Jackaby by William Ritter – Book Review


Rating: 4/5 stars

Goodreads description:

“Miss Rook, I am not an occultist,” Jackaby said. “I have a gift that allows me to see truth where others see the illusion–and there are many illusions. All the world’s a stage, as they say, and I seem to have the only seat in the house with a view behind the curtain.”

Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary–including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain it’s a nonhuman creature, whose existence the police–with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane–deny.

Doctor Who meets Sherlock in William Ritter’s debut novel, which features a detective of the paranormal as seen through the eyes of his adventurous and intelligent assistant in a tale brimming with cheeky humor and a dose of the macabre.

My Review

The Chicago Tribune called it “Sherlock Holmes crossed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer”.  It is, in a way.  Jackaby does act like Sherlock Holmes, but with a lighter, flittier air about him.

Abigail Rook arrives fresh off the boat in New Fiddleham, New England in 1892, having left Europe in search of adventure.  Rather than stay at the boarding school her parents enrolled her in, she took the money and joined an expedition headed for the Carpathian Mountains.  When the expedition folded, Abigail headed for America instead of returning home to England and face her parents.

In New England, Abigail finds employment with R.F. Jackaby, an eccentric young investigator who specializes in cases dealing with the paranormal.  Abigail is suited to deal with Jackaby, who is not one held in the highest esteem with the townspeople.  When a serial killer is on the loose, it is Jackaby and Abigail who find themselves in the center of the turmoil.

This book is a light-hearted romp and filled with fun characters and an enjoyable, easy-to-read story line.  This is the first book in a series and I look forward to reading the others.


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