Release date: Sept. 16, 2014



Algonguin Young Readers—2014

“Science and magic, beauty and bedlam, things that ought to be at odds—they just don’t follow the same rules when Jackaby’s involved.”

Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary–including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain it’s a nonhuman creature, whose existence the police–with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane–deny.

Doctor Who meets Sherlock in William Ritter’s debut novel, which features a detective of the paranormal as seen through the eyes of his adventurous and intelligent assistant in a tale brimming with cheeky humor and a dose of the macabre.




Algonquin Young Readers—2015

“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.




Algonquin Young Readers—AUGUST 23, 2016

Jenny Cavanaugh was dead, and she wasn’t happy about it.

Jenny Cavanaugh, the ghostly lady of 926 Augur Lane, has enlisted the investigative services of her fellow residents to solve a decade-old murder—her own. Abigail Rook and her eccentric employer, Detective R. F. Jackaby, dive into the cold case, starting with a search for Jenny’s fiancé, who went missing the night she died. But when a new, gruesome murder closely mirrors the events of ten years prior, Abigail and Jackaby realize that Jenny’s case isn’t so cold after all, and her killer may be far more dangerous than they suspected.

Fantasy and folklore mix with mad science as Abigail’s race to unravel the mystery leads her across the cold cobblestones of nineteenth-century New England, down to the mythical underworld, and deep into her colleagues’ grim histories to battle the most deadly foe she has ever faced.


(Downloadable to your preferred eReader below)



Abigail hopes that her birthday will slip by unnoticed and uncelebrated, but her employer, detective of the supernatural R.F. Jackaby, has other plans. Using magical party crackers that teleport the pair to unknown destinations in time and space and a cryptic map that may lead to a forgotten treasure, Jackaby intends to give Abigail what he considers to be the best gift of all – adventure.



44 responses to “BOOKS

  1. Miss Alexandrina

    This premise sounds brilliant! When does the book release?

  2. Irene

    Do you offer autographed pre orders? I’d love to get my hands on one!

  3. I absolutely love this book! I am hoping you become more active on goodreads so I can see when the next one is coming out! I’m in the process of writing my blog review of it despite my blog being new.

  4. Fabulous book! I blogged about it today. Please tell me there are more books about Jackaby and his assistant, Abigail Rook in progress.

  5. jo

    when’s the next installment coming out? i’m disappointed a bit that the female lead didn’t get too to more than i expected … but i’m holding out hope for the sequel. it’s just part of a bigger story, right?

  6. So excited there will be a sequel! I LOVED this story, just finished it! I hope there’s many more adventures still to come!

  7. marie

    What an absolute treasure this book is! It is always wonderful to find a talented writer! Thanks so much!

  8. Taylor

    When is the next book coming out I’m really looking forward to it.

  9. Oonagh

    Hey really enjoyed your book. I think just about everyone loves the twist with the banshee. I had to stay up and finish the book when I got to that part. I think i finally fell asleep at 1:30ish. Nice work on how the beginning scene is the opposite of the end scene, I admit I didn’t notice it until later. Darn, I have to wait until Sep. for Lockwood and now Jackaby too!

  10. Sarah

    Absolotely loved the series! Just finished Beastly Bones earlier today. When does the next one come out? I need to know what happens!

    You’re a very talented writer, and I love the concept. Jackaby reminded me so much of Doctor Who during seasons 2-4, and I cannot wait to see what other adventures him and Abigail get into.

  11. Anne Lawson

    I enjoyed both of your books very much! Is there any chance that you can hint about the next one, if there is to be one? (Although you obviously left it open for a third…) Can you give us a hint as to when it might come out?

  12. Pingback: Weekly reads | Elnade's Book Chat

  13. Joe

    I love reading Jackaby and I’m on my third time reading it, but I guess I’m not that bright. I can’t catch the Allusions others have talked about such as the police officer Allan being named after Edger Allan Poe. What others examples is a simpleton like me missing?

    • You’re not simple! The allusions are barely there—really just me dipping into the existing genre whenever I needed a name. Most are little more than a passing mention of a fairly common name.

      Here are a few to keep your eyes out for: Arthur and O’Doyle are both used to reference Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Author of Sherlock Holmes). Allan is for EA Poe, as you said, and Officer Dupin is named for Poe’s detective character C. Auguste Dupin. There is mention of a nymph called Agatha and of a priest called Father Grafton for authors Agatha Christie and Sue Grafton, and the larger character Charlie Cane is a nod toward Charlie Chan. Mayor Spade and Inspector Marlowe are for pulp detectives Sam Spade and Phillip Marlowe. Their respective authors were referenced as well; Chandler’s Market, and its proprietor “Ray” are for Raymond Chandler, and the ill-tempered Hammett is a reference to Dashiell Hammett.

      Place names borrowed less from the detective genre and more from occult history with nods to Gad the Seer, Aleister Crowley, the Brahan Seer, Joseph Glanvill, etc.

      Thanks for reading!

  14. RED

    I just read JACKABY in one sitting (took me about 5 hours), and I have to say that I figured out both the “surprise” twists well before they were revealed. I got the “whodunit” right off, though it took longer to figure out the WHAT done it. Possibly, as an older reader (mid-thirties), I have more practice at it than your target audience. But my point here is that I STILL READ IT! All in one go. And I enjoyed every page. It made me laugh several times, in fact. So I have to conclude that if the mystery wasn’t holding me there, it was the characters themselves who were so fascinating. For which reason I have to say, Well done, sir. Very well done indeed.

  15. Pingback: Book Review: Jackaby by William Ritter |

  16. Pingback: Science and Magic | Elnade's Book Chat

  17. Elissa

    I literally just finished your latest book Ghostly Echoes, and I decided I wanted to come check out your website to see what more you’ve done. The first thing I saw was your blog on the struggle to have a diverse literary field. I greatly appreciate the distinction between earned and deserved. I love your writing and your compassion, which is clearly shown in your Jackaby series, and I look forward to reading new stuff from you in the future!

  18. James Hoover

    What’s your copywrite date?

  19. General information on my site is (c) 2013-2016. All of my blog posts have a specific post date for a more accurate copyright dates for any particular post. (I don’t bother to add a (c) tag to every post because this is a fairly informal blog, and because the Berne Convention of 1989 made legal copyright automatic.)

  20. Kaitie

    I saw in a recent reply that there will be a fourth book in the Jackaby series. Will that be the last book or do you plan on writing more?

    • The fourth Jackaby title is set to be the last in the series. I do love these characters, and I may return to them some day, but the final installment brings closure to the grand story arc.

  21. Caroline

    I just want to tell you how much I love these books! I laugh so hard and I am so intrigued with the plots. I am so very excited about the fourth book but I have to say I am sad that it is supposed to be the last in the series! Jackaby and Abigail Rook have quickly become some of my all time favorite book characters. Thank you!

    • Thanks so much, Caroline! I have come to love these characters over the course of writing this series—and it warms my heart to hear that they’ve found a receptive reader. 🙂

  22. Callie

    I have been following these books since Jackaby first came out. I remember I got it for Christmas and stayed up so late it. I FINALLY got my hands on Ghostly Echos and we so happy with the story. These books never fail to keep me on the edge of my seat. Sad to hear that the fourth book will be the last but I’m excited to see what you do next

  23. Gage

    i have been reading all of your book and i LOVE THEM. And I was wondering when the fourth book will be coming out. I can not wait.

  24. Caroline

    I have to ask, is there a date, summary, or cover picture coming out soon? I can’t wait!

  25. Pingback: Jackaby by William Ritter | Flashlight Chronicles

  26. Jade

    Hello! I was wondering if your books are expected to be translate in french someday… They seem pretty cool and I’ve read really postive reviews, I’d love to read them!
    Have a nice day 🙂

    • Je suis désolé. J’aimerais une édition française – j’ai étudié le français à l’université – mais je ne sais pas. Je vais parler à mon éditeur. Merci pour votre intérêt!

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