I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: Jackaby #2
Also in this series: Jackaby, The Dire King
Also by this author: Jackaby, Ghostly Echoes, The Dire King
Published by Algonquin Young Readers on September 22nd 2015
Genres: Mystery, Paranormal, Retellings, Young Adult
The highly anticipated follow-up to the “rich world”* of the “lighthearted and assured debut,” featuring an “irresistible character” whose first thrilling and original adventure “demands sequels.”*Amazon •
“I’ve found very little about private detective R. F. Jackaby to be standard in the time I’ve known him. Working as his assistant tends to call for a somewhat flexible relationship with reality.”
In 1892, New Fiddleham, New England, things are never quite what they seem, especially when Abigail Rook and her eccentric employer R. F. Jackaby are called upon to investigate the supernatural.
First, a vicious species of shape-shifters disguise themselves as a litter of kittens, and a day later, their owner is found murdered with a single mysterious puncture wound. Then in nearby Gad’s Valley, now home to the exiled New Fiddleham police detective Charlie Cane, dinosaur bones from a recent dig mysteriously go missing, and an unidentifiable beast starts attacking animals and people, leaving their mangled bodies behind. Charlie calls on Abigail for help, and soon Abigail and Jackaby are on the hunt for a thief, a monster, and a murderer.
Mature-Content Rating: Violence
“Some girls work in shops or sell flowers. Some girls find husbands and play house. I assist a mad detective in investigating unexplained phenomena-like fish that ought to be cats but seem to have forgotten how. My name is Abigail Rook, and this is what I do.”
Abigail and Jackaby are back!
In this second installment of the Jackaby series we find our sassy Ms. Rook in a conundrum. Reconnecting with detective Charlie for a case she’s not only facing a murderer, a thief, and a few mythical monsters thrown between, but also an internal battle of where she stands in her new life and job. Her friend and ghostly housemate Jenny thinks she should forget the adventure and follow her heart to detective Charlie. Then a newcomer appears in the form of the headstrong journalist Nelly saying Abigail is Great, and Great women don’t get distracted by the ordinary.
Jackaby is hilarious with his attempts to give advice. He’s still the quick witted detective from the first book, but at times doesn’t know what how to react to girly Abigail’s rants. He takes more of a backseat to Abigail in this book, but I find I’m okay with that. Abigail is a strong, social character while Jackaby runs around like a madman. Most of the time it was like playing a game of “Where’s Waldo?”. Where is Jackaby running off to now?
Hank Hudson is another new character introduced in Beastly Bones. He’s a hunter with an affinity for mystical creatures and even has a pet bird named Rosie that has feathers and a beak strong as metal. He and Jackaby seem to have a long relationship of working together in the past even if Jackaby doesn’t always approve of Hank’s methods.
The plot is all over the place, but in a very good way. It starts off with kittens that aren’t really kittens and in the middle with dinosaur bones that keep getting stolen. We also get to see a glimpse of what Abigail’s father was like and her doing her paleontology magic on the bones.
What really excites me is the mysterious man that pops up ever so often in this book. Could this be a set up to introduce Jackaby’s Moriarty?! We’ll just have to wait for Jackaby #3 to find out.
Overall, Beastly Bones is a whimsical and witty continuation to the Jackaby series and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book! William Ritter is sure to be getting a large fan-base out of this series! I recommend to the fans of young adult mystery, paranormal, and light romance with strong heroines or Sherlockian re-writes.