Author: William Ritter
Publication Date: September 22nd, 2015
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I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley.
"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 I could describe Beastly Bones in one phrase it would be utterly charming.
In this sequel to Jackaby Abigail and Jackaby embark on their second investigation together. This time around we have shape-shifting kittens and dinosaur fossils which aren't what they first appear to be. Battling supernatural forces, and with the help of some new faces, Abigail and Jackaby work wonderfully well together to solve the case.
Jackaby is as eccentric as ever but we also get to see a softer side to him this time around which was lovely to see. It is clear that he cares for Abigail and is invested in seeing her progress. I am a huge fan of Abigail and Jackaby's partnership. Abigail is again a good narrator of both the events taking place as well as giving us an insight into Jackaby's character. It is nice to see her settling into her new role and her eagerness to be successful. There is also some truly funny dialogue and I couldn't help but laugh at some of the lines from Jackaby.
Some old faces return in Beastly Bones and whilst most of them have a background role this time around, it was nice to encounter them again. There is an interesting plot surrounding Jenny and the ending opens up a door for more exploration into her previous life which would be exciting. We also meet some quarreling paleontologists, a fun news reporter and trapper Hank Hudson who all add their own qualities to the story.
The return I was most pleased with was the lovely Charlie. I was worried he wouldn't have a big presence after moving away in the previous book, but the investigation takes place in Gad's Valley where he is now based. The romance between him and Abigail is a very slow-burn romance and doesn't overtake other elements of the plot. Abigail questions whether she can have both a career and a romance but receives some advice from a surprising source which sets her mind at ease. I really love these two together and hope there is more to come.
Beastly Bones is a fun read with an abundance of quirky characters. There is plenty of action from the get-go coupled with a unique and well written story. I couldn't help but be captured in Jackaby and Abigail's investigation from page one and I'm eager for the next installment.