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The Perfect Place to Die
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The Perfect Place to Die
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"Fans of true-crime murder mysteries won't want to miss this one."—Booklist, STARRED ReviewStalking Jack the Ripper meets Devil in the White City in this terrifying historical fiction debut about one...
"Fans of true-crime murder mysteries won't want to miss this one."—Booklist, STARRED ReviewStalking Jack the Ripper meets Devil in the White City in this terrifying historical fiction debut about one...
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  • "Fans of true-crime murder mysteries won't want to miss this one."—Booklist, STARRED Review

    Stalking Jack the Ripper meets Devil in the White City in this terrifying historical fiction debut about one of the world's most notorious serial killers.

    In order to save her sister, Zuretta takes a job at an infamous house of horrors—but she might never escape.

    Zuretta never thought she'd encounter a monster. She had resigned herself to a quiet life in Utah. But when her younger sister, Ruby, travels to Chicago during the World's Fair, and disappears, Zuretta leaves home to find her.

    But 1890s Chicago is more dangerous and chaotic than she imagined. She doesn't know where to start until she learns of her sister's last place of employment...a mysterious hotel known as The Castle.

    Zuretta takes a job there hoping to learn more. And before long she realizes the hotel isn't what it seems. Women disappear at an alarming rate, she hears crying from the walls, and terrifying whispers follow her at night. In the end, she finds herself up against one of the most infamous mass murderers in American history—and his custom-built death trap.

    With real, terrifying quotes in front of each chapter, strong female characters, and unbearable suspense, The Perfect Place to Die is perfect for fans of true crime, horror, and the Stalking Jack the Ripper series.

About the Author-

  • Bryce Moore is the author of The Memory Thief and Vodník. When he's not authoring, he's a librarian in Western Maine and a past president of the Maine Library Association. And when he's not up to his nose in library work, he's watching movies, playing board games, and paying ridiculous amounts of money feeding his Magic the Gathering addiction. Check out his daily blog for writing tips, movie reviews, and general rantings over at brycemoore.com

Reviews-

  • Booklist

    May 1, 2021
    Grades 9-12 *Starred Review* This mind-bending historical fiction tells a chilling tale fabricated from the facts surrounding serial killer H. H. Holmes, who resided in late nineteenth-century Chicago. Moore's story follows 17-year-old Zuretta, often overlooked and underestimated, as she leaves her abusive home in Utah to follow her sister, Ruby, who escaped a few years earlier but whose letters have mysteriously stopped coming. When, hours after arriving in Chicago, eager Zuretta is robbed of everything she owns, she wonders if her dream job at the Pinkerton Agency's Female Detective Bureau will ever come to fruition. With everything from forbidden staircases to mysterious doors, a winding mystery follows Zuretta as she tracks Ruby, going undercover and taking up her sister's role as a maid in a hotel known as The Castle, home to many strange and suspicious characters. As Zuretta navigates the dangerous, chaotic city, haunted by nightmares of the killer and the rising number of disappeared women, she fills in a hand-drawn map of the death trap meticulously constructed by the killer. Each chapter opens with a statement from the killer's confession, unraveling the clues as readers approach the last page, and as Zuretta's nightmares transform into hallucinations and, eventually, reality, she finds herself immersed in a risky case bigger than she ever expected. Fans of true-crime murder mysteries won't want to miss this one.

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    June 1, 2021

    Gr 8 Up-A thrilling historical novel set during the Chicago World's Fair. Zuretta and Ruby are sisters living in Utah with their mother and abusive father. After seeing terrible bruises on Zuretta, Ruby decides they need to leave home for good. Zuretta chooses to stay for her mother, and Ruby goes off on her own. Ruby consistently writes to her sister about her adventures and her new job as a maid, but suddenly letters back stop coming. Zuretta is afraid something terrible happened to Ruby, so she travels to Chicago to find her. With some help from new friends and months of searching, Zuretta gets a job as a maid at a hotel called the Castle, a place she discovers her sister was working before her disappearance. Unbeknownst to Zuretta, she's hot on the trail of one of the world's most infamous serial killers. This story takes time to build, but readers who stick around will not be disappointed. Zuretta is a determined young woman who continues her search regardless of the many male characters who doubt her. While this story is historical, this trait is still important for readers to observe. The vocabulary and dialogue fit with the time period, although younger teens may need help defining some words or phrases. True crime buffs will appreciate the passages at the beginning of each chapter, which are excerpts from serial killer H.H. Holmes' published confession. Race of characters is not mentioned. VERDICT Purchase where true crime and horror fiction circulate well.-Lisa Buffi, Sterling M.S., VA

    Copyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    June 15, 2021
    A twist on disturbing historical events. Sisters Zuretta and Ruby want to escape their abusive Utahn family, but Ruby manages to leave home first. When her letters abruptly stop coming, Zuretta heads east to Chicago to discover why. The teenager is immediately beset by grifters, but she has plenty of pluck: When police refuse to help her locate Ruby, she finds work as a maid in the hotel where her sister was last employed. That building, the Castle, is an ominous warren of hidden rooms and false doors populated by sinister employees--and the charming Dr. Henry Holmes. Holmes, a real mass murderer active during the Chicago World's Fair, published writings after his conviction, and excerpts open each chapter. Zuretta's involvement in the case is fictionalized, but the story's true origins add suspense and excitement. Zuretta's dreams of her sister as a moldering, ambulatory corpse don't quite match the realistic events of the rest of the novel, and certain characters and events (the Pinkerton heir who helps her on her first day in Chicago, a hotel worker whose appearances stop once she's less useful for the protagonist) are more convenient than is satisfying, but this novel will appeal to readers excited about an account of gruesome historical events steered by an intrepid young woman. The setting seems to include almost exclusively White people, including the main characters. Slightly educational, mostly fun. (author's note) (Historical thriller. 13-17)

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    June 28, 2021
    In this entertaining thriller set in the past, presumed-white Zuretta, 17 and Mormon, leaves Utah farm life and her physically abusive father behind to search for her younger sister Ruby, who ran away to Chicago ahead of the World’s Fair. After Ruby’s letters stop arriving and Etta begins having vivid nightmares of Ruby in distress, she hops a train for Chicago, determined to enlist the famous Pinkerton detectives in the search. But quickly robbed of her belongings and dismissed by the Pinkertons, Etta must embark on her own search. The narrative hits a lively pace once Etta starts a job as a maid at H.H. Holmes’s mazelike hotel, The Castle, where Ruby last worked and where women seem to frequently disappear. Moore (The Memory Thief) deftly captures the bustle of 1890s Chicago, as well as the near-claustrophobic feel of The Castle and its mysteries, using chapter openings pulled from a real-life document to convey the horrors that happened there. Though true crime aficionados will foresee the last-minute plot twist, and initially obedient Etta’s development into a savvy detective feels surprisingly rapid, watching her close in on her suspect is satisfying. Ages 14–up. Agent: Eddie Schneider, JABberwocky Literary.

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