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Genre: Children’s Middle Grade, Fantasy

Pages: 416

This is such a strange book that I’m not sure how to go about describing it. I suppose I’ll start at the beginning.

Gordon Edgley’s sudden death came as a shock to everyone- not least himself.

That’s the first line of the book and it sort of has it all, a little wit and a little morbid.

Gordon Edgley was a writer. He was a strange and a wealthy man. At the reading of the will he unexpectedly leaves his fortune and mansion to his 12 year-old niece Stephanie.

Due to a washout in the road Stephanie winds up spending the first night in her new mansion all alone. When the phone rings she answers it, it’s her phone now after all, but she reveals herself to be there alone and a man breaks in.

That’s when Skuldruggery Pleasant shows up. He uses magic to fight the man off, and during the fight his hat slips off revealing that he’s actually a skeleton. He’s a detective who was friends with her late uncle and he plans to investigate why the man broke in. Stephanie convinces him to bring her along. (After she wakes up of course, she sort of passed out after seeing a walking skeleton.)

This is a self contained book there is no to be continued and though it is a series there isn’t really an ongoing storyline either.

The world building is simple, but well done, as is the magic. Skuldruggery has enough back story to explain his actions, while remaining enough of a mystery. I liked both Stephanie and Skuldruggery. They had a good relationship and I liked the joking back and forth between them. Even the minor characters were well fleshed out and likeable. (Trying not to make a skeleton pun here.) The main bad guy was a bit over the top, but this is a book about a walking skeleton after all.

I’d recommend this book to kids 10 plus and adults with a good sense of humor. (Or maybe it should be humour since this book takes place in Ireland.)

7 Stars


The sequel isn’t as good as the original, sigh. Not as funny and Valkyrie is too much of a damsel in distress towards the beginning. The fighting got kind of boring after a while. For people with magic they sure do wind up punching each other a lot.

I have a feeling that someone told Landy that he should mention them buckling their seatbelts, (so he decided to be annoying about it) because every time they enter the car Valkyrie is reminded to put on her seatbelt.

No new world building, but the magic was expanded nicely. I especially liked China Sorrows’ symbols. There were a few new characters. I particularly liked the professor, Kenspeckle Grouse.

An ongoing storyline started in this book, but book still had an ending and things were wrapped up.

Playing with Fire wasn’t all bad, there are some cute parts and some chuckles. It’s worth reading if you’re in the mood for something light.

6 Stars


The third book is as good as the first, not as witty, not as funny, but it doesn’t have the forced bad humor of the second either. The plot, the pacing and the mystery were all much better. I guessed the mystery before it was revealed, but not until the end of the book.

No world building or magic expansion, but there were a few new characters, along with growth for the old ones. Skulduggery’s origins were hinted at, making me really want a prequel of the great war when he was alive!

Unfortunately The Faceless Ones ended to be continued, so now I’m going to have to read the fourth book. I wasn’t planning to, but the hint of what was to come looked too good.

7 Stars


Tomorrow I’m going on vacation! I’m going to South Carolina to visit my sister!

I’m borrowing my mom’s Ipad so I’ll still be able to go online. (As long as I don’t muck it up. Electronics don’t like me. )

Since I have a Kindle now I’m trying not to pack my luggage full of books. (Wish me luck!) I still have to take a couple paperbacks though, just in case. 😉

How is your summer going? Go anywhere nice?