Author : William Ritter
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers (September 16, 2014)
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.
-excerpt from Jackaby by William Ritter
Quirky characters are the best. Those are the ones that I remember and fall in love with the most. R.F. Jackaby is one of those characters. Smart as a whip when it comes to the paranormal and supernatural but aloof and absentminded when it comes to the human emotions and interaction.
Set in the late 19th century, Jackaby by William Ratter reads like Sherlock Holmes but instead of Watson you have Miss Abigail Rook. A young woman with an ambitious mind and feminist attitude. She refuses to be put in a box. Wanting to prove her mother and father wrong, she set out on her own. What started as an adventure quickly turned into a disaster. Digging up Dinosaur bones is not all that it cracks up to be. Especially when the funding runs out.
Refusing to admit defeat, Miss Rook sails to Fiddleham, England when she meets the strange yet brilliant R.F. Jackaby. Needing a job she readily answers the ad and immediately gets swept up in the strange and complex world of Jackaby.
An unusual and unexplainable murder has occurred in the town of Fiddleham. A man is found dead. Body ripped to shreds but there’s no sign of blood anywhere. The only logical explanation is something supernatural and otherworldly. Yet in a small town with ‘small-minded’ individuals that sort of thinking just won’t fly. So naturally, Jackaby is met with resistance from the local police as well as from Abigail Rook. That’s where the magic of the story begins as these two characters come together, not only to solve the case of the craze serial killer but to form some sort of understanding for each other.
Abigail: Maybe there’s something to this whole goblins, trolls, fairies and otherworldly creatures.
Jackaby: I really need to think about what I say before I say it. Human are fickle creatures.
I for one am looking for more William Ritter. Wondering what the next crazy adventure that Jackaby and Miss Rook will be thrust into to. Looking for a mixture of Sherlock Holmes, Doctor Who and downright quirkiness, I highly suggest you check out Jackaby by William Ritter.
About the Author
Reports of William Ritter’s birthplace are unreliable and varied, placing his hometown either in a series of mysterious Catacombs in Malta or in a nondescript town in Oregon. His parents, it can be confirmed, raised him to value intelligence, creativity, and individuality. When reading aloud, they always did the voices.
At the University of Oregon, William made questionable choices, including willfully selecting classes for the interesting stories they promised, rather than for any practical application. When he wasn’t frivolously playing with words, he earned credits in such meaningful courses as Trampoline, Juggling, and Seventeenth Century Italian Longsword. These dubious decisions notwithstanding, he regrets nothing and now holds degrees in English and education with certificates in creative writing and folklore.
He currently teaches high school language arts, including reading and writing, mythology and heroes. He is a proud husband and father. When reading aloud, he always does the voices.
Jackaby is his first novel. It was born in the middle of the night and written on two different hemispheres. It has survived typhoons and hurricanes and was fostered into publication through the patient care of many hands.
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 a debut novel, the first in a series, brimming with cheeky humor and a dose of the macabre.