4 out of 5 stars.
I received an ARC of this work.
This series is one of the neatest that is currently running. It is a weird combination of historical fiction/ mystery and supernatural elements. This is the third, and penultimate, in the series.
Detectives Jackaby and Abigail are becoming more and more respected, despite their incredibly unusual methods for solving crimes. Jackaby can detect the supernatural and can solve mysteries that involve ghosts, faeries, and any other paranormal creatures. Abigail is not so gifted, but certainly does her best to help.
The time has come for Jackaby and Abigail to solve the mystery of their house ghost’s murder. Jenny has enlisted her housemates to solve her murder, and while Jackaby is reluctant to drag up the past, the events of so long ago seem to be repeating themselves. Now they are on the trail of someone who is murdering scientists and their families while Jenny faces her past and stirred up memories.
This is the most serious so far of these books and the backgrounds of the characters are explored in a way they have not been yet. Because of the darker tone, this book has less (though it is still present) of the lighthearted levity that attracted me in the first place. Instead, it gives us a much sharper view of the histories behind our heroes. We get to learn more about both Jackaby and Jenny and about what makes them both tick.
I found this the least interesting book as a mystery, but the most interesting from a character perspective. The mystery is based on some reoccurring villain and I honestly got a little confused a couple of times about which characters were which. It seemed like there were a lot of adult males with similar names in this one. I probably should have drawn up a character sheet but I was much more interested in what was happening to Jenny as the contemporary mystery dragged her into recollections of her past.
This book was largely an exploration of ghosts in the world Ritter has created, with little done with other creatures in the mythology. I really would have loved some more faeries or other weird beings running around, but we can hope there will be others in the fourth book, and looking at how ghosts work in this world was cool.
This is a great addition to the series, but you need to read the other books to get a feel for the characters before you dive into this one.