Trigger Warning: Gore
Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.
Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world (Goodreads, 2016).
Things I Liked: I typically enjoy reading about women ahead of their time and this book did not disappoint me. Audrey Rose Wadsworth would definitely feel at home with the early feminists. I love how she stands up for the idea of women being able to have careers while at the same time still enjoy pretty things.
In terms of the plot, I found this to be an enjoyable mystery. I was genuinely shocked by the twist at the end regarding the reveal of Jack the Ripper. Also, in my opinion, Audrey and her partner/love interest, Thomas made for good amateur detectives. Furthermore, I enjoyed the references to early forensic pathology techniques sprinkled throughout the series. Perhaps most importantly for me, Kerri Maniscalco’s writing was not exceptionally graphic when it came to descriptions of crime scenes and autopsies. I’m a lightweight when it comes to gore and elements of horror so that really helped in terms of allowing me to enjoy the story fully.
Aside from aspects of the mystery, I thoroughly enjoyed the romance between Thomas and Audrey Rose. This book being YA there weren’t really any steamy scenes, but the chemistry between the two was evident and well written. I loved the moment when the two finally had their first kiss, it was so sweet!
Things I Didn’t Enjoy/Would Have Changed: I didn’t really find anything in this book that I would have changed or didn’t work for me
Overall Thoughts: I thoroughly enjoyed this book. In my opinion, this was a 5 out of 5 star read. I recommend this to fans of YA and historical fiction
Quotes I Enjoyed/Found Significant:
Rose have both petals and thorns my dark flower. You needn’t believe something weak because it appears delicate
No man has invented a corset for our brains.
I don’t see any men running about birthing the world’s population then going on to make supper and tend to the house.