The Screaming Staircase

Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2013, 8:34 am

Reserve now!

The Screaming Staircase

Jonathan Stroud


reserve now!

In brief


Chomping at the bit for the new season of "Sherlock" to start? Try this for a fix.

Listen, I am not a horror girl. I'm just not. I read a horror book every once in a while just to make sure it's still true. And every time, oh, yup, I'm still so creeped out I have to stick the book in the freezer. But thrillers? Thrillers I love. Thrillers I can't stop reading. And The Screaming Staircase is the best kind of thriller: good characters, sharp dialogue and a mystery you're dying to unravel. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

London now has a capital p Problem on its hands: ghosts of all shapes and sizes (not including spectres, haunts and the like) are showing up all over the city and they are unhappy. They are making some big-time noise. Kids and teens have the easiest time seeing and containing these predators. As people get older, their senses just aren't as, er, sensitive. This leads to London's detection agencies picking up teens to do the dirty work. And sometimes, teens even heading up their own organizations.

Enter Anthony Lockwood. Along with George Cubbins, a researcher extraordinaire, and Lucy Carlyle, a plucky girl with experience and rare sensitivity to ghosts, the three make up the slightly-in-shambles, recently-strapped-for-cash agency of Lockwood and Company. Due to the strapped-for-cash aspect of their current situation, the agency takes on Combe Carey Hall, one of the most haunted houses in London. Can this teen team get to the bottom of the haunting and also hang onto their lives?

This novel is fun, funny, engaging and always entertaining. As if that weren't enough, the film rights have already been bought by Universal Pictures (heard of them?) and Illumination Entertainment. Go ahead and be the hipster who tells everyone you read the book right when it came out (along with "the book is way better, guys" when the movie inevitably hits). Trust your pal Christiana, you won’t be sorry!