[A quick note: This series is growing on me so much! And how cute is that teacup from LitJoy Crate? I also have a skull light thing that I got from Fae Crate in the background there but it’s for a different fandom. I just liked that it went with my Halloween vibe.]
“𝐖𝐞 𝐰𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐧. 𝐇𝐞 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐰𝐡𝐨 𝐡𝐚𝐝 𝐚 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐛𝐥𝐞𝐦, 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐈. 𝐏𝐞𝐫𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐬 𝐢𝐭 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐟𝐚𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐞𝐚𝐜𝐡 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐢𝐫 𝐬𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐡𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐞𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐚𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐝 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐠 𝐰𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐧. 𝐓𝐡𝐞𝐲 𝐰𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐛𝐨𝐫𝐧 𝐬𝐮𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐨𝐫, 𝐧𝐨𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐡𝐨𝐰 𝐬𝐨𝐜𝐢𝐞𝐭𝐲 𝐟𝐚𝐥𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐲 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐝𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐦. 𝐖𝐞 𝐰𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐞𝐪𝐮𝐚𝐥𝐬 𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞.” —Kerri Maniscalco
After the events in London surrounding the Jack the Ripper case, Audrey Rose is whisked away to Romania to attend a prestigious forensic science academy. But it would seem that her penchant for solving mysteries follows her when a string of new murders emerge.
With a Victorian Era setting in an old Romanian castle, dangerous underground tunnels, a dark academia feel, and a killer on the loose, what more could you want from an autumn read? Throw in a strong female MC who doesn’t take kindly to others telling her what to do, and you’ve got the makings of a fierce read. Oh, and don’t forget the romance! There’s plenty of that too, with some great dialogue and banter.
I had so much fun reading this, and I enjoyed it more than the first book. Especially Audrey Rose’s character arc and watching her overcome her struggle after the events of SJTR. Most of my reading was done outdoors on the patio in the crisp evening beside the fire. That made for the perfect atmospheric feel. I even put some spooky music on in the background. What better way to approach Halloween?!
The strongest aspect of this book was the setting. Setting is EVERYTHING. This one has it all. It’s set in an old castle—Vlad Dracula’s castle to be more specific—at a forensic science academy. There’s old castle vibes, dark academia vibes, creepy haunted tunnel vibes too, and cult worship vibes. Basically, there’s everything you want for a perfect murder mystery. I especially liked the way history and popular myths were combined with the aspects of period murder, the use of arsenic poisoning, and other bits of science relative to the time.
As far as murder mysteries go, I rarely read them. They’re not generally the type of book I seek out. Nevertheless, I enjoyed this so much, working along side Audrey Rose with all the clues for “who-done-it.” I could NOT figure out who the murder was. I was taken by absolute surprise. Isn’t that the BEST?
“𝐅𝐨𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐧𝐨 𝐥𝐢𝐦𝐢𝐭𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐬; 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐢𝐫 𝐧𝐮𝐦𝐛𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐢𝐧𝐟𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐭𝐞. 𝐖𝐡𝐢𝐜𝐡 𝐢𝐬 𝐩𝐫𝐞𝐜𝐢𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐲 𝐰𝐡𝐲 𝐈𝐦𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐮𝐫𝐞 𝐦𝐲 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐛𝐲 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐦. 𝐀𝐧 𝐚𝐦𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐭 𝐭𝐨𝐨 𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐝𝐥𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐭.” —Kerri Maniscalco
The romance in this was really, REALLY cute. I adore Audrey Rose and Thomas. Their characters are perfect complements. The banter left me chuckling. Thomas is so cheeky and I love his swagger, even though its mostly done for Audrey’s sake. What I liked the most? They both had to grow together as a couple. There’s a time during this book that their relationship was really challenged and tested, and I enjoyed that.
Finally, I appreciated the ending. I like that even though the book closes up nicely, it gives you a definite hint into what’s coming next. I can’t wait to see what the next adventure holds for our duo. 𝐌𝐘 𝐑𝐀𝐓𝐈𝐍𝐆: 𝟓/𝟓⭐️