I’ve found very little about private detective R. F. Jackaby to be standard in the time I’ve known him. Working as his assistant tends to call for a somewhat flexible relationship with reality . . .
In 1892, New Fiddleham, New England, things are never quite what they seem, especially when Abigail Rook and her eccentric employer, R. F. Jackaby, are called upon to investigate the supernatural. First, members of a particularly vicious species of shape-shifters disguise themselves as a litter of kittens. A day later, their owner is found murdered, with a single mysterious puncture wound to her neck. Then, in nearby Gad’s Valley, dinosaur bones from a recent dig go missing, and an unidentifiable beast attacks animals and people, leaving their mangled bodies behind. Policeman Charlie Cane, exiled from New Fiddleham to the valley, calls on Abigail for help, and soon Abigail and Jackaby are on the hunt for a thief, a monster, and a murderer.
Review: 3.5 Stars
I read Jackaby months ago and found it incredibly entertaining. After setting down a boring read I decided it was time to return to the series and I had forgotten how good it actually was. With short chapters, a quirky detective and paranormal creatures causing mayhem, this series is compulsively readable and I can’t believe it has taken me this long to return to it. While the plot was quite different, the returning characters and good writing made Beastly Bones a great addition to the series.
The plot of this story was fun to read, but entirely too predictable after reading the blurb. I love the idea that Jackaby investigates paranormal creatures and tie issues that they cause, but I guessed almost every single thing that happened in this story. I still found it enjoyable to read, but I think that it could have used some work plot-wise. I feel that a lot was given away by the blurb, but I felt that many other things were overly obvious even without the blurb. If you enjoyed the first book I would recommend reading this one without reading the blurb first.
One of the best aspects of this story is the characters, particularly Jackaby and his quirky personality. I think that since we, the reader and Abigail Rook, who tells the story from her point of view, both already know Jackaby, a little bit of his weird behavior is expected and therefore loses some of its affect on the story, but I also feel that Jackaby’s quirks were dialed down in this installment. While I enjoyed Jackaby’s character more in the first book, I think I enjoyed Abigail’s more in the second. She gained more confidence and her true personality began to shine through a bit more in this story.
Beastly Bones may be predictable, but it was still extremely fun to read. The middle was a bit slow, but the rest of the book breezed by, it’s fast pace combined with short chapters made this book quite a quick read. Abigail grew more comfortable with herself and her new role as Jackaby’s assistant in this novel and the end left me wanting the next installment. If you enjoyed the first book in this series this installment won’t disappoint you, but don’t expect an original plot full of surprises.