Meet the great Skulduggery Pleasant: wise-cracking detective, powerful magician, master of dirty tricks and burglary (in the name of the greater good, of course). Oh yeah. And dead. Then there's his sidekick, Stephanie. She's! well, she's a twelve-year-old girl. With a pair like this on the case, evil had better watch out! "So you won't keep anything from me again?" He put his hand to his chest. "Cross my heart and hope to die." "Okay then. Though you don't actually have a heart," she said. "I know." "And technically, you've already died." "I know that too." "Just so we're clear." 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. Key title / Special slipcase paperback edition featuring the first in a series of highly collectable Skulduggery Pleasant character game card sets -- a must for any fan / The perfect Christmas gift / Skulduggery Pleasant has been hugely successful and already has a dedicated fanbase after only a year! / www.skulduggerypleasant.co.uk has over 7k members signed up to receive updates on their favourite character / Competition: Jonathan Stroud's Bartimaeus Trilogy; Darren Shan; Anthony Horowitz
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."
Skulduggery Pleasant is the adopted name of a powerful detective mage who is sworn to protect Stephanie, the 12-year-old niece of his murdered friend. Here, skulduggery takes a double meaning-our detective is capable of scurrilous behavior in the pursuit of his suspects, and he's also a skeleton, robbed of his flesh by an age-old spell. Listen Up: Skulduggery's droll bass is a delight, and the cool-cat jazz on the soundtrack is an added bonus for grown-ups hip enough to know a groovy story when they hear one. Degas has a wonderful time building this story's suspense and conveying its dry humor.-Angelina Benedetti, King Cty. Lib. Syst., WA Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
`Hugely enjoyable - a thrill-a-minute adventure.' Jonathan Stroud
'It's exciting, pacy, nicely handled and fun. I sincerely hope
Landy revisits these characters.'
Philip Ardagh, Guardian
'A gripping debut.'
Phil Hogan, Observer
'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
"A remarkably accomplished debut with wonderful dialogue."
Robert Dunbar, Irish Times
"[Landy's] fight scenes are perfectly pitched. His characters are exceptionally well drawn and delightfully colourful... Reading [this book] is like riding a rollercoaster." Irish Independent
"Landy's witty style will win him fans of all ages... With writing of this standard, a rattling plot and definite potential for cross-over appeal, it's a good job Harry's [Potter] resigning before he's forcibly retired." Irish Mail on Sunday
"Humour and magic combine in this thrilling adventure."
Waterstone's Books Quarterly
"...people in the book world are raving about this book."
"It's pacy, it's funny, it's irreverent. The relationship between Skulduggery and Stephanie is tremendously strong. Stephanie is a splendid character - blunt, logical and outspoken... We enjoyed Skkulduggery Pleasant. Muchly. Roll on volume two!" The Book Bag
"A rip-roaring adventure." Irish Sunday Independent
"Full of black humour, super powers, mysteries, murder and mayhem." Carousel
Gr 5-8-This story picks up where Playing with Fire (HarperCollins, 2008) leaves off. The skeleton detective and his 14-year-old sidekick, Valkyrie, have uncovered an evil plot to allow the Faceless Ones through a portal into our world, which will surely bring about the destruction of life as we know it. Banished from the department and branded a dangerous character, Skulduggery is not allowed to work the case, but he is able to uncover enough information to put the pieces together. The plot contains many twists and double crosses as dubious characters factor into the mystery. In the end, sacrifices are made and Valkyrie is faced with a difficult decision. This third installment has enough action to keep casual or new readers interested in what happens next. Kids who have outgrown Lemony Snicket will enjoy the series.-Karen Hoth, Manatee Elementary School, Fort Myers, FL Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.