Jackaby by William Ritter


Rating: 5 out of 5 Magical Coffee Cups

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From Goodreads:

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.

So I was one of the many readers to be drawn into this book because of the “Doctor Who meets Sherlock” line.  I had so much fun reading this book.  I wonder if I would have felt the same way about this book if I didn’t come to it with the Doctor Who and Sherlock mindset. I personally think it is more of a “SuperWhoLock” kind of feel.  Jackaby is very much like Sherlock, he has a female companion like the Doctor, and he is investigating the supernatural like Supernatural.  

Let us start with Jackaby.  Each time I try to tell someone about this book I accidentally refer to him as Sherlock because Jackaby has the same quirky, intense, not so great with the people skills, slightly annoying but still lovable personality that the BBC Sherlock possesses.  He is not meant to be any kind of love interest but like with Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock, you just can’t help but love him. 

“That reminds me,” he said, pausing. “There’s a jar in my office marked ‘Bail.’ If you don’t hear from me by tonight, just bring it down to the Mason street Station, would you? I’m usually in the first or second cell.”

Love it!  I pictured Mr. Cumberbatch as Jackaby throughout the entire book. 

OK, moving on to Abigail. 

She is pretty amazing from the start.  She was out to do her own thing but when that failed she was too ashamed to head back to her parents. Instead of heading back home, she hops on a ship for New England.  I don’t know if this is immature or awesomely independent that one would rather start a whole new life in a new country instead of admitting defeat to your parents.  I wish I had her confidence. 

So, Abigail arrives to town and is trying to find a job when she meets Jackaby.  After mistakingly looking at the frog (random reference I know but so funny- read the book!) she finds herself accompanying Jackaby on a case.  Abigail is thrown into a world of mythical creatures and magic that we only just touch on throughout this book. 

We met so many different characters that at first seem so fantastical but quickly become just another part of Jackaby’s way of life and I hope to have the chance to learn more about them in future books, I am very excited to read the next in the series.  

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