The Screaming Staircase

Lockwood & Co. Book 1, by Jonathan Stroud

Five Stars (or whatever the top rating is. It’s that good.)

When ghosts began popping up, haunting & terrorizing the people of England, it created a need for ghost extermination services. That’s now the job of Psychic Detection Agencies, who have operatives trained to deal with these dangerous beings. However, psychic abilities fade as one gets older, and so it’s young children & teens who must do the dangerous and often fatal work.

Lucy was a pretty good agent at her old job under an established agency, until a job gone badly wrong left her as the sole survivor of her team. Looking to start over at a new Agency in London, she joins a tiny, barely surviving firm, run by & staffed with only two other employees about her own age. Desperate to keep their firm afloat, Lucy and her two new friends take on a high risk job that most established agencies have lethally failed at before.

The characters & action in this series are amazing. There’s Lucy, young, plucky, talented, and brave. Anthony, the teen who owns the firm, is brave, smart, witty, and very charismatic. And then there’s their researcher, plump George, who’s sarcastic, but brilliant. The character interactions are fun to read, mixed in with a bunch of action & tense situations. One thing that really appealed to me was the lack of a romantic focus. It was so good to read a book with male & female characters who were able to have a simple friendship without turning it into a romance.

I wasn’t a major fan of the Bartimeaus Trilogy by this same author, but I got sucked right into this series. This isn’t my usual genre either. All these ghoulies and ghosties and horror stories are far from my favorites, (namely, I avoid them entirely,) but this one was really well done, and not in the spooky kind of way.

I’m really excited, because I saw a rumor today that this series might become a TV show on Netflix. I hope it happens and they don’t ruin the awesomeness of these books.

I recommend this for fantasy & mystery fans. This is kind of like those young Sherlock Holmes type of books out there.

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