Ritter, William. Jackaby. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin, c2014.
Abigail Rook arrived in New England in 1892. Although she had been "properly raised" in England by well-to-do parents, Abigail had an independent spirit and burning desire to find adventure, if not at her father's archaeological digs, then somewhere else. She uses the last of the money set aside for her schooling to travel to America and too proud to ask for help from her parents, looks for work. Answering a help-wanted poster, she meets detective Jackaby and her adventure begins immediately as she trails behind him when he hurries to a murder scene. Jackaby, she finds, is not normal in any sense of the word. He sees things no one else can see and he has the oddest collection of books and objects that Abigail has ever seen. The local police in New Fiddleham have little time for his unorthodox ways, but as things get worse, it seems that Jackaby's services are badly needed. Whether she wants it or not, Abigail is soon involved in a case that may well cost her life. You can't help but like the spirited and independent Abigail, and her good-hearted, though strange, employer. A jolly good mystery, if you don't mind a little gore. Recommended for junior high and above. If you like this book, a new adventure is promised for September of 2015. Review by Mrs. Belknap