Review of Beastly Bones by Will Ritter

Ritter_BeastlyBones_jkt_COMP.inddBeastly Bones
By: Will Ritter
Release Date: September 22nd 2015
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher

A copy of this book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:

“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.

My Thoughts:
I am such a fan of the character of Jackaby and Will Ritter’s writing in general. Beastly Bones was a strong sequel to Jackaby and I really could read as many adventures between Jackaby and Abigail as Ritter is able to create. I adore this duo and felt that they were just as strong in this book as in the first. We even get introduced to a few new characters that I found easy to love.

Ritter has an ability to create a quirky, fun story and still keep it from veering into corny. Some of the topics approached (an assistant turned into a duck, shape-shifting kittens, etc) could easily become silly but for me, they don’t. I adore the complexity he has created in Jackaby especially. I want to find out more about him and I love that in each book we get a touch of his back-story.

Abigail was just as easy to root for and once again she’s a great narrator. I loved seeing her more in her element in this story since she gets to go back to her roots and investigate a mystery surrounding dinosaur bones. I was thrilled to see Charlie back too! Again I loved the interactions between him and Abigail (though I think they were a tad less in this book).

Though the main story line was a tad simplistic in some ways (I could connect the dots a tiny bit faster than the characters in some instances)the way everything pulled together and especially more info into Jenny’s past really made this novel intriguing. I found it to be fast paced and a very quick read.

The new characters- a reporter, master trapper and archeologists were well developed and each unique in their personalities and dialog. I loved that the archeologists had a rivalry going on which added some rather humorous parts. One of the new character, Hank Hudson the master trapper, had a touch of a Harry Potter feel. I could totally see Hagrid in Hank because of the love of incredible beasts and their larger than life personalities. Though I saw a resemblance it still felt fun and original and not at all a copy. For me, these books give a lovely tip of the hat to some many things I adore (Sherlock, Doctor Who now a bit of Harry Potter). I’m so sold!

Final Thoughts:
I could go on and on about how entertaining, quirky, and addicting these books are to me. I really adore this series and will continue to read each and every book Will Ritter writes.



  1. says

    I’ve recently read Jackaby and OMG it was so much fun and intrigue! Also the novella, have you read it? It was hilarious, I loved it so so much! 😀
    Wait, September 22nd? Why does it say it comes out on November something on GR? :O

    • says

      Oh Frannie I hope you love it! I HAVE NOT READ A NOVELLA. I think I knew there was one but ahhh! I must read it soon. Oh dear! Do I have the dates wrong…Just looked on GR and says September. I’m pretty sure it releases next month.

  2. says

    I just recently read Jackaby so I’m looking forward to this sequel! I wasn’t expecting the paranormal/supernatural element and at first I wasn’t sure about it, but I came to accept it as it made sense to me within their world. Glad to hear this follow-up is strong! I’m sad there isn’t much more Charlie and Abigail though… I felt there wasn’t enough of them together in the first book for me to properly ship them.

  3. says

    This makes me even more excited to read Jackaby! I’ve had it on my shelf since I got it at ALA, and I think I’m going to bump it up and read it sooner rather than later!

  4. says

    Aw, yay 😀 So happy that you mostly loved this sequel Kristen. <3 That is awesome 😀 I am so curious about these two books. Hoping to read them one day 🙂 Your love for them are making me so excited. Just so happy that you are enjoying this series 🙂 Thank you for sharing about it sweet girl. <3

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