Sometimes when I discover a new book that hits me right in the genres, I get the added thrill of learning that a sequel will soon be published. That’s what happened to me with William Ritter’s Rook and Jackaby series. I read the first one, Jackaby, through my local library. I was fortunate enough to snag an advanced reader copy of Beastly Bones for review consideration within twelve months. (This is soon in book time.) Beastly Bones takes place some time after the dramatic conclusion of Jackaby. Abigail Rook, our narrator and chief protagonist, has had some time to settle in as assistant to the world’s strangest detective.
We rejoin the duo as they’re investigating the strange case of a cat that has turned into a giant fish. At least, that’s Jackaby’s explanation. The owner of the piscine feline just thinks that Mrs. Wiggles has gone missing. Jackaby confiscates the furry fish and its kittens to a) keep these shapeshifting predators in quarantine and b) figure out where they came from. Abigail is not terribly impressed with this case. She’d much rather take off to join a paleontological project about 100 miles away that has uncovered some exciting bones.
Jackaby is not thrilled when he and Rook are assigned to go an investigate a series of grisly murders in the same valley as the bones. For a while, I honestly forgot about the scaly shapeshifting cats, but Ritter skillfully weaves together the two cases. That said, I was not expecting what Ritter did with the bones and the murders and the mystery.
I had a great time with this too-brief book. Even if the mystery hadn’t been that good (it is), I would have stuck with this book because of Rook and her relationship with Jackaby. Jackaby is in his own alternate universe most of the time, surfacing only from his head-space to baffle people or experiment on his ghostly landlady. Rook, though, Rook I love. Rook is the daughter of a scientist and has a keen deductive mind. She’s an excellent foil for Jackaby. Together, they’re hilarious.
I received a free copy of this ebook from NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. It will be released 22 September 2015.