Escaping from Houdini Review

Synopsis from Little, Brown, and Company:

The #1 New York Times bestselling series that started with Stalking Jack the Ripper and Hunting Prince Dracula continues in this third bloody installment! A luxurious ocean liner becomes a floating prison of madness and horror when passengers are murdered one by one…with nowhere to run from the killer.

Audrey Rose Wadsworth and her partner-in-crime-investigation, Thomas Cresswell, are en route to New York to help solve another blood-soaked mystery. Embarking on a week-long voyage across the Atlantic on the opulent RMS Etruria, they’re delighted to discover a traveling troupe of circus performers, fortune tellers, and a certain charismatic young escape artist entertaining the first-class passengers nightly.

But then, privileged young women begin to go missing without explanation, and a series of brutal slayings shocks the entire ship. The disturbing influence of the Moonlight Carnival pervades the decks as the murders grow ever more freakish, with nowhere to escape except the unforgiving sea. It’s up to Audrey Rose and Thomas to piece together the gruesome investigation as even more passengers die before reaching their destination. But with clues to the next victim pointing to someone she loves, can Audrey Rose unravel the mystery before the killer’s horrifying finale?

About: Escaping from Houdini is a young adult historical fiction written by Kerri Maniscalco. It will be published on 9/18/2018 by Jimmy Patterson Books, an imprint of Little, Brown and Company, 448 pages. The genres are young adult, horror, and historical fiction. This book is intended for readers ages 15 and up, grades 10 and up. There are 4 books to this series: book 1 is called Stalking Jack the Ripper, book 2 is called Hunting Prince Dracula, book 3 is called Escaping from Houdini, and book 4 is currently untitled. According to the publisher’s website, “Little, Brown and Company was founded in 1837 and for close to two centuries has published fiction and nonfiction by many of America’s finest writers. Early lists featured Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, Emily Dickinson‘s poetry, and Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, all of which are still available today.” Please see below for more information about the author and publisher.

My Experience: I started reading Escaping from Houdini on 7/8/2018 and finished it on 7/19/2018. This book is an excellent read! I find the romance between Thomas and Audrey Rose intoxicating because of their limited time, privacy, and secrecy. I like the sharp tongues exchanges between Audrey and Mephistopheles. I like all the fancy clothes Audrey Rose wears: silks and velvets as well as the decorations to the live shows. I like the mystery to Mephistopheles’ background because he’s always wearing a mask. I like the friction between Thomas, Audrey Rose, and Mephistopheles and their endless witticism/sarcasm/banter/charm/well-timed quips. I can’t tell Mephistopheles’ intentions toward Audrey Rose but the air of mystery makes the read interesting. I like how the characters are good at keeping a poker face in tense situations.

This book is told in the first person point of view following Audrey Rose Wadsworth, 17, as she, Thomas Cresswell, and her Uncle Jonathan Wadsworth, whom readers learned from book 1 that he’s an expert in reading crime scenes are boarding a cruise ship called the Etruria heading to New York. There is entertainment on this cruise ship and the newest entertainer to excite everyone on board is Mephistopheles and his Moonlight Carnival crew. Their performance promises the audience of tricks that will both be dazzling and on the brink of danger. Audiences clap wildly from one act to the next with excitement and eagerness until at last, when there’s a knife protruding from the back of their fellow audience that left a puddle of blood on the floor, no one thought twice that it was a real murder but part of an act. Audrey finds herself trapped on a boat at sea with a murderer on the loose. Audrey, her uncle, and Thomas now find themselves with a dead body to examine and it might not be the only one.

Escaping from Houdini is truly mesmerizing. I love the topic of magic performances and how it all takes place on a cruise. As much as I love following Thomas and Audrey Rose breaking curfews and sneaking out on secret adventures, I do love the change in this book with Thomas having a competitor. It’s interesting how Thomas is still consider a “friend” after all of those stolen moments. I like Mrs. Harvey in this book more than in the previous books. I like the pictures before each chapter, especially the late 19th century circus performers because it gives readers an idea of what’s to come and their costumes are really out there! I love books with epilogues. I couldn’t guess who the murderer is but I did flipped back to read again to see if there were clues I might have missed. This book is a must read and the series shouldn’t be missed. I highly recommend everyone to read it!

My YouTube Review: Escaping from Houdini

Pro: fast paced, page turner, suspense, mystery, cruise, circus, diversity, humor/banter

Con: none

I rate it 5 stars!

Buy it here for free shipping: Book Depository or Little, Brown, and Company’s website

About the Author:

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. Her first novel in this series, Stalking Jack the Ripper, debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. It incorporates her love of forensic science and unsolved history. Find Kerri online @KerriManiscalco on most platforms or at
(Photo obtained from Goodreads and info obtained from Little, Brown, and Company’s website).

More Information about Jimmy Patterson Books

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***Disclaimer: Many thanks to Little, Brown and Company for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.


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