4.5 star, YA

Review: Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco

Stalking Jack the Ripper #2

Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe’s best schools of forensic medicine… and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.

But her life’s dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school’s forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.

In this New York Times bestselling sequel to Kerri Maniscalco’s haunting #1 debut Stalking Jack the Ripper, bizarre murders are discovered in the castle of Prince Vlad the Impaler, otherwise known as Dracula. Could it be a copycat killer…or has the depraved prince been brought back to life?

Kerri Maniscalco does it again! It is honestly rare for sequels to be as good as their predecessors, but I can truly, truly say that this sequel is every bit as good as the original. It perfectly picks up from where we left off, and characters keep moving forwards in their lives, ready to solve the next mystery thrown at them with their powers of deduction. In fact, Andge rates this as a 5 Drink Me Potions, and she actually enjoyed this even a little bit more than book one!

I think I would almost agree that it is better, but there’s just a little bit of the ending that I didn’t find quite as satisfying as I did in the first book. That being said, Maniscalco always manages to surprise me and lead me on this fantastic mystery-solving journey while providing deep and rich characters, and setting it on a very well-researched backdrop of late nineteenth century Europe.

Hunting Prince Dracula once again follows our dynamic duo, Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell, as they journey to the famous castle of Dracula in Romania, vying for spots in one of the top schools for forensic medicine. While it is initially a dream scenario, everything goes drastically downhill (as usual), as bodies are discovered, killed in very peculiar and haunting fashions.

I have almost nothing bad to say about this book. It was a fantastic read, once again well-researched, with good twists and turns in the plot that keeps us guessing. Although it could totally make it as a standalone book as well, having read its prequel really gives a lot of extra insight and understanding of the characters as their relationships grow.

Each character was once again well-crafted, and always consistent in character. With the whole setting of the ancient castle set in dreary winter, it really did transport me into nineteenth century Romania, with clever incorporation of actual Romanian words and language too! I always wonder how characters in a book can just pick up a language before going to that country – a skill I wish I had. That being said, Audrey Rose struggled with some Romanian too, so at least I felt that that was way more realistic, which I appreciated.

The murder mystery was once again well done, with many twists and turns, and suspicious people at every turn. I am sort of getting used to the kinds of red herrings and twists Maniscalco throws in, but I am still pleasantly surprised at what new things she can come up with to mess with my expectations. I didn’t really see the ending coming (though Andge said she wasn’t as surprised), but either way, great work on the whodunnit front!

I would also tend to classify these books as having a thriller element too. Being so close to the action, and in the business of reading dead bodies, it is unsurprising that all their adventures are always shrouded in mystery and danger. The excitement level is always appropriate, and really helps to propel the reader forward throughout the whole book. Definitely recommend this series!

Overall Recommendations

Hunting Prince Dracula (Book #2 in the Stalking Jack The Ripper series) once again features our two main protagonists, Audrey Rose and Thomas Cresswell, as they investigate a series of murders most heinous in nature at Count Dracula’s castle in Romania. Full of mystery and suspense, just what is going on at this school of forensic medicine? If excitement, character development, well-researched nineteenth century Romania, and blossoming romances all sound good to you, definitely pick up this series. I can’t recommend it enough!

7 thoughts on “Review: Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco”

    1. Actually the next one was my personal favourite, but I think it was coming more from a mystery whodunnit angle – it was more up my alley. Stay tuned for the reviews soon though!

      Definitely enjoyed this one a lot though, such a wild ride. And fantastic setting and atmosphere, so unique and refreshing!


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