Book - 2014
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Newly arrived in 1892 New England, Abigail Rook becomes assistant to R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with the ability to see supernatural beings, and she helps him delve into a case of serial murder which, Jackaby is convinced, is due to a nonhuman creature.
Publisher: Chapel Hill, North Carolina : Algonquin Young Readers, 2014.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781616203535
Characteristics: 299 pages ; 22 cm


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jcljessicaj Nov 30, 2020

This was so fun and exciting! We listened to it on a recent long car ride, and it helped the drive fly by. We had to keep pausing it to discuss our theories and guessed as to who was who and what was what. I loved that it had the feel of a Sherlock Holmes mystery with a fantastic twist. It was fantasy unlike I've ever read, and I'm hooked!

BostonPL_JordanD Oct 29, 2020

Title/Author: Jackaby by William Ritter
Series/Standalone: Jackaby #1
Genre/sub-genre: Historical Paranormal Mystery, YA/New Adult
Book Format: paperback
Length: 299 pages
Violence: Yes, there is some on page violence.
Well written/Editor Needed: Definitely well written.
Would I Recommend?: Yes!
Personal thoughts: Loved this! Jackaby is clearly a young Sherlock in New England, who can see paranormal creatures. I appreciated that this incarnation of the great detective has a heart and occasionally shows that he cares, unlike others I’ve seen recently. Abigail makes for a good enough Watson, though she is a very different character. She is simply a young woman in search of an adventure and in desperate need of a job. But I like her. She has grit and determination with just enough unsuredness, if that’s even a word, to make it believable and realistic. I also really liked all the other characters who were well rounded and interesting. I was sad to see some of them go, and hope to see some of them again in the next book. The mystery was quite gripping and Jackaby did a lot of solving using Sherlock’s traditional method of deducting, but tuned to the paranormal, and it was all well done and believable. The budding romance between Abigail and another character, not Jackaby, was sweetly adorable, and I’m interested in seeing where it goes in future books.

As I was gifted the second book along with the first, I’m very excited to dive into it. This came out when I was still a teen librarian, and my library has it, which has me wondering how on earth I missed this until now? Some deducting might have to take place I think...

JCLCharlesH Aug 31, 2020

Set at the end of the 19th century, this YA mystery novel features the "Sherlock Holmes"-esque detective R.F. Jackaby. While a strong believer in investigation and science, he also has the ability to see the world as it really is - full of magic. A charming book with a bit of supernatural horror thrown in, I highly recommend this novel.

Jan 17, 2020

ever time I read this book I find my self thinking what It will be like
if I were Abigail

Oct 20, 2018

A delightful read. I liked the main characters, Jackaby and Abagail. The plot moved along nicely and I enjoyed learning about Ritter's idea of the supernatural world that lives alongside us. I appreciated too the Ritter included details about this world without bogging down the story with too much information about it. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

Jan 26, 2018

I really enjoyed this mystery novel. Jackaby is a man with special powers of seeing things normal people can't, and uses it to solve unexplained cases.
One thing that I couldn't figure out though: What was in chapter 13 that Jackaby did not want Abigail to write about?? And why?

Aug 31, 2017

The world building is interesting and good. There’s supernatural elements and creatures throughout the city in hiding. Those with special vision (Jackaby) would be able to spot them whereas Abigail accepts this - a little too accepting but going with the notion that she needed to find employment right away to survive, I suppose beggars can’t be choosers. It still ended up being the right choice anyway.

I would say, stick to the story because of the characters that you end up liking as the book progresses. It does get exciting in the last third of the book despite the lack of momentum in the beginning. It was still an enjoyable read.

Library_Jill May 31, 2017

This book was introduced to me as "supernatural Sherlock Holmes," and after reading, I can say that was a spot-on description. I enjoyed getting to know the characters and all of their quirks--I loved that Abigail so coveted a "detective notebook" throughout the story. Fans of Gail Carriger's books and--of course--Sherlock Holmes may want to try this series.

Dec 31, 2016

I won this book in the summer reading program last year. and never read it. Just recently picked it up and couldn't put it back down. It's so good! R. F. Jackaby reminded me of Newt Scamander from Fantastic Beasts and where to find them. 😊

Dec 22, 2016

This book is fantastic! I love how they added the paranormal, fantasy twist to the Victorian-style mystery story. One of my top favorite books.

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Add Age Suitability
Jan 26, 2018

readingfairy thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 12 and 18

Jun 24, 2016

halburba thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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Jan 26, 2018

Frightening or Intense Scenes: A few gruesome and gory deaths make up the mystery. Not too bad, though.


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Jan 26, 2018

I excused myself to go see a duck about a dress.
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