Paranormal investigator R.F. Jackaby sees what no one else can—banshees, leprechauns, even monsters. If they’re wreaking havoc in New Fiddleham, Jackaby is on the case. What he can’t manage to do is keep an assistant—until he meets the spunky Abigail Rook. Adventurous and keenly observant, Abigail has fled her wealthy British upbringing to make her own way in 19th-century New England.
During their first murder investigation, Abigail’s eye for detail provides Jackaby with clues he would have overlooked. Together they discover the victim is Arthur Bragg, a local reporter who had been investigating a serial killer—one who may or may not be human.
Like Sherlock Holmes, Jackaby is eccentric, arrogant and blunt—but he also has a zany quality. After all, he lives with a beautiful young ghost and a duck who does his bookkeeping. Narrator Abigail plays the role of Dr. Watson, helping Jackaby maneuver the societal norms he seems to disregard. Very few girls in 1892 would steal tuition money and cross an ocean for adventure, but perhaps that’s what makes her especially appealing to contemporary readers.
Jackaby is a slow build of clue gathering and a-ha moments, all leading to the hour of discovery.
Kimberly Giarratano is the author of Grunge Gods and Graveyards, a young adult paranormal mystery.