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Jackaby
Cover of Jackaby
Jackaby
Jackaby Series, Book 1
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"Sherlock Holmes crossed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer." —Chicago Tribune Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an...
"Sherlock Holmes crossed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer." —Chicago Tribune Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an...
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  • "Sherlock Holmes crossed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer." —Chicago Tribune
    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 the foul deeds are the work of the kind of creature whose very existence the local authorities—with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane—seem adamant to deny.
    "The rich world of this debut demands sequels." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
    "We honestly couldn't put it down." —Nerdist.com
    "Toss together an alternate 19th-century New England city, a strong tradition of Sherlockian pastiche, and one seriously ugly hat, and this lighthearted and assured debut emerges, all action and quirk." —Publishers Weekly

  • A Top Ten Fall '14 Kids' Indie Next Pick
  • A 2014 Kirkus Reviews Best Book for Young Adults
  • A 2015 YALSA Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults Title
  • A 2015 Pacific Northwest Book Award Winner
  • A 2015–2016 Georgia Peach Award Nominee
  • A Junior Library Guild Selection
 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • William Ritter is an Oregon author and educator. He is the proud father of the two bravest boys in the Wild Wood, and husband to the indomitable Queen of the Deep Dark. The Dire King is the fourth and final book in his acclaimed New YorkTimes bestselling Jackaby series. Visit William Ritter online at rwillritter.wordpress.com and find him on Twitter: @Willothewords.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    June 30, 2014
    Toss together an alternate 19th-century New England city, a strong tradition of Sherlockian pastiche, and one seriously ugly hat, and this lighthearted and assured debut emerges, all action and quirk. In the best Doyle tradition, the first-person narrator is pragmatic yet naïve Abigail Rook, native of Britain and seeker of adventure. Thwarted in Ukraine, she catches ship for the U.S. and lands in New Fiddleham, penniless and with few employable skills. This matters not to R.F. Jackaby, the peculiar stranger with the awful hat, who is more interested in the kobold (household spirit) Abigail has unknowingly picked up on her travels. Jackaby is a detective in need of an unflappable assistant—literally, as his last one “is temporarily waterfowl.” Abigail’s keen eye for detail and complete ignorance of the paranormal make her observations invaluable to him, and she’s soon caught up in the eccentric mayhem that is Jackaby’s workaday world. Ritter is also capable of tenderness and pathos, as his description of a suffering banshee demonstrates, leaving room for development in any future cases Abigail may chronicle. Ages 12–up. Agent: Lucy Carson, Friedrich Agency.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from August 1, 2014
    A Sherlock Holmes-style adventure featuring the egotistical and eccentric R.F. Jackaby and his bewildered but invaluable assistant, Abigail Rook. Inspired by her father's paleontological expeditions and frustrated by her mother's expectations of femininity, Abigail arrives in the New England city of New Fiddleham with a suitcase of inappropriate attire and a need for money. She finds employment with the oddball supernatural investigator Jackaby, whose previous assistants have met unfortunate or fowl ends (literally). Aiding Jackaby, flirting with the secretive Detective Charlie Cane, and trying to avoid the wrath of Chief Inspector Marlowe and Commissioner Swift, Abigail discovers that the world is stranger and more dangerous than she ever imagined. Although Abigail is not a seer like Jackaby, able to pierce the glamour of New Fiddleham's fairy-tale and folklore inhabitants, she learns that to "see the ordinary is extraordinary indeed." Abigail's attention to the everyday serves as a foil to Jackaby's paranormal perception and makes her a refreshingly realistic and agreeable heroine. Secondary characters-including Jackaby's house-are equally enchanting and well-drawn. Ritter's debut skillfully blends science with the supernatural and balances whimsy with violence. The smartly paced plot wraps up neatly, but the rich world of this debut demands sequels. A magical mystery tour de force with a high body count and a list of unusual suspects. (Paranormal. 12-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    July 1, 2014

    Gr 9 Up-Fans of Jonathan Stroud's The Screaming Staircase (Disne-Hyperion, 2013) will appreciate Ritter's initial foray into the realm of supernatural. When Abigail Rook abandons university, and her parents' hopes, she arrives at the fictional New England town of New Fiddleham. There, she promptly meets R. F. Jackaby, a paranormal detective, and is flung into the investigation of a serial killer suspected of being nonhuman. Where Ritter excels is in the fast and furious plotline-events unfold rapidly while satisfying tastes for mystery and a small amount of gore. Unfortunately, so much attention is paid to the unfolding circumstances that the two main characters remain mysteries themselves. While readers know Abigail is fleeing the expectations society and her parents have placed on her, little is done to explain why. The protagonist is also a mystery-he just appears, as if a ghost himself, with much fanfare but scant backstory. Ultimately, however, avid lovers of fantasy will enjoy this quick read.-Amanda C. Buschmann, Atascocita Middle School, Humble, TX

    Copyright 2014 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    Algonquin Books
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