, en esta ocasión, Audrey Rose no solo está peleando con las fuerzas oscuras que rondan el castillo por la noche, sino también consigo misma y con el miedo constante de no ser capaz de recuperar su tranquilidad y racionalidad a la hora de examinar a los muertos.

Por otra parte, nuestro misterioso y maravilloso Cresswell está ocultando algo muy interesante en este libro. Y no son sólo sus sentimientos por Audre Rose sino algo que corre muy profundo por su sangre. De verdad, alucino con lo intrincada e oscura que puede llegar a ser la historia de Rumania y la antigua Valaquia y con cómo Kerri Maniscalco la manipula sutilmente para que Hunting prince Dracula sea el libro oscuro e intrigante que es. La historia que viven Audrey y Cresswell no se limita a los muros del Castillo de Bran y a Brasov, sino que tiene que ver con la gran leyenda que se creó alrededor de Vlad Tepes, con las guerras, las líneas de sucesión y las Órdenes que han jurado mantener vivo el legado de su Príncipe.

Sobre el último cuarto del libro empecé a pasarlo muy mal porque Audrey y Cresswell se inmiscuyen en las profundidades del castillo y se encuentran con horrores que sentía en carne propia. Las descripciones y la ambientación que creó Kerri Maniscalco en esos capítulos estuvieron tan bien desarrolladas que, en realidad, tuve pesadillas con una de esas escenas. Fue horrible, sucio, claustrofóbico y pegajoso. ¡Pero lo adoré! Fueron, sin lugar a dudas, las mejores páginas del libro que, muy a mi pesar, no tuvo el mismo ritmo de Stalking Jack the Ripper.

Ahora, ¿podemos hablar de la tensión tan fuerte que hubo durante todo el libro entre Audrey y Cresswell? Porque... ¡MADRE MÍA! Mi corazón no podía con tantos preámbulos. Creo que nunca, nunca, nuuuuuunca había leído a un personaje tan coqueto y mordaz como Cresswell. Y es que, claro, Hunting Prince Dracula está ambientado en el S XIX así que no puedo esperar que se besen a la primera de cambio por el recato y el decoro y tal, pero la espera me estaba matando. ¡Y si yo estaba muriendo imagínense como estaba Audrey que es quien recibe todo ese coqueteo, guiños y frases inteligentes de Cresswell!

Pero, como también se los decía en la reseña de Stalking Jack the Ripper, Kerri Maniscalco no deja que el amor secuestre la trama principal del libro. De hecho, usa el coqueteo y la tensión entre Audrey y Cresswell para mantenernos enganchados, pero sin dejarnos olvidar que han encontrado un montón de cuerpos sin una gota de sangre dentro de ellos. ¡Oh! Y, además de todo eso, adoro que Kerri rompa con toda clase de estereotipos e introduzca de una manera nada forzada a una pareja LGBT en la trama.

¿Y qué decir del final? Está a la altura de todos los misterios y pistas que han ido apareciendo en el camino de Audrey y Cresswell. ¡Y es inesperado! Una vez más, Kerri nos despista para que el asesino sea alguien que estaba frente a nuestras narices pero que jugaba tremendamente bien su papel. Ahora, y con la aparición de un personaje al final del libro que nos adelanta que la siguiente aventura de nuestros protagonistas será en Estados Unidos, no puedo esperar a leer con qué asesino o leyenda nos encontraremos esta vez. ¡Qué nervios!
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