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Stalking Jack the Ripper

Stalking Jack the Ripper

Book - 2016 | First edition.
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A gothic murder mystery set in gritty Victorian-era London, where an intrepid society girl finds herself embroiled in the investigation of a serial killer known as Jack the Ripper.
Publisher: New York ; Boston : Little, Brown and Company, 2016.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780316273497
Branch Call Number: YA FIC MANISCALCO, K.
Characteristics: 326 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.


From the critics

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Jul 20, 2021

If you’re thinking of reading Stalking Jack the Ripper, be warned that there are gruesome depictions of corpses with their guts ripped out.

This book follows Audrey Rose, a young woman in 1880s England. Audrey Rose is obsessed with autopsies. Weighed by society’s expectations, she can only pursue her passion in secret, studying forensic science under her uncle behind closed doors. As her work on a series of brutal murders brings her into an investigation, Audrey Rose becomes desperate to find the culprit of such terrible crimes.

Stalking Jack the Ripper has a promising concept. However, I’m quite torn in my opinion of the execution. On one hand, the novel’s morbid descriptions are extremely compelling. I especially liked the first chapter, where Audrey Rose is elbow-deep in a cadaver. On the other hand, I guessed the murderer despite reading very little from the mystery genre.

I also dislike the author’s take on feminism. Maniscalco writes Audrey to be “not like other girls” in order to sell her as a strong heroine. Not only is this annoying, it’s also out of place in the 19th-century setting.

Overall, I recommend this to teenagers looking for simple entertainment done in a dark and unique way. Stalking Jack the Ripper isn’t perfect, but I can see why it’s popular. Oh and by the way, there's a tall, dark-haired love interest by the name of Thomas Cresswell. He’s pretty cool.

Jul 15, 2021

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco begins during 1888 in London. The protagonist, Audrey Rose Wadsworth, works to solve a series of murders committed by the infamous Jack the Ripper with the help of Thomas Cresswell. She uses the forensic skills she had secretly learned in her Uncle's laboratory in spite of the expectations of her father and society. The witty and sarcastic banter between well-developed characters was entertaining to read. Unlike some mystery books, Stalking Jack the Ripper keeps you guessing who the murderer is for the majority of the book with a surprising plot twist at the end. This book is good for those 12 and older. It is longer than the average book but a fairly easy read.

Jul 02, 2021

This was an excellent start to Kerri Manisculco's series. There were twist and turns at every corner and I tragically over-estimated my sleuthing skills when right at the last chapter when I'd believed I'd had everything all sorted out- lo and behold I was VERY wrong! Audrey Rose completely smashes the stereotype of young and delicate Victorian maiden by being completely enamored with forensic sciences and studying this topic with her socially rejected Uncle. She is an excellent heroine and narrator, and this novel is a perfect blend of history, horror, mystery, murder and a touch of romance. The audiobook also has excellent narration as well. I highly recommend this novel (and I can only vouch for this one as I've not read the others yet) to anyone looking for a new book to become obsessed with!

Mar 20, 2021

“Stalking Jack The Ripper” is the first book in this chilling series. It stars Audrey Rose Wadsworth, a lover of forensic medicine as she tries to find the identity of Jack the Ripper. I loved the plot of the story, it was very deceptive and makes the reader truly question who the murderer might be. The characters were funny, and their banter made the book more lighthearted. Thomas Cresswell was especially witty and charming, which just made the book so much better. The descriptions were disturbingly detailed, making it easier to imagine the situations. The twists and turns weren’t predictable. However, I’m disappointed that some of the information on Jack the Ripper wasn’t accurate, especially considering this is a historical fiction book. Also, I’m not sure if the author portrayed Audrey Rose properly. I can tell that author was trying to show that Audrey was a strong, independent woman, but I disliked the way the author portrayed it. She put down other women to make Audrey Rose seem better. But I did like the romance in this book. The chemistry between the characters is obvious. Overall, it was a thrilling book that I would rate 4 stars out of 5.
@India_ink of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

Feb 17, 2021

I went into this book hoping for a nice thrilling murder mystery filled with suspense and a main character that I would love but this book did not meet my expectations. The main character, Audrey Rose, did not immediately become someone I enjoyed reading about even though what she studied was unique. I actually liked some of the side characters better! The overall plot I enjoyed but I was kind of expecting the murderer to be who it was so I lost some of the thrill factor there. Overall, it wasn't terrible so I might read book 2 and see how much I enjoy it.

We follow the young, Audrey Rose Wardsworth in the late 1800's - specially 1888 in London and she is secretly apprenticing under the tutelage of her uncle who is teaching her all about the study of forensics.
When women start turning up brutally murdered, she works with her uncle and the mysterious Thomas in capturing the killer responsible.

Stalking Jack The Ripper was a huge letdown.

Every aspect of what this book promises – mystery, suspense, romance – a heroin who's ahead of her time – falls so far off the deep end I don't even know where to begin.

I was so disappointed to discover that Audrey Rose, was your typical "I'm not like any other girls" heroin who parades her arrogance and entitlement and proceeds to call it feminism. Despite the author's attempts to portray her as this smart, sophisticated and yet spit-fire of a lady driven by justice – Audrey Rose comes off as an empty shell of a spoiled teenage girl who lacks any characteristics of a real person. Thomas, the supposed love interest, was a blatant knockoff copy of Sherlock. Much like their personalities , the romance between these too feel stale and contrived.

The story had absolutely no tension, no suspense; as a reader I neither worried nor cared about any the characters or what was happening in the plot. There was no real "mystery" to this story, as not only was the plot predictable, there was one specific line early on in the book that basically gave everything away.

I had such high hopes for this book. I thought the premise was interesting, and I was holding out for a fun and interesting YA read. It goes without saying that I was sorely disappointed.

Oct 22, 2020

I thought - hoped - this would be kick-ass, but it's not. Still very much dominated by a superior man while the protagonist flushes and flounders and what-not. In RL, completely understandable because if someone undermines you all your life, you act like a victim. I found myself bored and stopped reading around chapter 18. There's just not enough substance here.

lgmosher Jun 18, 2020

I don't like murder mysteries.... I just don't. I think that they are a dime a dozen, the world building is non-existent, and the characters never have growth.
They always seem to be a bit, well... Basic.

But, Stalking Jack the Ripper, this book was absolutely enthralling!

It was thrilling, intriguing, and truly kept you guessing. Everything a good murder mystery should be.

You get a run of suspects and it truly keeps you guessing, wondering who and why. Right down to the very end.
(though I figured out the who about the same time if not just a bit after Thomas did. I just didn't have the why)

Thomas and Audrey Rose had this whole Sherlock and Irene Adler type deal going on. It was fascinating to see Maniscalco's characters play together and grow together.

While Thomas was meant to be annoying, arrogant, and completely infuriating.
I found him quite enduring. He was very blunt and said what he meant. There was no guessing where his loyalties were. (Thomas, I never doubted you.... Though Audrey Rose did.)

Overall, I can't believe I waited so long to read it!! Can't wait for number two!

I loved this SO MUCH. Audrey Rose is such a badass, feminine, butt-kicking heroine, and Thomas Cresswell needs to be a real human in my life right now. I absolutely adored both of them and the dynamic between them was SO well-written; it never felt forced or artificial. I've always been fascinated by Jack the Ripper, and living in this world was so intriguing and actually had me clutching at the book and freaking out right along with Audrey Rose. Kerri's writing is so engrossing and her story is so well-thought-out - even though I guessed Jack's identity about halfway through, it did not make the ride there any less enjoyable, and that's definitely saying something.

Apr 03, 2020

Is it great literature? No. Did the love interest occasionally grate on my nerves because the author confused sexual harassment for witty banter? Yep. Was Audrey Rose occasionally too stupid in order to move the plot along? Yes. Was it obvious who the culprit was about 60% of the way through? Yep!

But man, I dunno, I had fun with this. The prose itself is good, and every now and then Thomas and Audrey had a good scene that wasn't Extremely Problematic/bordering on sexual harassment. Plus, I appreciated that the author was willing to get into all the gory details of things, and wasn't afraid to let Audrey get her hands dirty. There were some genuinely scary scenes, too. I do wish there had been less "oh I'm not like other girls" in the novel, but maybe that will be remedied in the sequels.

(I originally listened to the audiobook of this, and the narrator does an excellent job. I definitely recommend giving it a listen.)

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Add Notices
Jul 01, 2020

Other: Gory and detailed description of dead bodies

Apr 03, 2020

Violence: Graphic and detailed murders Descriptions of autopsies

Oct 16, 2017

Other: A great book

Feb 14, 2017

Violence: Graphic & gory murders


Add Age Suitability
Jul 15, 2021

HayleyM33 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Apr 03, 2020

miraellie thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Jan 06, 2017

white_horse_641 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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There was more strength held underneath my muslin layers and well-perfumed skin than in half the men in London combined.


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