Jackaby by William Ritter
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Release Date: September 2014
Synopsis: 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.
Comments: I enjoyed this one. It’s fairly thin so it’s a quick and easy read. There are supernatural elements to this book. There are supernatural creatures. This book is very reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes, so if you enjoyed Sherlock… you may enjoy this book as well. However, there is no romance in this book… do not believe the implied lie in the summary… no romance, so don’t go into this book expecting a romance. There is mystery, though I guessed the whodunit person the moment the guy appeared… but I felt this book was written for the fun of it and not for the suspense – which it did well. There is a historical nature to the book too… victorian-esque. Our protagonist, Abigail, isn’t a complete idiot. She’s quite perceptive… There is the stereotypes when we talk about mystery books with a Sherlock influence… we have a quirky investigator and the investigator has a seemingly “normal” sidekick/assistant… and this book sticks to the norm, which was sad but nonetheless I did enjoy reading the book. The book being fast paced, and no fluffy fillings made the reading quick and easy. Much like this review. 🙂
Why the Recommendation: The Victorian era influence. The mystery. The relationship of mentor and apprentice. The supernatural. It’s like these two books are related…. it’s like they are basically cousins. Both are fun and adventurous.
Why the Recommendation: If you like Sherlock Holmes type mysteries you may like this one too. However, the Sherlock-ian resemblance is small, this book is a historical mystery book. And plus there’s spies! SPIES! I tell you! Though unlike Jackaby there is no supernatural or paranormal elements in this historical mystery book.