Sunday, September 20, 2015


Title: Jackaby
Author: William Ritter 
Series: Jackaby, Book 1
Number of Pages: 299
Date Read: 9/20/15
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal

Synopsis (Found on

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:

This book was awesome! I don't know why I didn't want to read this book when it first came out. I had decided to take it out from the library a few weeks ago. I was at a loss at what to read yesterday, so I gave my boyfriend a pile of library books and asked him to pick a book for me to read. He picked this one and another but said he liked this one the best cuz it's a mystery. I am so glad he picked it!

This story is about Abigail Rook's first case as an investigator's assistant to detective R.F. Jackaby. Jackaby is no ordinary detective. He's a detective of the supernatural/paranormal. He has a gift that allows him to see all the creatures and beings that humans regard as myth and fairy tales. Abigail happens to stumble upon Mr. Jackaby who is in need of an assistant and is hired for the job. Her first case: very gory murders done by something that is not human. 

I loved Abigail. She is a great character. She is very likable and is very much an adventurer. She is from England where she ran away from her preppy school with the money her parents gave her for her tuition, and she went to the Ukraine to dig for dinosaurs (a girl after my own heart!). He father is an paleontologist and an archaeologist who go on digs to unearth dinosaurs and lost civilizations. Abigail has that passion in her blood as well but was stifled by her parents because she was a girl who should be focused on finding a wealthy husband. After her trip to the Ukraine, she ended up in New Fiddleham, America. 

Abigail is very clever and notices the ordinary things that Jackaby doesn't that can help him with his case. She gives helpful insight and tries to help Jackaby solve the mystery. She is very taken and excited with the job. She doesn't care that women look down on her because she is working, especially working for someone who the town calls a lunatic. She can also be very sarcastic and snippy as well as good natured and takes some of the ridiculous/insulting things Jackaby says in stride. At first she doesn't know what to make a Jackaby and his talk of supernatural beings but little by little she begins to believe. She is very determined to be out in the field with Jackaby and allow herself to be sent back to the office to do paperwork. She likes being in the thick of things. She is very brave. 

I loved Jackaby. He really made the book. He kind of reminded me of Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies in terms of the mannerisms and awkwardness. His is called a crack pot, insane and a lunatic by many of the people in the town including the police. The chief of police, Marlowe really dislikes Jackaby because Jackaby shows up at crime scenes when he shouldn't be there. Jackaby is very very intelligent- in his field as well as in general. He is just very odd. He is always on the move, talking quickly and always thinking. It's like he never rests. He is also socially awkward, doesn't really get sarcasm or jokes and really doesn't realize when he's being insultive. He is very good natured and doesn't care that people call him crazy or let that stop him from doing his work. He really is an oddball and I love it. 

Next is junior detective Charlie Cane. I loved him as well. He does not think Jackaby is crazy and helps Jackaby with his investigation, often disobeying the chief detective. He is very sweet, kind, caring and very loyal to people he cares about, his boss and his town that he's sworn to protect. He does however have a secret. 

I really enjoyed the setting of the story. It takes place 1892 and has a mystery like feel to it. It takes place in an American town/city with cobblestones, old buildings and carriages. The book has an old feel to it, which is perfect for mysteries. And also, it takes place in the winter. For some reason I'm thinking that the city may be old time New York, but that's just my opinion. I loved the way the characters spoke as well and I imagined them all having an accent, even the American characters. I know I'm weird.

I really enjoyed the paranormal aspects of the book. There were many supernatural creatures in the book and many of them were not the normal ones that everything thinks of and writes about. There were banshees, ghosts, shape shifters, goblins, trolls and more. I enjoyed the knowledge that Jackaby imparted about these creatures. I also liked that the romance in the book was subtle and not in your face. There were feelings between characters but nothing more. It was like a set up for a romance that may happen in future books. I was a bit disappointed that there wasn't at least one kiss but oh well. 

I really loved this book and highly recommend everyone to read this book! 

Rating: A+

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