I have been looking forward to reading this book for about a year now. I saw it was on Book Outlet for such a good price, so of course, I had to grab it. I’ll be honest — the cover is what initially grabbed my attention on this one. But when I read that it was supernatural mystery set in the 1800’s, I was extremely intrigued.
Jackaby follows a young English woman named Abigail Rook who has fled to New England in search of an adventure. She discovers a quite interesting flyer in the post office of New Fiddleham inquiring an assistant. When she meets her new employer, Mr. R.F. Jackaby, she is immediately to put to work with help on a serial killer that is effecting the town and ones surrounding them.
While I enjoyed the characters, I felt like this story was let off a little flat for me. It was set during I believe a 3 or 4 day time period and because of that, I felt like there wasn’t much development in the story. It was also extremely predictable. There were clues as to who the murderer was early into the book that were completely obvious. It’s like the author didn’t even give us a chance to guess who it was. It was more like “let me explain the character the exact same way over and over again so you know how it is way before the main characters do and let’s make more people die in the process, also.”
I liked the development of Abigail, even if it was only a few days worth of developments. I enjoyed that she was a strong female character who was able to hold her own in circumstances. She provided quite a bit of humor in the story with her actions and discovered she was quite witty, too. The men in this book were hell bent that adventures and investigations is no place for a woman and she proved that to be wrongfully so. I loved that she was able to show that just because you are a woman, that doesn’t mean you are any less of a person for a certain job, and you should be treated equally as a man.
The character of Jackaby also provided some entertaining bits to the story. He is a very eccentric character who reminds me totally of the BBC Sherlock Holmes with a mix of the Eleventh Doctor. His dialogue was hilarious in some parts and I started to grow pretty fond of him. I really loved the connection between Jackaby and Abigail, especially that it was purely platonic. It’s refreshing to have main characters of the opposite sex not be romantically involved with each other. Also, he has this ridiculously hideous hat that he absolutely loves and I find it extremely hilarious for some reason.
Though I had a few issues with the book, I still really enjoyed it and flew through it. It’s a short book, less than 300 pages, so it’s a quick read if you’re wanting a bit of supernatural mystery and a bit of fun. I really would recommend it. I’m looking forward to picking up the second book and for the third book to come out in August of this year!