Jackaby by William Ritter
When Miss Abigail Rook first arrives in New Fiddleham on a cold New England January day, it is after a spectacularly failed attempt at independence and adventure abroad. Still, when the archaeological excavation she defied her parents’ wishes to join turned into a useless, poorly organized effort, she was not ready to admit defeat – or face her parents at home in England. Instead, she set sail from the Ukraine to America. Which is where, still wearing her stained and tired travelling clothes and on the hunt for work, Miss Rook meets Mr. R.F. Jackaby, investigative detective who specializes in, erm, unexplained phenomena.
After an odd encounter in the local pub and an unfortunate incident with Jackaby’s rather malodorous frog, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a murder investigation as Jackaby’s assistant-in-training. Jackaby’s special talents at discerning the presence of the supernatural, paranormal, magical, or spectral, however, are of no interest to the very straight-laced and forward-thinking Chief Inspector Marlowe. But when a deeper conspiracy is uncovered, revealing a serial killer on the loose, Jackaby feels he has no choice but to uncover the murderer, police permission or no, and Abigail is along for the ride, supernatural powers or no.
With banshees, an erstwhile assistant-turned-waterfowl, werewolves, trolls, one odd and most unfashionable hat, ghosts both friendly and not, plenty of murder most foul, and a delightfully eccentric and socially awkward detective at its heart, this is definitely one to add to your fall lineup! Jackaby has been described as Sherlock meets Dr. Who, and it’s fabulously true. Although there is no sonic screwdriver, Tardis, or violin at all hours, everything that makes us love foggy London and odd detectives is here. Anyone who is jonesing for more Sherlock or always has Dr. Who queued up on the telly needs to grab this great read at the library. And, even better, when you’ve devoured this first in a series, you can look for the sequel, Beastly Bones, out now!