When a friend of mine found out that I had never watched Doctor Who, he was scandalized. I ended up losing nerd cred with him. So, as soon as I had free time to binge Netflix, I started watching.
Two weeks later, I had finished all seven seasons of the new series.
When I finally emerged from my apartment—looking like a hiker who had been lost in the wilderness for weeks and needing a trauma blanket—I was obsessed.
Add to that my obsession with Sherlock Holmes—not just with the BBC show, but the original stories, of which I own two massive omnibuses.
So when I heard of a book pitched as Doctor Who meets Sherlock, you can be damn sure I was going to read it.
Here’s the premise:
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.
So the pitch comparison? Kind of spot on.
What Intrigued Me: Doctor Who meets Sherlock? That sums up R.F. Jackaby. He’s got the knowledge and boundless energy of the Doctor (Eleven, to be exact), but the social ineptitude and habit of rattling off evidence like Sherlock. The whole premise is like the Paternoster Gang episodes.
What Hooked Me: There’s a moment where Jackaby, as much as he sounds like Eleven, acts like full-force, unemotional Sherlock. I’m not going to spoil anything, but I gasped in shock. And that’s always a good thing when it comes to books.
What Made Me Fall In Love: Jackaby allows itself to be silly as well. Case in point: Douglas, Jackaby’s former assistant who accidentally got turned into a duck (and kind of likes it). He now lives in a pond in the attic.
I’m a sucker for whimsy. And strangeness.
Jackaby is available September 16 from Amazon and your local purveyor of weird (a.k.a. a bookstore). Grab your copy before they all mysteriously disappear…