Recent Reading: A Magical Sherlock

I have one more scene to write, the “whew, we made it, and now we’ll live happily ever after” wrap-up, before I’m done with this book. Well, this draft of this book. I already know the last few chapters will need revision because I was mostly just getting stuff out there, and now it will need fine tuning. But it will be nice to have the whole draft done and an ending.

Meanwhile, I’ve been somewhat remiss in talking about what I’ve been reading. I’ve been on a non-fiction kick of some fairly esoteric things, just working on continuing my own education, but I’ve also been making more time to read novels.

I dug into my To Be Read pile of books I got at the World Fantasy Convention last fall, and I found a new series to devour. The first book in the series is Jackaby, by William Ritter, and the best way I can think of to describe it to my readers is if Lord Henry became a detective and Verity was his assistant. Or maybe if a young Sherlock Holmes had magic.

Our Heroine is a teenage runaway from England, an archaeologist’s daughter who thought that dig sites would be more exciting than they turned out to be when she ran off to work on one, who ends up in America, mostly because she doesn’t want to go home and doesn’t have anywhere else to go. She needs a job, fast, so she goes to the address on a card posted at the post office, and there she finds a rather unusual detective. This young man can do the full Sherlock thing of knowing where someone’s from and where he’s been, but he’s not picking up on tiny clues like the color of the mud on a person’s shoes. He has a gift for seeing the magical creatures that are invisible to everyone else, and it’s those magical creatures that clue him in to what a person’s been up to. That means he can solve cases that elude most detectives and the police. The more open-minded police welcome his help, but others can’t abide him.

And so, our heroine finds herself living and working in a haunted house (the former resident is actually rather nice) with an eccentric detective, a former assistant who’s suffered a magical accident and doesn’t want to be turned back to his original form, a frog you don’t want to look at, and a swamp in the attic. And they’re investigating what seems to be a serial killer.

This was a fun fantasy mystery that I think fans of my Rebels books would enjoy. As I said, the characters are along the lines of Henry and Verity. And, like my books, these are published as young adult, but I think they’d appeal to all ages. I need to read the rest of the series (there are 4 books now, plus a story that’s free for Kindle).

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