Jackaby by William Ritter

20312462Published: September 16th 2014 By: Algonquin YR

Genres: Young-Adult, Mystery, Paranormal, Supernatural, Historical-Fiction

Format: Kindle Book Source: Library Rating: 4 Stars



“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.


Well, I can definitely see what all the hype is about for this book. I went in thinking that I would try to get into the story and whatever happens, happens. It took no effort, really. I was engrossed by the end of the first chapter. Jackaby has warmed my heart with his quirky behavior and his disregard for the law. He is truly one of a kind.

Jackaby is about Abigail Rook finding her place among the New Fiddleham townsfolk. She’s fresh off the boat and needs to find a job and a place to stay. After a few no-help-needed encounters, she is directed to the post office. There, she comes across a job opening for an assistant. Meet R. F. Jackaby, detective of all things weird. Her life will never be the same.

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this. Sure, I love Sherlock and Doctor Who. Jackaby himself is just the craziest occult detective ever. He is quite the law breaker, and keeps unusual company. He sees all; human and supernatural alike. The people of New Fiddleham just see a crazy detective, so most of them don’t believe in his theories or what he’s investigating. Abigail is skeptical at first meet, but by the end of the day she believes. It helps that Jenny the ghost and Douglas the duck are there to add truth to this crazy world she’d found herself in.

I figured out who the villain was before hand, so the mystery wasn’t that hard to solve. But, the plot twist before the villain was revealed surprised me. I mean, who knew? I figured something was going on with the policeman, but not that. Is there a romance brewing between Miss Rook and Charlie? I hope so. It’ll be nice if it’s not her boss and roommate that she falls for. I’m looking forward to reading Beastly Bones soon. If you like your historical fiction dabbed in some supernatural mystery, and with an eccentric detective, then this is the book for you. Definitely recommended.


14 thoughts on “Jackaby by William Ritter

  1. That’s good, I’ve read unsatisfactory review for this book. Yet again that it’s different per reader and writers should take low ratings in stride. Fab review, and you’re a good sleuth! I can never figure out who the villains are in books like this


  2. See, I’ve never tried out detective or mysteries which is probably the main reason why I as never a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes (maybe I should watch the movies? Idk but I’m glad you enjoyed this book so much girl and can’t wait to see what you think of the next ones. ♡♡


    • I love the movies with R. Downey Jr, but you should watch the BBC series with B. Cumberbatch. *swoon to death with us girl* Or, try to read a Sherlock book or watch Doctor Who. I personally like the older shows myself.


  3. I really want to read this one! I love Sherlock and Doctor Who like you do, and knowing that it was pitched as both makes me happy 🙂 I love the cover and I am glad that although the mystery itself was predictable there was still a twist in the story that wasn’t foreseen.


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