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Jackaby
by William Ritter


Overview -

"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."

A Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of 2014

Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R.  Read more...


 
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More About Jackaby by William Ritter
 
 
 
Overview

"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."

A Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of 2014

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 a debut novel, the first in a series, brimming with cheeky humor and a dose of the macabre.

"The rich world of this debut demands sequels." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review


 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781616203535
  • ISBN-10: 1616203536
  • Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
  • Publish Date: September 2014
  • Page Count: 304
  • Reading Level: Ages 14-18
  • Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.05 pounds

Series: Jackaby #1

Related Categories

Books > > Fantasy - Historical
Books > > Mysteries & Detective Stories
Books > > Action & Adventure - General

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2014-06-30
  • Reviewer: Staff

Toss together an alternate 19th-century New England city, a strong tradition of Sherlockian pastiche, and one seriously ugly hat, and this lighthearted and assured debut emerges, all action and quirk. In the best Doyle tradition, the first-person narrator is pragmatic yet naïve Abigail Rook, native of Britain and seeker of adventure. Thwarted in Ukraine, she catches ship for the U.S. and lands in New Fiddleham, penniless and with few employable skills. This matters not to R.F. Jackaby, the peculiar stranger with the awful hat, who is more interested in the kobold (household spirit) Abigail has unknowingly picked up on her travels. Jackaby is a detective in need of an unflappable assistant—literally, as his last one “is temporarily waterfowl.” Abigail’s keen eye for detail and complete ignorance of the paranormal make her observations invaluable to him, and she’s soon caught up in the eccentric mayhem that is Jackaby’s workaday world. Ritter is also capable of tenderness and pathos, as his description of a suffering banshee demonstrates, leaving room for development in any future cases Abigail may chronicle. Ages 12–up. Agent: Lucy Carson, Friedrich Agency. (Sept.)

 
BookPage Reviews

Historical fiction meets paranormal adventure

Paranormal investigator R.F. Jackaby sees what no one else can—banshees, leprechauns, even monsters. If they’re wreaking havoc in New Fiddleham, Jackaby is on the case. What he can’t manage to do is keep an assistant—until he meets the spunky Abigail Rook. Adventurous and keenly observant, Abigail has fled her wealthy British upbringing to make her own way in 19th-century New England.

During their first murder investigation, Abigail’s eye for detail provides Jackaby with clues he would have overlooked. Together they discover the victim is Arthur Bragg, a local reporter who had been investigating a serial killer—one who may or may not be human.

Like Sherlock Holmes, Jackaby is eccentric, arrogant and blunt—but he also has a zany quality. After all, he lives with a beautiful young ghost and a duck who does his bookkeeping. Narrator Abigail plays the role of Dr. Watson, helping Jackaby maneuver the societal norms he seems to disregard. Very few girls in 1892 would steal tuition money and cross an ocean for adventure, but perhaps that’s what makes her especially appealing to contemporary readers.

Jackaby is a slow build of clue gathering and a-ha moments, all leading to the hour of discovery.

 

Kimberly Giarratano is the author of Grunge Gods and Graveyards, a young adult paranormal mystery.

This article was originally published in the October 2014 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews