Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Jackaby (Jackaby, #1)” as Want to Read:
Jackaby (Jackaby, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


(Jackaby #1)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  20,125 ratings  ·  4,098 reviews
New Fiddleham 1892: Neu in der Stadt und auf der Suche nach einem Job trifft die junge Abigail Rook auf R. F. Jackaby, einen Detektiv für Ungeklärtes mit einem scharfen Auge für das Ungewöhnliche, einschließlich der Fähigkeit, übernatürliche Wesen zu sehen. Abigails Talent, gewöhnliche, aber dafür wichtige Details aufzuspüren, macht sie zur perfekten Assistentin für Jackab ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published July 11th 2016 by cbt (first published September 16th 2014)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Jackaby, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Clover Ooi As a reader who likes both books i actually find them quite different but i can see how a person who likes one of them would like the other. I find…moreAs a reader who likes both books i actually find them quite different but i can see how a person who likes one of them would like the other. I find Jackaby's story to be more simplistic and light hearted in some ways. The character Jackaby is quite socially awkward in a funny way. Where as in Lockwood & Co. the overall vibe is more spooky and creepy. The humour focus a lot on sarcasm. The character Lockwood is quite charming and better at social interaction. The similarities in both books are the crime/mystery solving themes and are both set in a paranormal world. However, Lockwood & Co. only focus on ghost n Jackaby focus more on folklore/mythical creatures. I hope this helps. :)(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  20,125 ratings  ·  4,098 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Emily May
Genre-defying historical paranormal mystery with a touch of humour, anyone?

“What is it?” My question came as a whisper, my eyes straining to see the invisible.
Jackaby’s voice was softer still: “Death.”

I said in a status update that this book is basically BBC Sherlock with a paranormal twist and now, having finished the book, I stand by that description entirely. This book is so many things and all of them are good. It has all the atmosphere of a creepy Victorian mystery, all the humourous ba
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List


I love Jackaby and I think Sherlock would approve of him too and find him rather funny, which he is I might add.

Okay, like I said, I love Jackaby and I love Miss Abigail Rook! They are a perfect match as you get to read about them in the book, but the first meeting was what I found rather comical or disturbing - depending on how you look at it :-)

It was the eyes, I think, that startled me the most, opened wide and staring with inte
Jesse (JesseTheReader)
This was a fun read, but it was nothing more than that! If you're looking for something light and fun then I would give this a go, but if you're looking for something that will blow your mind, I wouldn't pick this up. I had a few issues with the writing, as I picked up on several repetitive pieces of dialogue, that drove me insane! I also wasn't a massive fan of Jackaby, I found him to be a bit obnoxious. For the most part though, I enjoyed this book! I'll definitely be checking out the sequel. ...more
What a let down this book was.


I was so bored. And it had to do with the story, not the writing or Jackaby himself. He was great. Strange and not always understandable, but different and fascinating. Not the sort of character we encounter in every read.

His eyes looked like they could be a hundred lifetimes old, but he bore an otherwise young countenance and had a fervent energy about him.

That’s my Sherlock Jackaby! I wonder if I was the only one calling him Jackabbey or Jackbaby here and there.
This year I tried to clear my bookshelves (virtual and physical) a bit with feeble to moderate success. One of the directions I wanted to take is to read as much as I could from the books I owned and added to my TBR a long time ago (2014). I did not manage to do that too well but at least this is one of them.

I read this at the right time, exactly when I needed something light, short that I could finish in 1-2 days, with a bit of magic and mystery. It delivered on all these, I enjoyed while it l
Sep 11, 2014 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Update 1:
I'm getting this book next week! So excited to start reading this!

'...Doctor Who meets Sherlock...'
'...Doctor Who meets Sherlock...'

Ben Alderson
Average read.
I think the story is super interesting, may give the sequels a go.
But I just found the pacing really really fast!
The book is based over 48 hours mainly and it was sooooooo jam packed!

Still good though!
Jackaby was without a doubt my most anticipated read ever since I learned of its existence (you know, about two months ago). It sounded intriguing, especially with the way it was being marketed – “Sherlock meets Doctor Who”. I mean, that’s every fangirl’s wet dream, right?

Then the negative reviews started flowing in, and I grew wary of the book. Nevertheless, when someone gifted it to me during the Ninja Halloween Book Swap, there was nothing for me to do but to pick up this book and form my own
“This world is full of dragon-slayers. What we need are a few more people who aren't too proud to listen to a few fish.”

“He's quite mad, you know. But adventure can be very appealing.”

There's something special about this book: it's well-written; has nice, reliable characters; touches the topic of women's position in late 19th century society; has an intriguing addition of supernatural element, and, of course, let's not forget about the fact that it's a Sherlock Holmes retelling!

When I sta

This book was so enjoyable to read!

I love Jackaby as a character, he reminds me so much of Sherlock but then he is different in his own way. Some of the things Jackaby would say would make me laugh, he definitely is such an interesting character.

On the note of characters, all the characters, not just Jackaby, are great in their own way. As you read you grow to love all of them.

I highly recommend this book if you love historical fiction, mystery, the supernatural and Sherlock Holmes.
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
I would probably have given this book a solid five-star review if the mystery had been better. But I figured out the bad guy very early on and then I just waited for everyone to catch on. But, despite that I really, really enjoyed this book.

William Ritter has created a superb paranormal world with wonderful characters. Is the mix of ordinarily and paranormal that makes the book so good to read. Most of the people don't know that there are banshees and werewolves, troll and goblins around them an
Richard Cardenas


5 STARS!!!

"Sherlock Holmes meets The Spiderwick Chronicles" that's what comes to mind after reading this book. I loved it. I loved how fantastical and dark and eerie this was and I'm excited to check out the rest of the books in the series. Jackaby was a my favorite character of course. He was odd, stubborn, insane at times, but fantastic as well. I really enjoyed Abigail's POV and thought she was an amazing heroine too, unlike a lot of female protagonists in YA who always feel the need to be sa
shady boots | #WatchPOSE
Sep 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to shady boots | #WatchPOSE by: Emily May
I still stand by my opinion that the book's synopsis being called Doctor Who meets Sherlock seems like such an obvious way of the publisher wanting to make this book sound like a fangirl's wet dream. I still don't understand the obsession of YA publishers these days and always pinning every book Something meets Some Other Thing, but oh well. Guess it puts food on the table.

Regardless, I really enjoyed this! It wasn't at all what I expected. I expected for the main character to have some kind of
Pretty dang solid book, y'all. The character of Jackaby is definitely inspired by Benedict Cumberbatch's portrayal of Sherlock, but has an Eleventh Doctor childlike quality to him. I don't know how realistic Abigail's character is... I mean, going to a different country by herself in those days? With parents who seem pretty fancy pants? Hmmm... But I did like her stance on how she chose to work with Jackaby and her choices henceforth. The paranormal and fantasy aspects were pretty good. I was gl ...more
Sep 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to TL by: Emily May
Shelves: favorites
My personal vision of Jackaby and Abigail:

My pick for Jackaby is probly predictable but oh well haha. We can agree to disagaree ;-).

On to the review:

It's easy to compare this to Sherlock and Jackaby/Abigail to Sherlock/John... there are some similarities in character but for me, Jackaby was a magical/fun adventure with interesting characters all around.

Abigail is thrown into the strange of Jackaby purely by chance. She doesn't know fully what she's getting into but she's keen for adventure.

1.5 / 5 ~

First DNF/skimmed book of 2019. I hate skimming, but this one was just so boring. I didn’t care for the investigations, the "funny" banter, and I especially didn’t like how the book just jumps into everything from page one; it made the characters feel bland and unbelievable. It’s upsetting because I think the cover is gorgeous. But I guess that goes to show that even books can be beautiful on the outside and not-so-good on the inside.
2 stars

I start this review with a very heavy heart. No one is more upset than I am about this dismal rating. Though I would never say this book is bad or the worst, I had fully expected to absolutely adore it and be head over heels for it. I'm immensely disappointed, because this book was just average at best and a cheap knockoff at worst.

To be fair: Jackaby is upfront about what it is - Sherlock meets Doctor Who. That blurb is what caught my attention and the reason why I picked it up, because
Ashwood (애쉬 우드).
Loved this book! Really reminded me of Sherlock and I was hooked from the first page! Will definitely read this one again.
♛ Garima ♛
Sep 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
oh this was awesome! May have found new favorite series.

Full RTC
May 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two things I love: Sherlock Holmes and Fantastic beasts.
So you can bet your bottom dollar that this book is right up my alley. I love that Abigail isn't a weakling, that she sticks up for herself and isn't afraid to get dirty. Jackaby is your typical Sherlock-type minus the drug problem and add in the ability to see fantastic beasties.

Basically - I really enjoyed this and once my book buying ban is over I will be purchasing the rest of this series.
Aug 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Doctor Who meets Sherlock!?!?

Doctor Who meets Sherlock!?!?


Pop Bop
Apr 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
When Is Sherlock Not Sherlock? When He's R. F. Jackaby.

I understand why Sherlock Holmes is so appealing to younger readers. I would suggest that his matter-of-fact approach, occasional shyness and awkwardness, eccentricity, independence, and direct speaking style make him a very accessible character. I also understand why so many authors have created so many different young Sherlock Holmes characters for younger readers. The problem I encounter in many of those books, though, is that the authors
Rating: 2 Stars/DNF

I nearly made it to the half-way point of Jackaby before admitting that I didn't know the contents of the last six chapters I had read and, really, should just give up. With such a captivating cover and compelling plot line, you'd think Jackaby would enchant me; hook, line, and sinker. Unfortunately, however, I found this novel to be just a tad too--dare I say it?--unoriginal. Ritter's concept of creating a character like Jackaby, a detective who could see the supernatural rea
Jen (The Starry-Eyed Revue)
An advance copy of this title was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This review, however, is based upon a purchased copy of the audiobook version.

This review can also be found at The Starry-Eyed Revue.

I put off reviewing this book, well, because I'm lazy. And honestly, that summary does a great job of telling you what you're going to get with Jackaby. When it says Doctor Who meets Sherlock, it means it. You've got the paranormal aspects of Doctor Who set as the backdrop
☆ ĄňŊǡƂėƮĦ ☆ ŞŧŎŋė
This book was pretty good. A young and normal lady named Abigail Rook came to America from Europe escaping her past life and parents. She starts looking for a job and, against the town's prejudice and opinions, starts to work for Mr. R.F. Jackaby. Jackaby is an eccentric man who is used to the unnatural instead of the normal. He is reluctant to hire Abigail but soon relents and they work together to solve the mystery of a serial killer/unknown monster. There is a hint of romance between Abigail ...more
Eliza Crewe
Mar 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Adorable, fun read. It didn't hurt that I pictured Benedict Cumberbatch the entire time I was reading it, either! I also adored that the romance was minor and was not between the MCs.
“I have ceased concerning myself with how things look to others, Abigail Rook. I suggest you do the same. In my experience, others are generally wrong.”

Oh gosh, you can't even imagine how much I wanted to love this book! Even because, then, I would have had the opportunity to buy all the physical copies of the novels of this series and admire the amazingly gorgeous covers they have! Ugh. However, I couldn't really appreciate Jackaby. My rating reflects the description Goodreads gives to it: "i
R.F. Gammon
May 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a lovely, refreshing, old-fashioned romp.
Brigid ✩
For some reason it took me like a month to get through this book, even though it wasn't very long. There was a point where I literally thought I'd finished it even though I hadn't, for some reason ... and I don't think I picked it up for like two weeks. Anyway, I thought this sounded really intriguing and was really excited to get an ARC of it. Ultimately, though, I just found it to be okay. I might've set my expectations too high, because I expected this to be really scary and it didn't scare m ...more
DNF @ 50%

This is another DNF of mine that won't be getting a full review. The reason behind Jackaby not getting a full review though is that I simply wasn't enjoying this book. It's almost been sitting in my currently reading for a month.

I just find myself with the premise and characters. For now, it's just not for me. However, I will probably simply mark it as on hold and come back to it later.

Also, this book got two stars and not simply one because I could see it was going to be interesting.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Tabula Rasa (Tabula Rasa, #1)
  • Jewel of the Thames (Portia Adams Adventures, #1)
  • The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place
  • The Cure for Dreaming
  • Sekret (Sekret, #1)
  • The Lovely and the Lost (The Dispossessed, #2)
  • Strange Sweet Song
  • Witch Water (Witch Saga, #2)
  • The Whispering Skull (Lockwood & Co., #2)
  • Razorhurst
  • Constable & Toop
  • The Art of Secrets
  • Macbeth
  • The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim (The Story of Owen, #1)
  • The Spiritglass Charade (Stoker & Holmes, #2)
  • The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline (Enola Holmes, #5)
  • Murder, Magic, and What We Wore
  • Of Metal and Wishes (Of Metal and Wishes, #1)
See similar books…
WILLIAM RITTER is an Oregon educator and author of the New York Times bestselling Jackaby series. He is the proud father of the two bravest boys in the Wild Wood, and husband to the indomitable Queen of the Deep Dark.

Other books in the series

Jackaby (4 books)
  • Beastly Bones (Jackaby, #2)
  • Ghostly Echoes (Jackaby, #3)
  • The Dire King (Jackaby, #4)
“That the battles are usually in her head does not lessen the bravery of it. The hardest ones always are.” 222 likes
“I have ceased concerning myself with how things look to others, Abigail Rook. I suggest you do the same. In my experience, others are generally wrong.” 124 likes
More quotes…