Overall Book Count: 2/80
PopSugar Reading Challenge: 2/50
Prompt: A book featuring an amateur detective

“From a curled, wrought-iron pole above the door hung a sign that announced: 926—INVESTIGATIVE SERVICES in large letters and PRIVATE DETECTION & CONSULTATIONS: UNEXPLAINED PHENOMENA OUR SPECIALTY in smaller ones.”

The reason I decided to take on the PopSugar challenge in addition to my reading goal of 80 books is clearly evidenced by books like Jackaby. In theory, it should open my eyes to books that I might not typically gravitate towards in order to fulfill the almighty prompt.

Jackaby actually fulfills multiple prompts in this year’s challenge: amateur detective and a retelling of a classic are the obvious choices; it is a retelling of the character of Sherlock Holmes, in a way.

Our story is told from the perspective of one Abigail Rook, a young-lady from England who finds herself in a coastal New England town in search of an adventure of sorts. She is our Watson, our narrator. It is through her eyes that we witness this world’s version of Sherlock come to life. Well, that and the supernatural creatures he investigates.

That’s right. Jackaby is Sherlock Holmes mixed with a little twinge of Stephen King or other similar writers.

“All the world’s a stage, as they say, and I seem to have the only seat in the house with a view behind the curtain.”

The story has a few twists and turns, as one can often expect from the genre and is an engaging read. Fans of Holmes in the strictest sense may not find the book nearly as enjoyable, for the character is not a perfect representation nor was he meant to be. Jackaby is his own creation, so take it as such.

There’s already a few books published in this series, so if detective novels or supernatural investigations are your thing (thing Grimm), then you may find yourself with a new series in which to pass the time. I’m not sure it will be something I rush to read, but it was worth my time.

Overall, a 3.5/5.

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