Review | The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud

Spoiler Free

13555073Latin phrases, a loved one’s gift, a long-lost girl… bit of an exotic mystery…

Published: August 29th, 2013

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Pages: 381 (Paperback)

Series: Lockwood & Co #1



4 Stars


Of the first few hauntings I investigated with Lockwood & Co. I intend to say little, in part to protect the identity of the victims, in part because of the gruesome nature of the incidents, but mainly because, in a variety of ingenious ways, we succeeded in messing them all up.


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.


I was intrigued about this book after seeing numerous glowing reviews on Goodreads, someone even called this series their Harry Potter. So, with reviews that good I knew I had to check it out. I wasn’t entirely disappointed, either!

This novel was highly original and left me guessing right until the very end! It was this great mixture of mystery, suspense, fear, friendship, humor, and loyalty. It was apparent that the author put a lot of thought not only into the plot of this book, but also the entire world in which the book was set. It reminded me so much of Victorian London, almost in like a Sherlock Holmes sort of way, but it was ten times creepier and there was this air of uncertainty and fear that surrounded everyone. I loved learning new things about the ghosts and the agencies that battled them, and I was thrilled when I realized the author put a glossary in the back of the book! It helped answer some questions and made it so that the book didn’t spend the entire first half explaining everything, it was really rather smart.

I enjoyed all the characters introduced in this book and can’t wait to visit them again in the next book. Lucy was courageous and brash in all the best ways, Lockwood was clever and cunning, and George was equal parts wit and brains. They worked so well together and all throughout the book I could sense the deep respect and friendship that was blossoming between the crew. For a book about dead people and ghosts, there were a lot of real human emotions portrayed.

I only recently got into them about a year or two ago, but now I really enjoy a good mystery and boy did this book have one! There were a lot of things going on at the same time and they were not only playing off one another but were connected in ways I had never imagined. To me, they seemed to all be separate instances and I was starting to get a little confused toward the end of the book and wondered just what this book was supposed to be about in the first place, but when it all came together I was shocked in a good way. The writing flowed so effortlessly in this book and Lucy was a great narrator, it was overall a really well thought out and wonderfully executed book.

There are five total books in this series, with the fifth and final book having released last September. There’s been some speculation as to a sixth book, but nothing has been confirmed or anything. I will definitely be reading the next in the series, although I’ll be saving them for this October’s Spook-a-thon! If you’re interested in a good YA series that has mystery and intrigue, this is a series for you!


Happy reading


Book Links  GoodreadsAmazon                    B&N         BAM


Lockwood & Co. Series





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