Published by Algonquin Young Readers on September 22nd 2015
Amazon, Barnes & Noble , The Book Depository
The highly anticipated follow-up to the “rich world” of the “lighthearted and assured debut,” featuring an “irresistible character” whose first thrilling and original adventure “demands sequels.”
“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, a vicious species of shape-shifters disguise themselves as a litter of kittens, and a day later, their owner is found murdered with a single mysterious puncture wound. Then in nearby Gad’s Valley, now home to the exiled New Fiddleham police detective Charlie Cane, dinosaur bones from a recent dig mysteriously go missing, and an unidentifiable beast starts attacking animals and people, leaving their mangled bodies behind. Charlie calls on Abigail for help, and soon Abigail and Jackaby are on the hunt for a thief, a monster, and a murderer.
Once again William Ritter hands a story equal parts interesting and original, with extraordinary plot elements and characters that jump off the page.
The enigmatic and eccentric detective Jackaby and assistant Abigail Rook embark on a journey outside of the city of New Fiddleham, and into the country for one of Abigail’s passions: archeology. Only this time it isn’t just dinosaur bones that they’ll deal with, but a mystery far more fantastical than what our main characters have seen yet.
As with the first book of Jackaby, some of the mystery is predictable. But the story, in general, isn’t so much about knowing the what, but more on the why it happened, how it happened, and the means by which it was discovered. This is what I love the most of these books, that the investigation process, is part of the original formula with which the classical detective stories were written, making this book feel older than it is but with the added bonus of paranormal things (which was a no-no to writers back in the days of Dupin and Holmes).
In this book, we are able to appreciate a closer relationship between Jackaby and Abigail other than the boss-and-employee sort, though NOT in a romantic way. It was endearing to see him get worried about her wellbeing after the almost disastrous events of the previous book. And it was completely hilarious to have him give Abigail romantic advice regarding a Charlie Barker (previously known as Charlie Cane). Gotta love those subtle last names for a werewolf.
Now allow me to express the extreme fangirl emotions for a more developed romance between Abigail and Charlie Barker. I couldn’t stop squealing and wanting them to kiss already. While in Jackaby (first book) it wasn’t a center plot, here it is one of the important subplots that are enjoyable to have more present in correlation to the main plot.
The fantasy/paranormal elements amazed me greatly here. It was something completely unexpected that I haven’t read about in any other stories which make it even better to read about. You’ll know what I mean when you read it 😉
From resourceful assistant to fearless women, dashing gentlemen to the eccentric investigator, the array of diverse characters in combination to a mystery that will have you gripping the book until the end, Beastly Bones surpassed any and all expectations. I am sure that William Ritter will pass to be one of those writers that you read about in detective fiction classes in no time with his incredible works.
Rating: 5 stars
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