Lockwood and Co., Book 1: The Screaming Staircase

Lockwood and Co., Book 1:  The Screaming Staircase

When the dead come back to haunt the living, Lockwood & Co. step in . . .

For more than fifty years, the country has been affected by a horrifying epidemic of ghosts. A number of Psychic Investigations Agencies have sprung up to destroy the dangerous apparitions.

Lucy Carlyle, a talented young agent, arrives in London hoping for a notable career. Instead she finds herself joining the smallest, most ramshackle agency in the city, run by the charismatic Anthony Lockwood. When one of their cases goes horribly wrong, Lockwood & Co. have one last chance of redemption. Unfortunately this involves spending the night in one of the most haunted houses in England, and trying to escape alive.

Set in a city stalked by spectres, The Screaming Staircase is the first in a chilling new series full of suspense, humour and truly terrifying ghosts. Your nights will never be the same again . . .--from the publisher

400 pages           978-1423164913          Ages 10-14

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My YA recommendation of the month -- which is not really fair since I read the ARC and it doesn't come out until September -- is Jonathan Stroud's Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase. You may be familiar with Stroud's earlier series about the genie Bartimaeus, and like Bartimaeus, Lockwood & Co. offers us an alternate modern England -- a brilliantly rendered world in which "the Problem" has inexplicably caused ghosts to run rampant and disrupt the lives of mortals. In this new reality, private agencies have arisen to combat the supernatural, and they rely on children as their operatives, since only their senses are keen enough to detect and combat ghosts. After a horrible accident in her home village, Lucy Carlyle flees to London where she joins a small struggling agency, Lockwood & Co., headed by the young and dashing (possibly too reckless) Anthony Lockwood. Soon they are embroiled in a mystery that may cost them their agency and even their lives. Ancient evil, unsolved murders, powerful ghosts and nefarious mortals -- this story will keep you reading late into the night, but you'll want to leave the lights on. Stroud is a genius at inventing an utterly believable world which is very much like ours, but so creepily different. Put The Screaming Staircase on your 'need to read' list when it comes out in September!--from Rick Riordan on Goodreads - Nov. 8, 2013

******** A sinister Problem has occurred in London: all nature of ghosts, haunts, spirits, and specters are appearing throughout the city, and they aren't exactly friendly. Only young people have the psychic abilities required to see-and eradicate-these supernatural foes. Many different Psychic Detection Agencies have cropped up to handle the dangerous work, and they are in fierce competition for business.

In The Screaming Staircase, the plucky and talented Lucy Carlyle teams up with Anthony Lockwood, the charismatic leader of Lockwood & Co, a small agency that runs independent of any adult supervision. After an assignment leads to both a grisly discovery and a disastrous end, Lucy, Anthony, and their sarcastic colleague, George, are forced to take part in the perilous investigation of Combe Carey Hall, one of the most haunted houses in England. Will Lockwood & Co. survive the Hall's legendary Screaming Staircase and Red Room to see another day?

Readers who enjoyed the action, suspense, and humor in Jonathan Stroud's internationally best-selling Bartimaeus books will be delighted to find the same ingredients, combined with deliciously creepy scares, in his thrilling and chilling Lockwood & Co. series.--from the publisher

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