Book Review: Beastly Bones (Jackaby #2) by William Ritter

Title: Beastly Bones

Author: William Ritter

Publication Date: September 22nd, 2015

Format: E-Book

 The highly anticipated follow-up to the “rich world” of the “lighthearted and assured debut,” featuring an “irresistible character” whose first thrilling and original adventure “demands sequels.”

“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.

five stars


There is nothing worse than a highly anticipated book letting you down. Take Vengeance Road for example. It was one of my most anticipated books of 2015 and as you saw, I was so disappointed with it. Here, however, you needn’t fear. It’s William Ritter we are talking about, so you know you are in good hands. If you enjoyed Jackaby which I’m sure you did because it’s great and awesome and basically my ideal book then I can assure you that you will enjoy the sequel just as much. Beastly Bones was as good as Jackaby and I couldn’t be any happier. It would have destroyed me if it weren’t, really, it would’ve.

I adored Jackaby. It was one of my favorite books in 2014 and I wish I have a review for it but I don’t.

Why don’t I have a review for it, you ask? Because I didn’t have a blog in 2014.

Why didn’t you have a blog in 2014, Jay? 

I’ll have to rectify that soon. Do you know what that means? It means a reread! YAY! It also means I have to buy a physical copy of the book. DOUBLE YAY!

Now on to the review of this one 🙂

I was really pleased with how well Abigail has come to understanding Jackaby. Their relationship plays a really important role in the story because, as you know, Abigail is Jackaby’s assistant and when you want to solve a murder you better have an assistant who gets you. And for Jackaby, Abigail is that person. She still has a long way to go, true, but she’s going to get there and it will be great.

Jackaby leaned in and adopted the sort of hushed, secretive tones that one nearby cannot help but overhear. “Miss Rook, on a scale of one to pomegranate, how dangerous would you say this situation has become?”

“Dangerous?” I faltered.

“Yes, Miss Rook,” prompted Jackaby, “in your expert opinion.”

“On a scale of one to pomegranate?” I followed his lead, checking over the notes I had scribbled in my notepad and speaking in my most audible, serious whisper. “I should think . . . acorn? Possibly badger. Time alone will tell.”

and yes I realize that this is more like an excerpt rather than a quote but I think that it really shows how well they work together now.

I loved watching their interactions. Jackaby is tactless and doesn’t understand emotions, and that really affects his relationship with people. Abigail, on the other hand, gets these things and tries to keep him in line.

“Surprising—I should think that unburying bones would go against generations of instinct to do just the opposite, wouldn’t it? Ouch! Watch your step in the dark, Miss Rook—you just kicked my shin. Where was I? Right—I was saying that coming from a family of dogs—ouch! You’ve done it again, rather hard that time. Really, the path isn’t even bumpy here.”

“Mr. Jackaby, please try to be a little more sensitive,” I said.

“What on earth are you talking about? I am quite sensitive enough, thank you—and getting downright tender in the vicinity of the legs, at the moment.”

another excerpt. Here, Abigail is trying to teach him some tact and obviously failing but it also shows their great relationship that has me in giggles every five seconds.

The mystery itself was brilliant. I don’t know how Ritter thinks of half the things that are in there. I feel myself blanching whenever I think about how much research he had to do; he has to go over all the mythologies, all the cultures, all the histories of magical creatures and so much more. It’s a lot of hard work and I applaud him for the smashing good job that he did.

Character Analysis



5 reasons why Jinan loves Jackaby:

  1. He’s so smart and knowledgeable.
  2. He’s also a bit mad, but then again, aren’t we all?
  3. Everything he does he does for a purpose.
  4. He cares about his friends but doesn’t show it well.
  5. He tries to be sweet but it doesn’t come out right and it takes someone who understands him to get what he’s trying to say. LIKE ME!!!!!!!!

Abigail has no supernatural powers. She can’t see the auras that Jackaby does and she doesn’t have his extensive knowledge. What she does have, though, is brains to think, a sharp mind, and eyes that catch all the teeny weeny details. She balances Jackaby out, who only looks at the magical elements present and often neglects the smaller details.


He’s so cutteeee. I love how he’s so awkward around Abigail (it’s even cuter that she’s just as awkward) and omgomgomgomg she kissed him at last. He’s probably blushing every time he thinks about it asdfghjkl I want to squish his cheeks.

Bottom Line

Give me book three. Now.

Recommended to: Lovers of Sherlock Holmes.


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