Monday, October 6, 2014


It never fails:  I get a cold every year at the beginning of Autumn.  I did manage to get a day off in order to recover, and the only way I could feel better was to settle on the sofa, drink some hot tea...and read a book.  I was held captive.  The horror!

But it was worth it.  My book of choice was 'Jackaby', a new novel written by Oregon author William Ritter.

The flap notes state, "Doctor Who meets Sherlock...", but it was really more Sherlockian, with quite a bit of the paranormal added into the mix.  It doesn't have a TARDIS, but it does have a great companion.  Add a fun premise with serious undertones, and you'll spend your day forgetting all about a nasty cold and stuffy nose.

Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England in 1892, Abigail Rook is in search of adventure...and a job.  Not long into her journey, she meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator with an eye for the paranormal. Although Jackaby is a bit hesitant to employ Abigail, she proves her worth with her common sense and eye for detail.  On her first day, she finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case:  A serial killer is on the loose. The police, with the exception of handsome junior detective Charlie Cane, are convinced that their killer is an ordinary person, but Jackaby knows better.  Jackaby is certain that the killings are the work of an inhuman being, and despite the fact that the police stall him at almost every turn, he and Abigail are determined to bring the creature to justice.

Although I figured out 'who (or what) did it' early on, I still kept reading. Ritter's unusual and well-written story begged me to continue.  And I couldn't disappoint him.

The book is geared toward young adults, but adults will enjoy it just as much. It takes skill to write memorable characters and place them in strange situations, and Ritter has the gift. In fact, his description of Jackaby placed Benedict Cumberbatch firmly in my mind.  

Author William Ritter

Although I constantly scream at the BBC to bring us new episodes of 'Sherlock', at least I'm happy that William Ritter has given us the next best thing.

My foot is tapping, Mr. Ritter.  I hope that sequel arrives very soon!

A woman with a cold is a very, very dangerous creature.

'Jackaby', written by Oregon author William Ritter, is available at your local library and favorite independent bookstore.  ISBN 978-1-61620-353-5

1 comment:

Don Lentz said...

Nice review Jacki. Sounds like a book I would enjoy reading...