Jackaby, by William Ritter

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=Tamar

Sergeant
May 20, 2012
3,687
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#1
Jackaby, by William Ritter (2014). Book one in what proposes to be a series, but one I'm not shying away from. (Generally, the words "first in the series" are enough to make me drop a book and shake the taint from my hands.)

The blurb says "Sherlock meets Buffy." It's better than that. It's Dr Who meets Buffy, done well.
Mr Jackaby himself has certain external characteristics of the Tom Baker Doctor Who: long scarf, coat with pockets, erratic behavior, and an odd place to live, but most of all, a caring character and the benefit of a good writer with a pleasant sense of humor. His new assistant is the Sherlock side of it, with elements of both Holmes and Watson. Jackaby himself has a somewhat Sherlockian attitude toward things he doesn't think are important, but his assistant has the ability to notice the ordinary, which he lacks. He's too busy being able to perceive the occult to bother noticing that the aura-trailing envelope has a return address on it. She, on the other hand, is fairly calm about the resident ghost, the missing former assistant, and the various monsters, though she would like to have enough time amid the action to stop for a decent meal once in a while.
It's all set in a small seaside town in New Hampshire, which is what first attracted me, since I come from New Hampshire and there aren't a lot of books set there.

Book two, Beastly Bones (2015), is already out and on the strength of the first one, I sprang for the hardcover instead of waiting for the paperback.
 

=Tamar

Sergeant
May 20, 2012
3,687
101
2,150
#2
I think Beastly Bones suffered from having been read too soon after Jackaby. I'm still amused by the main characters, but Ritter kills off more likeable minor characters than I prefer in my reading. He did it in the first book as well, but this time I noticed it more. I'm hoping the third book, Ghostly Echoes (not out yet), will emphasize the Sherlockian rather than the Buffy qualities.
 

=Tamar

Sergeant
May 20, 2012
3,687
101
2,150
#4
Ghostly Echoes (Jackaby #3) is, as widely reported, something of a cliffhanger. It also goes much further afield than its origins as a quiet little paranormal Holmes pastiche. I'm not sure I like the result, but it is a page-turner. One thing annoyed me: the author and/or his editors don't know the difference between "principle" and "principal." (I can almost tell myself that "vocal chords" was an approved spelling in the period of the novel, but that also still annoys me.)
 

=Tamar

Sergeant
May 20, 2012
3,687
101
2,150
#5
The Dire King (Jackaby #4) expected publication Aug. 22, 2017.
The blurb says "They will have to defeat an evil that wants to destroy the future altogether."
There are excerpts at Google Books, but be warned, they are major spoilers.
 

=Tamar

Sergeant
May 20, 2012
3,687
101
2,150
#6
The Dire King (Jackaby #4) has now been released.
 

=Tamar

Sergeant
May 20, 2012
3,687
101
2,150
#7
The author, William Ritter, says he might someday write more in this series. I hope he does. For one thing, I hope he does more with how the books in Jackaby's library are arranged.
 

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