I received this book for free from Gifted in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Jackaby by William Ritter
by William Ritter
Published by Algonquin
on September 16th, 2014
Genres: Mystery


“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.

Jackaby was nothing like what I expected going in. In fact if it weren’t for the cover I probably would not have been so excited when it came in the mail. I know this sounds horrible and presumptuous but I make it a habit to avoid the mystery genre as a whole since I have a horrible habit of of always correctly guessing the end. ALWAYS.

Easy A Bored

And believe me I find no joy in this. Do you know how annoying it is to watch the first 20 minutes of a movie and guess, CORRECTLY, who done it? SO FLIPPING ANNOYING! So yes, I was hesitant about Jackaby and only after staring at that beautiful cover and listening to Shelly gush about it did I square my shoulders and say…

Let's Do This

And it was a good life decision! Ritter has brought this amazing world of mystery and logic and effortlessly merged it with a world unseen. A world filled with trolls and monsters and nymphs and fairies. A murder case is one thing but a murder case that may, or may not have been the cause of something monstrous is something entirely different!

Ritter throws us into this world of unusual suspects, amazing characters and absolutely beautiful writing. I don’t want to give away too much about the story but I also don’t want to leave you hanging so I’m going to hit the big broad topics and then scream at you to GO GRAB A COPY!


The plot of Jackaby was perfect. I had my idea of “who done it” but I wasn’t 100% certain till just about the very end and as I’m sure you can guess, this was HUGE for me!

You know what? STOP!

You know I had this awesome plan to talk about ALL THE JACKABY THINGS but I can’t without telling things and to be perfectly honest do we really have to play this game?  I’m going to gush, you’re going to be skeptical, I’m going to gush some more, you’re going to read it, I’m going to stalk your updates, you’re going to love it end of story. Let’s not do this ok? Go buy the book and tweet me when you finish and love it.

love ya

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