Published by Algonquin Young Readers on September 16th, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction
“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.
In search of sufficient income and a chance for adventure, Abigail finds herself in New Fiddleham standing outside of a peculiar building with a bright red door. It is there where she accepts a tedious job from R. F. Jackaby, an investigator for the supernatural and unexplainable and known eccentric sociopath. The unusual job immediately draws Abigail in as her ordinary mind points out mundane and conventional clues. Suddenly, the fairy tales Abigail grew up believing no longer seem impossible. Her first day begins with a brutal murder of a journalist. Similar unsolved cases caused the authorities to question the possibility of a serial killer lurking in their city. Familiar with Jackaby's absurd line of work, the police regard the investigator with disdain. Except for one young and charming detective named Charlie Cane. As more and more people fall victim to the killers horrendous actions, it is up to the three of the young adults to solve the case before the killer and strike again. But Jackaby has his doubts about detective Cane. Suppressed secrets and curious creatures bind this unique together to create a humorous and delightful story. I'm a huge fan of Doctor Who and Sherlock. Of course, I had to read this! Immediately, you know you're in for a treat when Jackaby first appears. I absolutely loved this book. I cannot get over how Abigail and Jackaby perfectly balance each other out. It truly was entertaining to read the two interact with each other. I have never laughed so hard in my life. Ritter's elegant, Victorian writing perfectly draw the whole story together. His descriptions and painstaking attention to detail are phenomenal! I greatly adore the characters he has created. At times, the plot was predictable. However, your prediction could easily change in the next chapter. I forced myself to take my time while reading this. Only because I knew by the second page I would want to read the sequel. I did have to put it down a few times just to calm down my heart. Considering how small this book is, it is stocked full with adventure and mystery. It will keep you reading till the very end. I definitely recommend reading this even if you're not a Doctor Who or Sherlock fan.