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?
Escaping From Houdini picks up right after Hunting Prince Dracula. I’m enjoying that the whole plot of this series takes place within a few months so far. This book started off on a high note. Murders start happening right away. I liked that the murders were more gruesome; it added to the horror of being trapped on a carnival cruise ship with a murderer on the loose.
I loved the chemistry between Audrey Rose and Thomas as always. However, the author introduces a love triangle that I did not like. I don’t hate the love triangle trope, but I don’t think this was done well in EFH. Audrey and Thomas’s relationship is built up for two books. I was already invested and sure that nothing could threaten their relationship. I didn’t find it necessary to have Audrey Rose interested in another man. I honestly found the whole set up and Audrey Rose’s behavior to be quite annoying.
All in all, EFH was very well-written. The banter was hilarious, especially between Thomas and Mephistopheles, who is the ringmaster of the carnival. I love the mystery and whodunnit aspect of this whole series. As always, I didn’t guess the murderer. But I was satisfied when they were revealed. Kerri Maniscalco has yet again provided a very entertaining read. I know the conclusion, Capturing the Devil, will not disappoint.