Title: Beastly Bones
Author: Wiliam Ritter
Publication Date: September 22nd, 2015
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Source: eARC through NetGalley
Where to find: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository
Summary: “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.
Many sequels, more specifically second books in series, can have what is called a sophomore slump, where the second book is a let down after the first. I was a little bit concerned about Beastly Bones being a victim of this, but luckily I did not have to worry. This book was full of just as much quirkiness and strangeness as Jackaby. This book picks up right where Jackaby left off, following Abigail and Jackaby on their adventures in New Fiddleham inquiring after paranormal cases. We still get Abigail's witty narrative and information throughout the story.
In this book, we are introduced to even more charming and quirky characters, such as Nellie and Hank, and I loved getting to meet each on of them as Jackaby and Abigail worked to figure out what was going on at the dig site. But what really stood out to me in this book is the introduction of what I assume is the "main" villain. He/She I assume is the the Moriarty of the series. I definitely am eagerly anticipating the next book to find out more about this character and what they are up to. There was so much foreshadowing to this character and how they were involved from the beginning. I really need to know more about them as we go forward .
With Jackaby, one of my main issues was feeling like it did not quite match the time period of the late 1800s. I still felt that way with this installment, however it did not bother me as much as it had in Jackaby. That is probably because this book had less character introductions and instances where we were learning more about Jackaby, Abigail, and Charlie. Instead we got to be put right in the action with only minor character introductions. This installment was definitely more fast paced and action heavy than the first.
Without giving too much away, I also just want to comment on what the "beast" turns out to be. I was not at all expecting that, but it just made so much sense and I loved it.
*I received an eARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*