Jackaby by William Ritter – Book Review


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.

I’m a big fan of Sherlock Holmes inspired books so this one immediately caught my eye. Especially since it has a supernatural aspect to it as well. Yes, please! I enjoyed Abigail Rook’s character as she is smart, kind, observant, and easy to relate to. She’s a girl seeking adventure and excitement during a time when this was a frowned upon interest for women. These kinds of female characters are my favourites in books, movies, and TV shows. If you, like me, enjoy smart, sassy, and strong female characters then I highly recommend also checking out Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries on Netflix. It’s a show set in Australia during the early 1900s revolving around a female private detective who is just a little pot of sass, and I love her.


Suggestion tangent over, I quite enjoyed this book. It isn’t particularly original or astoundingly well written, but it is a very very fast read (at only 294 pgs) and was great for getting me out of my book slump. Doing so much course reading for school I went the entire month of January without completing a single book, which is practically unheard of for me. Jackaby‘s plot is intriguing and even surprised me a tiny bit with it’s ending, in a good way.

Jackaby as a character is a great Sherlock Holmes knock-off with a supernatural twist. He’s smart, insanely observant except when it comes to human emotions, and has some great sassy lines that I found quite funny.

I would highly recommend this if you’re a Sherlock Holmes fan in need of a case-solving read.


For Fans Of: Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle, The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, Doctor Who (TV), Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (TV), and Penny Dreadful (TV)

Rating: 3.75/5