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. @goodreads
I love Jackaby and I think Sherlock would approve of him too and find him rather funny, which he is I might add.
Okay, like I said, I love Jackaby and I love Miss Abigail Rook! They are a perfect match as you get to read about them in the book, but the first meeting was what I found rather comical or disturbing - depending on how you look at it :-)
It was the eyes, I think, that startled me the most, opened wide and staring with intense inquisition. It was the eyes-and the fact that he stood not half a pace from my stool, leaning ever so slightly in, so that our noses nearly bumped when I turned to face him.
there is some stuff in between all of that and then:
"Hello?" I managed to say, when I had regained balance atop my stool. "Can I help-?"
"You're recently from the Ukraine." It was not a question. His voice was calm and even, but something more...amused? He continued, his gray eyes dancing as though exploring each thought several seconds before his mouth could voice it. "You've traveled by way of Germany, and then a great distance in a sizable ship...made largely of iron, I'd wager."
This was Miss Rook's first encounter with Jackaby when she came ashore. She had been traveling around trying to get in on any archaeological digs that she could. She wanted to be like her father but her parents wanted her off at university and to find a good husband. Um, no. So, she ran away. Now she is in America looking for any kind of work that she could get until she decided what to do next.
Miss Rook goes all around town trying to find a job, but to no avail. One person told her to go over to the post office because they need help a lot of the time. Nothing there either... but wait... there are some bulletins put up on a board and there is one she is interested in. <--- We all know where this is headed right? The man himself, Jackaby, needs an assistant.
Not long after Miss Rook is trying to talk Jackaby into giving her a chance they are rushed out to check out a murder scene. One they shouldn't be on of course. You know, the cops hate having him around unless they ask for him.
Jackaby finds something fishy at the crime scene.. he detects something supernatural is the culprit! How totally awesome to have this type of supernatural mixed in with a Sherlock background. Once again, Brilliant I say!
There are a lot of comical parts in the book that I just loved. There is a part where they are at the crime scene investigating in another part of the building and Jackaby makes the mistake of telling a woman she is not special......... let that thought linger......
Jackaby turned at last. "Madam, I assure you, I meant only that you are not special."
I cupped a palm over my face.
The woman reddened several shades. Jackaby smiled at her in what I'm certain he felt was a reassuring and pleasant manner following a reasonable explanation. He seemed prepared to let the whole thing wash away as a friendly misunderstanding. What he was not prepared for, apparently, was to be socked in the face.
It was not a ladylike swat or symbolic gesture. The force of it actually spun the detective halfway around, and his trip to the ground was interrupted only briefly by the wall catching him on the ear on the way down.
So Jackaby and Miss Rook are on the case to find out what this being is that has started killing in a most horrific way. We get to meet some really cool creatures in the book... well not the evil one, but I digress.
Jackaby lives in a big ole place and he has some other things that live there with him. This would be two of my other favorite characters in the book, Jenny (the ghost) and Douglas ( the duck) <--- there is as story there but I will leave it to you to figure out.
Jenny the ghost, decides since it's her house/or was, that she wants Miss Rook to move in and Jackaby actually feels the same way. But before all of this was mentioned to Jackaby, Jenny took it upon herself to start moving things around in the attic so Miss Rook would have somewhere to sleep. And you know with all of those noises, Jackaby and Miss Rook thought someone had broke in which made for another little comic bit.
And with that it was settled. Jenny clapped her hands together and smiled brightly, and Jackaby turned to look at me. "What in heaven's name are you doing with my copy of Historia Lycanthropis?"
"I-what?" I answered eloquently.
"That book. What on earth are you doing with it?"
"Well, you had a stick."
His eyebrows furrowed. "This is a shillelagh. It was cut from Irish blackthorn by a leprechaun craftsman, cured in the furnace of Gofannon, and imbued with supernatural powers of protection. That"-he gestured to the book-"is a book."
"It's heavy, though. A leprechaun? Like, the tiny fellows who keep pots of gold at the ends of rainbows?"
"Don't be asinine. I mean a real leprechaun. That volume is a sixteenth-century original printing. I hope very much that you didn't intend to use it as a projectile."
I totally fell in love with this book. The characters. The monsters they met, which were some very nice ones by the way. The banter and wit. I just loved the book okay! It has an awesome cover too :-)
I think anyone that loves Sherlock, mysteries, the supernatural and snark, will love this book!
AMAZON LINK TO THE BOOK: