I purchased a copy of Jackaby after seeing it reviewed on several blogs in the same week. The description of it being a cross between Sherlock Holmes and Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a quick sell for me since I adore both.
Jackaby himself was immediately likable and in him I recognized little pieces of familiar people/characters. The attractive eccentricity of Johnny Depp, the quirkiness of Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes, or even the Sherlock Holmes of the TV show "Elementary." Jackaby is odd yet charismatic and quite brilliant. I was immediately sucked into his world of the supernatural.
Abigail is also attractive in that she is a girl who doesn't conform to the norms for women of the time period. She craves adventure and loathes the mundane, so much so that she runs away with the tuition money her parents gave her in hopes of finding a path of her own.
Looking for work, Abigail and Jackaby meet and she becomes his assistant as he tries to solve a case involving several murders and a suspect with metal shoes.
Supernatural creatures are abundant, both good and evil, and the book runs at a good pace. It was extremely hard to stop reading and I read it in just a few hours over a couple of days. If I had the time, I could have easily devoured it in one sitting. The dynamic between Jackaby and Abigail is perfect and, although there is no romance between these two characters, there is a glimmer of a relationship that might present itself in the future, albeit a bit furry... The story is a murder mystery and does have its share of blood and gore but it also has some humor and light banter between various characters living in Jackaby's household and I found myself smiling often. They make a nice little family.
Personally, I loved the book and I already bought the second book, Beastly Bones. I'm looking forward to reading about the next adventure for Jackaby and his friends.