Disappointing attempt to get on the steampunk bandwagon

Stalking Jack the Ripper - Kerri Maniscalco

I so wanted to love this book. I really, really did.

 

What I found was a story of Audrey Rose, a 17-year-old Victorian-era girl who behaves far too much like a modern woman, running around in riding breeches all the time and apprenticing as a forensic pathologist with her eccentric uncle ... while tracking Jack the Ripper. The book was littered with Americanisms (e.g., characters saying "okay" instead of "all right"), which pulled me right out of the story. Furthermore, the author seems not to know the difference between an Edwardian tea gown (which slips over the head and ties in the back) and a Victorian one, which still buttons up the back. To make matters worse, she has Audrey Rose talk about how she can't wait to receive callers in said tea gown -- a dress designed to be worn without a corset and which was only worn in the company of close family members during the period. (I looked it up to verify; I don't know why the author couldn't have bothered).

 

As soon as gears started showing up at all the Ripper murder case scenes, I knew where the author was going: time to now cash in on the steampunk trend. And, frankly, it was a ham-handed attempt. The result was that I saw the "whodunnit" coming for miles, and the reason ... and I was just plain disappointed.

 

In other words: not the book I expected or hoped for at all. I'll give points for character development, and a plot line that had great potential, but that's it.