Abigail Rook is the Watson of this story and R. F. Jackaby is the embodiment of the kooky 11th Doctor with a marriage of wonderful qualities from Sherlock. Abigail arrives in New Fiddleham, New England with nothing but the clothes on her back and whatever she was able to stuff into her suitcase. Looking for a job and a place to stay, she reads an ad for an assistant which inquires that the applicant must be literate, an open mind, a strong stomach, and not to stare at the frog. Abigail enters the out of place building with a red door expecting to find her possible employer. She instead is entranced by a glass box of dirt and peers inside setting off a temperamental frog with gaseous abilities. Then enters the owner of the angered frog who is none other than Jackaby. Adventure quickly ensues.
I wanted to take a break from my usual fantasy lands of lost princesses and warring states and I came across this book by random on Goodreads. I was reading the synopsis as one normally would and was about to pass up on reading it but read the magical words “Doctor Who meets Sherlock”. As a huge fan of both shows, I had to read if this book lived up to its promise. I am glad to say that it did!
One of the things that I absolutely love about this series is how Abigail is not Jackaby’s love interest. If Abigail fancied Jackaby, we wouldn’t get cute scenes between the handsome Detective Cane and her.
Abigail is every little bit like Watson and the Doctor’s companions and her extraordinary “normalness” brings balance in Jackaby’s supernatural world (Ha! SuperWhoLock). Jackaby is a lovely mesh of the Doctor and Sherlock. So he’s as brilliant as he is odd. The pair’s landlady, Jenny is a ghost and that’s the least interesting thing about her. Jenny’s death is circled in mystery in this first installment of the series but there is finally development in the third one. Charlie Cane is the young and very attractive detective who is the love interest of Abigail. It’s incredibly obvious that she likes him, as Jackaby has pointed out several times, she blushes whenever she sees him and her eyes dilate. There is also a duck who lives in a makeshift pond in the attic.
The storyline was very well written. It kept me guessing who the serial killer was until I was three-fourths in. I love the supernatural aspect in the story. It’s just so darn cool! I’m always amazed at how writers articulate mysteries.
I’ve already read the next book, Beastly Bones, and it does not disappoint either.
Note: I do not own any of the photos I use unless stated otherwise. Credit to Goodreads for the book cover and book summary.