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Stalking Jack the Ripper (SJTR #1)

[A quick note: This is another book that I’m reading as part of my atmospheric autumn reads. It promised morbid death set in gas lamp victorian London and it totally delivered! Not to mention it’s got a gorgeous cover. I’m featuring a cute teacup that is SJTR themed that came in my recent LitJoy Crate box. It’s so cute.]

“𝐑𝐨𝐬𝐞𝐬 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐛𝐨𝐭𝐡 𝐩𝐞𝐭𝐚𝐥𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐫𝐧𝐬, 𝐦𝐲 𝐝𝐚𝐫𝐤 𝐟𝐥𝐨𝐰𝐞𝐫. 𝐘𝐨𝐮 𝐧𝐞𝐞𝐝𝐧’𝐭 𝐛𝐞𝐥𝐢𝐞𝐯𝐞 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐰𝐞𝐚𝐤𝐛𝐞𝐜𝐚𝐮𝐬𝐞 𝐢𝐭 𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐬 𝐝𝐞𝐥𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐞. 𝐒𝐡𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐥𝐝 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐛𝐫𝐚𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲.”—Kerri Maniscalo

Dominated by a fierce heroine who isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty, SJTR is a fun take on the chilling story of London’s well-known Leather Apron killer of the late 1800s. Audrey Rose is a woman ahead of her time, determined to be a scientist as she dives into the budding world of forensic studies. Despite the constant adversity she faces, disapproval from her father and brother and from society, she believes that she can be both pretty and fierce. That she can enjoy frilly dresses and still do a man’s job just fine. And she isn’t wrong! Her character was one of my favorite parts about this story.

“𝐈 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐝𝐞𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐞 𝐛𝐨𝐭𝐡 𝐩𝐫𝐞𝐭𝐭𝐲 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐟𝐢𝐞𝐫𝐜𝐞, 𝐚𝐬 𝐌𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐡𝐚𝐝 𝐬𝐚𝐢𝐝 𝐈 𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐛𝐞. 𝐉𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐛𝐞𝐜𝐚𝐮𝐬𝐞 𝐈 𝐰𝐚𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐢𝐧 𝐚 𝐦𝐚𝐧’𝐬 𝐣𝐨𝐛 𝐝𝐢𝐝𝐧’𝐭 𝐦𝐞𝐚𝐧 𝐈 𝐡𝐚𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐠𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐮𝐩 𝐛𝐞𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐠𝐢𝐫𝐥𝐲. 𝐖𝐡𝐨 𝐝𝐞𝐟𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐬𝐞 𝐫𝐨𝐥𝐞𝐬𝐚𝐧𝐲𝐡𝐨𝐰?” —Kerri Maniscalo

This is first and foremost a murder mystery. It was a perfect, morbid atmospheric read for autumn to get me into the spooky season spirit. I had so much fun trying to uncover all the clues alongside Audrey Rose and Thomas. There were so many moments where I got twisted around and wasn’t sure who to suspect. I did have my suspicions, which turned out to be true by the end, unfortunately. But it was still fun to see how everything played out.

The romance between Thomas and Audrey Rose was cute and believable. They start off on bad terms. Audrey Rose dislikes Thomas’s know-it-all attitude. But they quickly discover that they bring unique assets to the table, that they need each other to solve the murders. It’s this quick realization that turns them into a team. From there, Thomas’s frequent sentimental comments towards Audrey Rose, and her frequent snarky comments, have them falling for each other. This was what I consider a milder enemies-to-lovers. Overall, I loved how perfectly matched their personalities are for each other, and can’t wait to see more of their romance in subsequent books.

The character growth is subtle. It’s woven into the background of what is more a plot-driven story. But we still see Audrey Rose go from someone who is timid about her calling in forensic science, afraid to confront her father and stand up for herself, to someone who is sure of what she wants in life, and unafraid to fight for her future. I loved seeing her strength blossom into something unapologetic. The moment she stood up to her father was so satisfying.

“𝐓𝐡𝐨𝐬𝐞 𝐰𝐡𝐨 𝐝𝐞𝐬𝐞𝐫𝐯𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐜𝐭 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐠𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐧 𝐢𝐭 𝐟𝐫𝐞𝐞𝐥𝐲. 𝐈𝐟 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐦𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐝𝐞𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐬𝐮𝐜𝐡 𝐚 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠, 𝐡𝐞’𝐥𝐥 𝐧𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐭𝐫𝐮𝐥𝐲 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐢𝐭. 𝐈 𝐚𝐦 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐝𝐚𝐮𝐠𝐡𝐭𝐞𝐫, 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐡𝐨𝐫𝐬𝐞, 𝐬𝐢𝐫.”—Kerri Maniscalo

I put this one off for a loooong time. I’m so glad I finally got to read it. If you’re looking for an atmospheric, morbid autumn read. If you like murder mysteries and historical fantasy. If you like romance, witty dialogue, and a strong female MC, you’re going to love this one! 𝐌𝐘 𝐑𝐀𝐓𝐈𝐍𝐆 𝟒.𝟓/𝟓⭐️


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