Monday, July 27, 2015

Beastly Bones (Jackaby #2)

Beastly Bones by William Ritter
304 pages
Expected publication Sep 22 2015***

“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.

If (like me) you couldn't get enough of R.F. Jackaby, here he is again with his stalwart assistant, Abigail Rook, defending New England from the creatures of the paranormal world. 

The dialogue is still full of whimsy Brittishisms, and snappy comebacks between Abigail and her employer. The book is still filled with mythical creatures (some of which I've heard of, and some I'm not sure that William Ritter didn't entirely make up). We are introduced to a host of new characters: a massive, gruff and friendly hunter; a snappy female reporter; 2 bickering scientists: one a younger, charismatic fellow and the other an older, austere, and rather pompous gentleman; plus the locals of a small town, farming community. The plot was a bit slow and felt forced, and some of the supernatural elements left me with more questions than answers. 

The worst part is that now I have to wait another year for the 3rd installment. :-(

***This review based on an uncorrected proof sent out by the publisher for prepublication review.

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