Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper #1) by Kerri Maniscalo

“Death was not prejudiced by mortal things such as station or gender. It came for kings and queens and prostitutes alike, often leaving the living with regrets.”

Maniscalo’s debut novel is deliciously macabre and a must-read for fans of murder mysteries and historical fiction. While I found the twists to be predictable, this was an enjoyable read and I’m excited to continue the series!

I normally put my content warnings at the bottom of my reviews, but I feel like it is important to note up front that the book opens with a black and white photo of a corpse (there is also a photo of someone that died from leprosy further in the book) and the main character conducting an autopsy. This is a dark and gritty tale that isn’t for the faint of heart and I would hate for someone to pick this up expecting a fun historical fiction story (which it is!) and being turned off by the gore. The bottom of the official book synopsis mentions historical photos but in case this wasn’t what you were thinking…

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The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox


“There are stories around here that the place is haunted. All manners of ghosties and goblins.”

This book wasn’t what I was expecting but I found myself devouring the pages in one morning nonetheless. If I were to categorize this book it is first and foremost a historical romance; it felt like reading Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights with supernatural/witchy elements. This is a successful historical fiction book, but unfortunately I found the witch plotline underdeveloped and secondary to the romance.

The Montrose family has all but been run out of Boston due to rumors, but it is not until well into the book that the reader learns what happened.

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The Night Crossing by Robert Masello

“At night, the shadows run free.”

Friends, I was so excited to receive an advanced copy of The Night Crossing for review as I love spooky stories and historical fiction. A mysterious golden box, London in the late nineteenth century, and an evil that must be overcome are all ingredients that I love and I had high hopes for this book. Unfortunately, my expectations were not met: I found the writing a to be a bit lackluster and I struggled to connect with the characters. While I found the overall plot to be interesting, I struggled to find the desire to read… and the last 25% of the book infuriated me to no end.

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Bellewether by Susanna Kearsley

I had such high hopes for Bellewether but unfortunately I have fallen victim of another book whose blurb is more interesting that the story itself. I’m disappointed and to be honest a little angry. I haven’t read anything by Kearsley before so I was not aware of her formulaic approach to historical fiction (always multiple POVs that span different time periods being my main issue; see Amber’s review for a breakdown). This is definitely a beach read and if you go in expecting a light beach read I think you will enjoy this; but if you are looking for higher-level than a prettily written story with minimal romance and minimal character development you will likely be disappointed. 

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