The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co.)
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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.
Praise for Screaming Staircase, The
"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!"
"A pleasure from tip to tail, this is the book you hand the advanced readers that claim they'd rather read Paradise Lost than Harry Potter. Smart as a whip, funny, witty, and honestly frightening at times, Stroud lets loose and gives readers exactly what they want. Ghosts, kids on their own without adult supervision, and loads of delicious cookies."
-Elizabeth Bird, School Library Journal
"Stroud shows his customary flair for blending deadpan humor with thrilling action, and the fiery interplay among the three agents of Lockwood & Co. invigorates the story (along with no shortage of creepy moments)."
"Three young ghost trappers take on deadly wraiths and solve an old murder case in the bargain to kick off Stroud's new post-Bartimaeus series. The work is fraught with peril, not only because a ghost's merest touch is generally fatal, but also, as it turns out, none of the three is particularly good at careful planning and preparation. A heartily satisfying string of entertaining near-catastrophes, replete with narrow squeaks and spectral howls."
"...Stroud writes for a younger audience in book one of the Lockwood & Co. series and delivers some chilling scenes along the way."
tight against my legs. The attic room was dark once more. Somebody coughed. George tugged at the rapier hilt, trying to get it free. “Lucy…” Lockwood’s voice was dangerously quiet. “Didn’t that look like—” “Yes. It was. I’m so, so sorry.” George gave a heave; the blade came free. He stepped awkwardly to the side and, as he did so, there was a sharp crack beneath his boot. He frowned, bent down, picked up something from among the scattered clothes beside the chair. “Ow!” he said. “It’s
“While we’re waiting, you might take a look at these clippings from the Archives. I’ve found out more about Annie Ward. Seems that, fifty years ago, she was part of a glitzy set—mostly rich kids, but not all—who hung out in the swankiest bars in London. A year before she died, London Society did a photo piece on them. Check it out. She’s not the only name you’ll recognize.” The pictures, photocopied from the originals, were in black and white. They were mostly of balls and parties, but of
consisted of a single pane of fogged gray glass. There was a switch built into the table, and also a black telephone receiver. “Sit down, Miss Carlyle.” Barnes picked up the receiver and spoke into it. “Okay? Is he there? That’s fine.” I stared at him. “What are you talking about? Please tell me what’s going on.” “Psychic links like you had with the dead girl,” Barnes said, “are very subjective things. Hard to put into words. You remember some things and forget others. Basically, they mess
figure did not stir; the revolver hung suspended in the dark, directed at our stomachs. “Yes.” The voice was suddenly harsh, decisive. “And we can do it in more comfortable surroundings. I’m tired and I need to sit down. Grebe, take our friends up to the library. If either of the boys tries anything, feel free to shoot the girl.” Lockwood said something, but I didn’t hear what. Beneath my shock and terror, anger stirred. This was Fairfax’s immediate assumption: that I was the least danger, the
his cabbage patch, had shot at them from his window with a blunderbuss load of iron filings) prevented them from arriving at the hall prior to five a.m. Even so, they were two full hours earlier than Lockwood had requested, and just in time to block Percy Grebe’s escape. They didn’t turn up a moment too soon for me. It wasn’t ghost-touch or anything, but my close exposure to Annie Ward’s final manifestation had left me badly dazed. The chill had cut to my bones, and my right hand—where I’d held