The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co. Series #1)

The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co. Series #1)

by Jonathan Stroud

Hardcover(Large Print)

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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!"
-Rick Riordan

"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)."
- Publishers Weekly

"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."
- Kirkus Reviews

"...Stroud writes for a younger audience in book one of the Lockwood & Co. series and delivers some chilling scenes along the way."
- Booklist

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781410464255
Publisher: Gale Group
Publication date: 11/07/2013
Series: Lockwood and Co. Series , #1
Edition description: Large Print
Pages: 482
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Jonathan Stroud ( is the author of the New York Times best-selling Bartimaeus Trilogy, as well as Heroes of the Valley, The Leap, The Last Siege, and Buried Fire. He lives in England with his family.

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The Screaming Staircase 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 39 reviews.
ShannonODonnell More than 1 year ago
Wow. This book is perfectly written and delivered for its target audience. It is easily readable, yet spine-chillingly spooky. It has just the right amount of comic relief at just the right times, and the characters are wonderfully developed. I appreciated the world building, the intricacies of the relationships between our three heroes, and the appeal this story will have to both boy and girl readers. I will most definitely be recommending this one to all of my students.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Little scary but good book like how the arthur is descriptive recomended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The world that we know and are familiar with no longer exists. The street lights come on well before night fall and continue shining until the day breaks again. Adults stay afraid and the children of the world become the only hope for survival. You see, something has happened in the world, and the dead don't stay dead for long, at least the bodies stay dead. The spirits, however, can't seem to stay away.  The Problem began and now children everywhere are the front line, the ones fighting ghosts, specters, and scary things in general. Even though the kids are doing all the intensive, frightening, labor intensive type things that involve the dispelling of the more sinister apparitions, the adults still try to control them. That's where Lockwood and Co comes in, the only adult free psychic investigations unit in London.  Lucy Carlyle shows up on the Lockwood and Co. doorstep for her seventh interview in seven days. Her last job, thanks to the adult who chose not to listen and to Lucy's own mistake of not listening to her own instincts, did not end well, so she's in London trying to start fresh. Anthony Lockwood, young and determined to prove himself in this adult driven worlds, hires Lucy on the spot because of her special talents.  Lucy, who can truly hear, Lockwood, who can truly see, and George, a disgusting slob with the inclinations of a scientist, are the three individuals who might just be able to make a name for themselves. Through a series of mis-adventures, Lockwood, George, and Lucy end up on a daring mission in one of the most severely haunted homes in all of England.  Where others have failed, how will three kids be successful against such foes?  This book was a bit of a slow starter for me, mainly because of a few time jumps that I wasn't quite ready for. In the end, I'm glad I stuck it out. George was smart and sloppy, Lucy clever, and Lockwood was a character, let's just leave it at that. The story was so original that I loved the storyline almost as much as I loved the characters. There was a lot of time spent on background knowledge, which worked out nicely because there will definitely be a sequel. Too many loose ends were left and I have a feeling that Lucy has a few talents up her sleeve that even she doesn't understand.  So, go check this book out. I loved it! 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bought it in my school book fair, and saw it on a school book commercial. I just finished reading it, and it was awesome! I could tell you now that if it were a movie, I would pee my pants. The book was so adventurous, clean, and funny! Loved it.
eternalised More than 1 year ago
What else can be said about The Screaming Staircase besides that it’s one of the most impressive books I’ve read in my entire life? Jonathan Stroud gives us originality – a fresh concept, a dystopian world haunted by spirits, which can be best seen by children, and which are deadly when they touch you. With ghosts out in the open, Londoners stay inside their homes as soon as night falls, trying to escape the specters lurking down the streets. But even their homes often get plagued by ghosts. Murder victims stay behind to haunt the living. Suicides keep on committing the same act night after night. Lucy Carlyle is a talented young agent who arrives in London hoping for a good career. But instead, she joins the smallest agency in the city, where there are no adults to supervise, and the charismatic Anthony Lockwood, owner of the agency, tends to do things his way. This could go great, or horribly wrong. And like you guessed, it goes horribly wrong. After setting a house on fire during a job that should’ve been relatively easy, Lockwood & Co. is on the verge of bankruptcy. But when a wealthy man shows up on their door with a proposition, they can’t say no, even if that proposition sounds a little crazy. I’ve seen this book qualified as middle grade; in my opinion, it’s definitely NOT middle grade. It’s suitable for a young adult audience and older. As an adult, I loved it, because it’s brilliant. It’s original, refreshing, the concept is great, the plot is surprising. A young adult would love it – and the main characters are young adults as well. But for middle graders? First of all, it’s a wopping 404 pages. Secondly, the subject matter is scary, complicated, and not at all suited for middle graders. Even the writing doesn’t find that target age group. So I’d firmly recommend this one to young adults and older audiences, but not to middle graders. You know by now that I have trouble reviewing books I loved, and I absolutely loved The Screaming Staircase. I can’t stress that enough. Everything about this book was brilliant, from the writing which jumped from fun, light humor to dark, gritty atmospheric the next, to the characters, to the amazing plot. If you buy one, and only one book, this year – then buy The Screaming Staircase.
LukeCpthree More than 1 year ago
Lockwood and Co. The Screaming Staircase. What all starts off in the realm of horror fantasy as cliche and chimerical, lacking professionality and realism, all changes in this novel The Screaming Staircase. This is, perhaps, one of the most enjoyable and enticing books I have ever read. All the things are in it. The tad of thriller, language, suspense, and drama all make the cut. This is one of the most unprecedented and mellifluously well-sequenced books I have ever had the pleasure of reading. The profound ecstasy It brought me to pick it up in the evening was something I rarely feel. As to the Subject-matter of the book itself, I can not exult it more. After an uncanny and inexorable epidemic of paranormal activity has broken loose in London, bringing forth some of the most interesting yet fatal apparations, many agencies spring up in search of a gold strike to solve the problem once and for all. One such agency was Lockwood and co, its head being Anthony Lockwood himself. He adds a lot to the book being the charming, witty, and nonchalant go-getter. I loved reading with him in the book because he added a lot of depth with his backstory and especially, of which I can not say, the ending. George Cubbins, another misfit, adds that quirky set apart but playful ordeal to the trio. Despite the drama, he completes the pack with his baking and his ambitious and slightly odd style. One thing I love about the agency is that it stands up for the underdog as they proceed to challenge all in there way and still make it out without a regret. What is truly wonderful about character development is that it is very climactic but it takes a while to reach the apogee. In this way, the book allows the reader to successfully read all five books will still keeping in touch. Lucy Carlyle, an incoming agent with extraordinary abilities involving the capturing of the fallen souls, has a lot of suspense circled around her. She can almost connect with the spirits and can, in a way, discover their intentions. The relationship between Anthony and Lucy begins to build very quickly, even with so much at stake. Throughout the book, their lives are in jeopardy as the compete to exceed the leading company with a mysterious founder Marissa Fits. Even with all of their technology at Fittes agency, something suspicious engulfs the whole matter. The three live inside Anthony Lockwood's abode. The home is a fortified ghost repellent, covered in charms and conjurings of sorts. The home, adorned with mysterious artifacts from the past, is a story within itself. Speaking of the place, the area they live near, including Trafalgar square, creates the perfect atmosphere for the action and whatever just might be around the corner. The book really gives you a scare and is not too cheesy or dramatic. As they embark on there truly tedious journey to solve the mystery of the stairs that scream, what they will find includes a heartwrenching box of twists, turns, and spiral staircases. Although, in some books, the plot consists of subdivided stories and confusion, this book focuses on one main subject while still managing to throw in the drama between the three, the two agencies, and the many different types of ghosts ranging from the deadly type threes to the poltergeists and specters. I profusely recommend this novel because of its remarkable recreation of the story that so many have tried, but in an immaculate way through the infamous Screaming Staircase.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is one of the best books i have ever read!!!!!!!Ihave the book and it is scary! Stroud makes his books so realistic and it is like iam there wtching Lucy, Lockwood, and George battling visitors. It is not your average scared to go to sleep story, but seems more like reality in a dreem like way. It is also sort of a mystery of murder and you will be surprised at the ending.At our school we have a reding level process and this is about a sixth grade reading level. I am in fifth grade and i am on a eighth grade reading level. I enjoyed this book very much end found it somewhat funny.Recomended for people who like mystery books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was absorbed in the story from the start. It put the reader right in the action with the crew at Lockwood & Co. The attention to details of places and situations made it come alive with supernatural suspense. It had me jumpy just reading it played out and not knowing what sinister ghost was waiting for them around the corner. I will definitely be buying the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this in three days and I'm 11 . I think this was one of the best books I ever read. I loved the sequel as well. I highly disagree with your opinion on the age that this is appropiate for.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am only on like the 3rd chapter right now but it has really been a page turner! I love it you will too!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was way better than the bartimaeus books. I wish I could be in this world(but I say that to all the books I read). Stroud is a realy good author and I can't wait til the next book comes out.
CherylM-M More than 1 year ago
You know they say that most real bookworms start reading at a young age and they tend to end up devouring books. (My bad, that description fits me perfectly) They also tend to remember certain books that started their path into specific genres or remain vivid in their memories for decades. I think this might be one of those books that imprints a taste for a certain type of genre  on young readers. It is witty, slightly dark and doesn't patronize the younger readers intellect or understanding. Stroud has fun with the characters and still manages to keep them at a level that the reader can relate to. It is my first Stroud, but it certainly won't be my last.  The book is well-written with flamboyant characters and Stroud sets the mood for a suspenseful read.  It is an interesting mixture of horror, fantasy, mystery with wisps of paranormal. The characters are funny without being ridiculous and smart without sounding overbearing, which is of the utmost importance in a book aimed at 11+ readers. After reading this I bought the Audiobook because I wanted to know how the story would sound as a narrated story. Definitely worth adding to the collection I share with my children. I received a copy of this book via Netgalley.
druidgirl More than 1 year ago
This was a story set in England but not the England we know. It was a country that was filled with ghosts, changers and all things paranormal when the sun sets. There were groups of companies that were hired to rid the hauntings. One particular company was Lockwood & Company consisting of Anthony Lockwood the owner,George Cubbins and Lucy Carlyl both assistants to Anthony. they were all children. They manage to screw up some jobs, such as, they burned down a clients house, They then preceded to try to solve a mystery about someone who had died in the house, but because of the fire could not get any decent jobs. Finally a Mr, Fairfax hired them to go to his mansion to find what was causing the hauntings. If you want to find out what happens you must read this book. Great storyline and well thought out characters. Thanks to Net Galley and Disney Hyperion.
4MartyAnne More than 1 year ago
TITLE: The Screaming Staircase SERIES: Lockwood & Co. #1 AUTHOR: Jonathan Stroud GENRE/AUDIENCE: YA PARANORMAL REVIEW: Great Fun to Read! In this book's alternative universe, "The Problem" is the hauntings of the ghosts or 'Visitors' that have become a pandemic of sorts. Complicating the issue is that mostly only the very young possess gifts to see, hear, or otherwise detect these Visitors. Visitors/Ghosts are tied to this world through some "Source," which may be their physical remains, or an object or a place tied to their death. Investigators battle the ghosts until the Source can be neutralized and the ghost is no longer tied to this world. Our heroine, Lucy, finds herself applying to Lockwood & Co., which turns out to be Anthony Lockwood, who can see ghosts and also death-spots, and his other investigator, George, who is talented with background research as well as being a licensed investigator who can see Visitors. Lucy herself can see and also hear the dead speak, a rare and valuable talent. This agency has no adult overseers, because, truthfully, overseers are often useless dead weight once they can no longer see ghosts, a problem that increases with age. END: Promises more adventures to come! Lucy may have more talent yet... TAGS: Young Adult, Paranormal, Ghosts, Visitors, "the Problem" Parallel universe London.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the first book of my favorite series. This book is scary, but has some humor to lighten even the scariest scenes. There's a mystery too. This book is well written, and I find sad that more people have not read the series.
Jolie More than 1 year ago
The Screaming Staircase starts off with Anthony and Lucy on a job. During this job, several things happen. Lucy almost couldn’t hold the ghost back with her rapier. Anthony finds a skeleton in the wall of the house and the house catches on fire. After a harrowing jump, the agents land in s shrub and were saved. After that incident, there was no business. That was when a wealthy patron asks them to spend the night of one of the most haunted houses in England. They need to not only survive the night but find the Source of the haunting. Something no one has been able to do. The second major storyline has to do with the skeleton in the wall. Known as Annabel Ward, the ghost is attached to a necklace that Lucy took from the skeleton that was in the house. Lucy had gotten enough information from the ghost to figure out that she was murdered. But there is so much more to the story than what anyone knows. I don’t know if I liked Lucy. Her character rubbed me the wrong way. I did feel bad for her at how her life started and what drove her to London. There was something about her that poked at me. Eh, I don’t know. She was a very talented Listener and she has other talents. Talents that only hinted at in the book. I thought Anthony was too much of a risk taker and oh boy was he a smooth talker. He was a risk taker and he didn’t talk plans through with his team. He also failed to support his team on a few occasions. I wouldn’t go as far as to say I didn’t like him but he annoyed me as much as Lucy did. I do have a few complaints about The Screaming Staircase. I felt that the beginning of the book was very jumpy. It went from present day back to Lucy’s past and then jumped to the present again. I also wish that The Problem was explained sooner in the book. I felt that having the explanation after Lucy and Anthony had already gone on the mission didn’t work. It was like closing the barn door after the cows got out. The end of the book was very good. All the plotlines were wrapped up in ways that made me happy as a reader. I was surprised at who Annie’s killer was and the real motives for the agency being at the manor. I can’t wait to read book 2. What I also liked was the glossary at the end of the book. I gave The Screaming Staircase a 3 rating for several reasons. While I liked the book, I felt that the dry British humor and terminology would be lost on tweens/young teens. Also, being a middle-grade book, I felt that the suicide references were a bit much. As was the description of some of the murder scenes. As an adult, I love reading these in books. But as a mother of a child in the age range that the book is marketed too, not so much. I did find The Screaming Staircase very well written with an engaging plot and characters that were fleshed out. Just what I stated above made me give the book the rating I did. **I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**
Yzabel More than 1 year ago
[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.] An entertaining book, even though it didn’t blow my mind as I would’ve expected from the author of the “Bartimaeus” series. In a United Kingdom where the dead tend to come back fairly often as ghosts—whose touch is lethal to the living—agencies have sprung up. Gathering all kinds of young people with the ability to see or hear spectres, under the supervision of adults, these groups patrol cities at nights and investigate various hauntings, in order to send ghosts back to the grave. Lockwood & Co. is one of such agencies. And so, when young agent Lucy Carlyle finds herself looking for employment in London, she applies for a job there… an unusual one even for her line of work, since Lockwood’s doesn’t have any supervisor, and his two other youth are a little on the reckless side. Well, especially Lockwood himself. This trio of characters follows a typical dynamic (2 boys, 1 girl), with banter and sometimes tense relationships. Lockwood tends to act before thinking, and appears as too easy-go-lucky at times; George is the librarian, the one who remembers they should do their research before investigating; and Lucy, the only one of the three with the ability to hear ghosts and potentially communicate with them, is somewhere in between: more thoughtful at first, yet possessed with instincts that sometimes cause her to make strange decisions. All in all, this dynamic highlighted potential flaws in the team (Lucy didn’t tell them immediately why she went to London, Lockwood doesn’t talk of his family or why there are no adults supervising his agency…) as well as room for growth (learning to trust each other, among other things). The descriptions of ghosts, places and hauntings are vivid enough, and it’s very easy to picture every happening. They convey an idea of a darker London, whose mists may not only be mere pollution or weather-related, but also announce the coming of ghosts. The story as a whole, a bit like in the Bartimaeus series, has a semi-Victorian feeling: the time is now, yet readers may find themselves forgetting this since the era itself isn’t so important (and the use of rapiers and iron filings could go well in a historical setting). This may or may not be a problem; personally, I quite liked it. The atmosphere throughout the novel, though, wasn’t exactly horrific for me; I’m not sure if I could consider it the right amount of “scary” for a ghost story presented as such. On the downside: - The plot felt too disjointed when it came to its two main parts. I’m not sure why exactly, nor what could have made it better, but I got this feeling that the cause-and-effect relationships were forced together, instead of one appearing as logically following the other. - I could have done without the fat-shaming (towards George). I don’t know if this was supposed to make Lockwood (tall and thin) look better, or Lucy appear superior, but it achieved neither. I really don’t see any point to that. - I mentioned the characters’ dynamics and room for growth, however by the end of the book I thought this was lacking a bit, and the team didn’t feel like a team as much as I had expected after all the “surviving together” (the fire, the burglary, the Red Room…). The relationship between Lucy, George and Lockwood remained a wee bit… flat? Conclusion: 2.5 stars.I enjoyed it on the surface, as light reading,but I’m not particularly eager to pick up the 2nd one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jonsthan stroud did a good job if describing the supernatural in this novel. I could really picture the ectoplasm swirling around the ghosts as the brave Lockwood and Co. memebers do their best to fight them off. Lucy is a great female protaginist, and I think a lot of girls could learn from her bravery. Lockwood is charming and cunning, and I think everyone can agree that he and Lucy are perfect for each other. George is sarcastic and has a good sense of humor and will make you laugh out loud. All together, this group makes an unbeatable team, and any Visitor won't stand a chance. This book was the best ghost book I've ever read, and I've read a lot of ghost books(including Deep Dark and Dangerous)!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this as an adult reader and would feel comfortable recommending it to my students.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hello Hello Hello
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Present day England is haunted by ghosts that threaten the population every night and can only be seen by kids. Teenaged Anthony Lockwood starts a Psychic Detection Agency and hires Lucy and George to help him take on cases to rid clients of the spirits haunting them. But while other agencies are run by adults, Lockwood & Co decides to face the ghosts on their own, and their methods are sometimes not the most conventional. Will their psychic senses and rapiers save them from being frozen by the ghost-touch? Lockwood & Co has great world-building, humor and is down-right creepy.
StarryGh More than 1 year ago
5/5 This book was incredibly imaginable and never ceased to amaze me. No matter what I was always trying to solve the mysteries or what exactly was behind that door. All in all I'm very excited for the 3rd one to come out in September (15)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book a while back but have never bothered to right a review. Well here it is. I loved this book. This was one of my favorite books of all time. I HIGHLY recommend this book to you. You shoud read this book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!