Meet Skulduggery Pleasant: detective, sorcerer, warrior.
Oh yeah. And dead.
Stephanie's uncle Gordon is a writer of horror fiction. But when he dies and leaves her his estate, Stephanie learns that while he may have written horror, it certainly wasn't fiction.
Pursued by evil forces intent on recovering a mysterious key, Stephanie finds help from an unusual source – the wisecracking skeleton of a dead wizard.
When all hell breaks loose, it's lucky for Skulduggery that he's already dead. Though he's about to discover that being a skeleton doesn't stop you from being tortured, if the torturer is determined enough. And if there's anything Skulduggery hates, it's torture… Will evil win the day? Will Stephanie and Skulduggery stop bickering long enough to stop it? One thing's for sure: evil won't know what's hit it.
Praise for Derek Landy:
‘Landy [has the] ability to craft an engaging story from start to finish.’ Inis
‘Derek Landy has been something of a publishing phenomenon.’ Irish Post
Praise for Skulduggery:
'A gripping debut.' Phil Hogan, Observer
‘Landy's witty style will win him fans of all ages … It's a good job Harry's [Potter] resigning before he's forcibly retired.’ Irish Mail on Sunday
'Hugely enjoyable – a thrill-a-minute adventure.' Jonathan Stroud, author of the BARTIMAEUS TRILOGY
'It's exciting, pacy, nicely handled and fun. I sincerely hope Landy revisits these characters.' Philip Ardagh, Guardian
'Skulduggery Pleasant serves up a thoroughly satisfying blend of humour, magic and adventure. Once you've met Stephanie and Skullduggery, you'll be clamouring for a sequel.' Rick Riordan, author of the PERCY JACKSON series
‘A remarkably accomplished debut with wonderful dialogue.’ Robert Dunbar, Irish Times
‘A rip-roaring adventure.’ Irish Sunday Independent
About the author
Derek Landy lives near Dublin. Before writing his children's story about a sharply-dressed skeleton detective, he wrote the screenplays for a zombie movie and a murderous horror film. "I think my career-guidance teacher is spinning in her grave," he says, "or she would be if she were dead."
Stephanie Edgley's uncle, a bestselling novelist, dies and leaves her his fortune. But the money doesn't interest her nearly as much as the odd, overdressed figure who appears at the funeral. He turns out to be the eponymous hero, the skeleton of a man, back from the dead to avenge his family's murder at the "red right hand" of Nefarian Serpine. Turns out, Stephanie has also inherited the family gene for sorcery, and she teams with Skulduggery to defeat the villain. Violent clashes with various cretins ensue. Some supporting characters, such as the magic world's "Elders," blend together, and Serpine's motivation is of the vague "I will rule the world!" variety. But plucky Stephanie and her dapper, urbane mentor make up for this slight lack of definition and clarity. Skulduggery is as caustic and witty as Jonathan Stroud's Bartimaeus, but a man (er, skeleton) of fewer words. First novelist Landy, a Dublin playwright, excels at dialogue; the repartee between the two leads recalls Hepburn and Tracy in its ongoing, affectionate contest of verbal one-upmanship. (When Stephanie complains about Skulduggery's high-falutin' vocabulary, he retorts, "You should read more," to which she replies, "I read enough. I should get out more.") Landy sets the tale on the Irish coast and reaches into Celtic lore for a cameo from the son of Finn McCool, but there's nothing old-fashioned about the way this story unspools. The book may be hefty but it moves at warp speed. An utterly charming debut, perfect for the Potter crowd. Ages 8-12.
This book is great. Best series since Harry Potter