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, members of a particularly vicious species of shape-shifters disguise themselves as a litter of kittens. A day later, their owner is found murdered, with a single mysterious puncture wound to her neck. Then, in nearby Gad’s Valley, dinosaur bones from a recent dig go missing, and an unidentifiable beast attacks animals and people, leaving their mangled bodies behind. Policeman Charlie Cane, exiled from New Fiddleham to the valley, calls on Abigail for help, and soon Abigail and Jackaby are on the hunt for a thief, a monster, and a murderer. (From Goodreads)
So it may help to read the first one in order to grasp a bit of understanding of the character relationships and the overall plot (there’s a main one underneath the layers here)
***Possible spoilers here you’ve been warned***
I loved the first one, really liked the characters and Jackaby’s quirkiness. With this one though, it’s a different type of case, albeit still with a supernatural/fantastical element but it felt like you were reading an Indiana Jones type of adventure. Which is all right and it made things different and interesting but I was looking forward to something a little more darker and spookier.
However, the adventure aspect with the missing bones was still well written and enjoyable to read. It took more of a comedic tone and I enjoyed the fighting between Lamb and Horner over the bones while poor Charlie seems to be always stuck in the middle of each argument. Abigail really shined in this one with her passion of dinosaur bones, she was in her element and showed how much she loved doing the job despite the obstacles she had because of her father and society. She really stepped up and developed a lot in this book.
And yes! She breaks the tension with Charlie!!! Finally! It was all throughout the novel until she finally took matters into her own hands. I like them both together. They seem to complement each other well enough even though it seems she has a much more determined and strong minded temperament whereas Charlie is more mellow and laid back. Well maybe Abigail will slowly bring him out of his shell?
What I enjoyed the most about this plot is there’s an even deeper and darker story underneath and this was just a diversion. That pale man is creepy and I hope it gets explored more in the next book as it features Jenny’s story too. This was a fun read but I’ll be happier going onto much darker things in the story.
I give it a 6 out of 10.