[Review] Jackaby by William Ritter



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.


Score: 5/5

I wish I enjoyed books as much as I enjoyed this one more often. Jackaby is the type of book I really like. I love books with supernatural beings, that take place in an urban setting.

The style was easy to read, it was engaging, the characters were likeable, there was humor, and even though it was a bit predictable the mystery remained interesting until the very end.

I especially liked that the characters were a little different. Different in that they didn’t follow the usual tropes. The female protagonist wasn’t the average Jane who was suddenly thrust upon this amazing new world full of strange creatures and magic. She wasn’t rescued by a mysterious, eccentric yet charming obvious love interest. No, Abigail knew what she wanted before she met Jackaby. She left home because she wanted adventure. She was already aware of her self-worth and she didn’t let people’s opinions affect her.

The male protagonist could have easily fallen under the brooding mysterious love interest with a dark past that doesn’t let any one get too close. Thankfully, Jackaby is nothing like that. While he is at times a little out of touch with the common folk, he still has human emotions, makes mistakes and treats Abigail with respect.

If you’re looking for something light and fun to read, I highly recommend this book.
And to be honest, the synopsis compares this to Sherlock meets Doctor Who, but I’m not exactly sure where Doctor Who fits in. The supernatural aspect perhaps? Although, as I read I pictured Matt Smith’s Doctor as Jackaby especially the Doctor’s appearance and mannerisms. If this book were made into a movie I think Matt Smith would be perfect.

Have you read Jackaby or something similar?



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