Media Type: Ebook (ARC)
Title: The Whispering Skull
*Series: Lockwood & Co. #2
Author: Jonathan Stroud
Pages: Hardcover; 448
Release Date: September 16, 2014
Source: NetGalley / Publisher
Content Screening: Mild Violence
HDB Rating: 5 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Everyone! Especially those who loved the first book in this series. Can you believe it? It gets better!
In the six months since Anthony, Lucy, and George survived a night in the most haunted house in England, Lockwood & Co. hasn't made much progress. Quill Kipps and his team of Fittes agents keep swooping in on Lockwood's investigations. Finally, in a fit of anger, Anthony challenges his rival to a contest: the next time the two agencies compete on a job, the losing side will have to admit defeat in theTimes newspaper.If you haven't yet read my gushing review of the first book in this series, let me sum up my feelings for you. Lockwood & Co. is brilliantly written fiction, with witty banter and a rich atmospheric setting. Is it any wonder that I was thrilled to be offered the second book in this series for review? I couldn't wait to join up once again with Lockwood, Lucy and George. To ramble about the ghost filled England they reside in, and solve dangerous mysteries with them. I adore these characters, and Jonathan Stroud for writing them.
Things look up when a new client, Mr. Saunders, hires Lockwood & Co. to be present at the excavation of Edmund Bickerstaff, a Victorian doctor who reportedly tried to communicate with the dead. Saunders needs the coffin sealed with silver to prevent any supernatural trouble. All goes well-until George's curiosity attracts a horrible phantom.
Back home at Portland Row, Lockwood accuses George of making too many careless mistakes. Lucy is distracted by urgent whispers coming from the skull in the ghost jar. Then the team is summoned to DEPRAC headquarters. Kipps is there too, much to Lockwood's annoyance. Bickerstaff's coffin was raided and a strange glass object buried with the corpse has vanished. Inspector Barnes believes the relic to be highly dangerous, and he wants it found.
After their last case was solved successfully, things have definitely improved for Lockwood & Co. They may not be the highest paid agents, or the most well-dressed, but they more than make up for that with their ability to solve the toughest cases. I smiled at the fact that nothing had changed about about these three. Lockwood was still as debonair as ever, George just as lovably gruff, and Lucy maintained her ability to outwit any person who dared cross her. I loved the fact that these three characters were like a little family. Three pieces of a puzzle that fit together perfectly. Their lightning quick banter, their little scuffles, all of it just made them that more lovable. I couldn't wait to see what spectral enemy they took on this time.
I wasn't disappointed! I learned in the first book that Stroud is not afraid of sharing shiver-inducing details. He writes in a way that wraps the reader up in a web of words. You'll be following the case right along with the characters, and suddenly realize that your nose has gotten quite close to the page as you devour the words leading up to the climax. Everything about this case was deliciously eerie. Rotting skeletons, a mysterious mirror, gruesome deaths, it all added up to an amazing story that was impossible to put down. Once you added in the fact that our fearless characters find themselves in very real danger, more than once? Well, you can see why I finished this so quickly.
This series is spectacular so far! I gave the first book five stars, and I have absolutely no problem with giving this one the same stellar rating. There is nothing I don't love about these books. Much love to Jonathan Stroud. You've taken your rightful place on my shelf of favorite authors.
Other books in this series:
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.