Setting: 1892, New Fiddleham, New England
The Advertisement that starts it all:
Must be Literate and Possess A
Keen Intellect and Open Mind.
Strong Stomach Preferred.
Summary & Thoughts: Intrepid and feisty Abigail Rook answers this ad on her second day in New Fiddleham and becomes Mr. R.F. Jackaby's latest assistant. Her new boss has an extraordinary investigative gift--think Sherlock Holmes with a supernatural twist. Their case is not a simple murder. (Nothing with Jackaby ever is.) Abigail is about to encounter more of the unexplained and strange than she ever knew existed. She's a great character, and so is Jackaby. In fact, I loved everything about this book: the unexpected mystery, the humor, the rich writing, Jackaby's ghostly roommate, even Charlie Cane, the young police officer who's not what he seems. I can't wait for Jackaby's and Abigail's next case!
Title: The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero
Setting: Axton House, Point Bless, Virginia, 1995
Thoughts: Axton House is eerie and full of secrets. The last owner leapt to his death out of a third-story window; the new owner is having strange dreams and seeing ghostly shadows in the bathroom. Is it because of the ritual performed every December 21st by members of a secret society, or something else? Reading this book is like piecing together a puzzle without knowing the final picture. I love how it's narrated through a series of letters, journal entries, newspaper clippings, notes, and cryptic ciphers. There's a slow building of suspense in this gothic mystery, like deciphering a code without the key. The ending, by comparison, is quick, unexpected, and felt a little too abrupt. But I still liked this book.