Fantasy, Mystery, Review

Jackaby by William Ritter


It is winter 1892. Abigail Rook has just landed at New Fiddleham in New England. Although a proper young English woman, she has absconded with her school tuition money to go adventuring and heads straight to America. There, she’s penniless, wearing a scrubby dress, and looking for employment. Fortunately, she stops at an inn where the landlord lets her stay the night in exchange for kitchen labor.

The next day, after many inquiries, she finds questionable work with Detective Jackaby, who speaks of mystical creatures that abound in the everyday world. Since she needs this job, Detective Jackaby can say whatever he wants. Her job is to assist him in whatever investigative endeavors he is involved in, and she plans on being irreplaceable. Their first challenge is a murder scene. Abigail is quick to get started and begins asking questions and searching for clues. Jackaby discovers she is quite handy at drawing attention to herself, with a feminine swoon, as he accomplishes sneaky business to avoid the police.

Abigail has found her niche and nothing is going to take it away. She is a stubborn young lady, who has always yearned for adventure and has certainly found it with Jackaby. Although the book is not a cliffhanger, I was ready to go to the next one immediately. Myth and mystery collide nicely in the story, and as Abigail got comfortable, so did I. It would have been disappointing if the two had not been a large part of this story. The reader is introduced to a rather possessive ghost, a duck with a pond on the third floor, and a frog with amazingly noxious fumes.

This story is entertaining and full of strange and interesting happenings. It runs full tilt to the very end, no confusion, even though there is a lot of action. There are a few other interesting characters that are the meat, while a frog, a duck, and a ghost are the potatoes.

I love a book that doesn’t disappoint, so be prepared to like this one, as I recommend it for those with inquiring minds looking for entertainment.

The rating:

  • Genre and general reading ages – I’m going to mix two genres by saying this is mystery/fantasy. I think adults and older teens will enjoy this.
  • Level of sexuality – None or very low, depending on what you consider sexual.
  • Is there graphic language? None.
  • Did I cry? No.
  • Did I laugh? No, but I smiled a few times.
  • Is this part of a series? Yes, thankfully, this is book one of the Jackaby series.
  • Level of character development – What you see is what you get. Jackaby is a strange and interesting man, and Abigail insists on adventure in her life and receives it. She shows a lot of maturity just by doggedly chasing her dream.

I give this book ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ stars.

Available here on Amazon

Available here on Barnes & Noble

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