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Skulduggery Pleasant (Skulduggery Pleasant - book 1) Hardcover – 2 Apr 2007

310 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks; First British Edition edition (2 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007241615
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007241613
  • Product Dimensions: 15.8 x 3.5 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (310 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 383,338 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Derek Landy lives near Dublin. Before writing his children's story about a sharply-dressed skeleton detective, he wrote the screenplays for a zombie movie and a murderous horror film. "I think my career-guidance teacher is spinning in her grave," he says, "or she would be if she were dead."

Product Description


"It has an amazing plot and well-drawn characters. It's a fun, fast fantasy that is hard to put down." Families magazines

'Hugely enjoyable – a thrill-a-minute adventure.' Jonathan Stroud

'It's exciting, pacy, nicely handled and fun. I sincerely hope Landy revisits these characters.'
Philip Ardagh, Guardian

'A gripping debut.'
Phil Hogan, Observer

'Skulduggery Pleasant serves up a thoroughly satisfying blend of humour, magic and adventure. Once you've met Stephanie and Skullduggery, you'll be clamouring for a sequel.' Rick Riordan

"A remarkably accomplished debut with wonderful dialogue."
Robert Dunbar, Irish Times

"[Landy's] fight scenes are perfectly pitched. His characters are exceptionally well drawn and delightfully colourful… Reading [this book] is like riding a rollercoaster.” Irish Independent

"Landy's witty style will win him fans of all ages… With writing of this standard, a rattling plot and definite potential for cross-over appeal, it's a good job Harry's [Potter] resigning before he's forcibly retired." Irish Mail on Sunday

"Humour and magic combine in this thrilling adventure."
Waterstone's Books Quarterly

"…people in the book world are raving about this book."
Glasgow Herald

"It's pacy, it's funny, it's irreverent. The relationship between Skulduggery and Stephanie is tremendously strong. Stephanie is a splendid character – blunt, logical and outspoken… We enjoyed Skkulduggery Pleasant. Muchly. Roll on volume two!" The Book Bag

"A rip-roaring adventure." Irish Sunday Independent

"Full of black humour, super powers, mysteries, murder and mayhem." Carousel

Book Description

And he’s the good guy

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. K. A. Wheatley TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 24 April 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My eight year old daughter chose this as the book she wanted to take on holiday with us for bed time reading. Her teacher is reading it to her class at school and she wanted to know what happened while she was away. I have to say I was dubious to start with, but was as hooked as she was after a couple of chapters.

It's a very well written, incredibly fast paced roller coaster of a book with action on almost every page. You really want to get through it as fast as possible because you just have to know what happens next.

It concerns a twelve year old girl, Stephanie Edgely, who is left a fortune by her crime writing uncle in his will. At the will reading she meets Skulduggery Pleasant, who turns out to be a detective who is also a skeleton with supernatural powers. Stephanie is drawn inexorably into Skulduggery's dangerous world and comes face to face with a truly evil villain, Nefarious Serpine, whose mission is of course to end the world as we know it. Skulduggery and Stephanie team up to try and stop him.

Despite the focus being on action the plot is tight and the characters are well drawn. It clearly isn't just a gratuitious slug fest, and there are some highly comical moments amongst what are some very dark moments.

I would say that I think this may be slightly too dark for the average eight year old, and I'm glad I read it with my daughter. I'd be happier recommending it to tens and ups. Having said that she can't wait to read the sequel, and it's almost a dead cert she'll get it for her upcoming birthday, because neither can I!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Laura on 20 Nov. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was recommended this book my a friend of mine and she lent it to me to read, two days later I returned it too her and begged for the second in the series! When it's not action packed it's witty and genius, hard to put down and a real page turner. So now I find myself buying all the books for my own collection, I love them so much.

This may be for teenagers aged 11-15 but I stared reading the series at aged 17 and still found them brilliant and now at 20 I still have to have the newest book on preorder and read it in under a week. Derek Landy sure knows how to write well.

This book is perfect for boys, girls, of many ages, all that is needed is a love of adventure, mystery, and magic!

This comes well recommended from me and my friends!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stacie @ Beautiful Bookish Butterflies on 13 Nov. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The first time I came across Skulduggery Pleasant I was pregnant and at a friends house searching for something to do while my other half and said friend watched football. I hadn't brought a book and the only one around that interested me had a picture of a skeleton on the front, naturally I was intrigued. However it wasn't until this year that I came across it again, in the form of Amanda raving about it. I decided to give it a go because of just how much she loved it, but at the same time I was a little put of because I was scared I wouldn't like the series that was so loved by one of my favourite bloggers. I am excited to say that though I may not have liked the first book as much as Amanda, I found myself hooked very early on.

This book is so wonderfully unique and is packed full of adventure, but for me the biggest focal point was the blossoming friendship between Skulduggery and Stephanie . The first time they meet is at the will reading of Stephanie's uncle Gordon. Skulduggery was a friend of uncle Gordon for a long time, helping him do research for some of his best selling fantasy books, and after meeting his niece he seems to connect instantly with her and even goes on to save her life. After an attack at her uncles house, Stephanie finds out that not only is everything her uncle wrote about based on something real, but her new found friend is a skeleton held together by magic. However before she can get used to everything, Skully heads out on a new adventure and case, one that like it or lump it he's got a new sidekick for.

As far as the characters go we have the very wity and smart Skulduggery. Through out the book he makes no secret that he's unhappy at first to have a apprentice. But he's fiercely loyal and protects the people close to him to no ends.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By littlepinkstars44 on 6 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback
This is another book series that I had bought the first book and had it sitting on my shelf for a while.
I wasn't entirely too sure what to expect from this book as I know it is aimed at a younger audience but I had heard only good things about it.

When I found out that Derek Landy was doing a book signing for the newest (6th) book in this series I decided I wanted to go, that meant reading at least one book from the Skulduggery series before it!

Skulduggery Pleasant follows twelve year old Stephanie, her uncle has just passed away and he has left her his house in his will!
After a few mishaps, some heavy rain and her mother's car breaking down later Stephanie ends up spending the night alone at what used to be her uncle's house.
During the night, someone breaks in and tries to kill her! Then her uncle's strange friend Skulduggery Pleasant comes barging in to save her from the attacker.

It turns out Skulduggery is a skeleton detective and Stephanie's uncle may have been murdered for a magical sceptre he was hiding.

I did really enjoy this book, it was a nice taster into Stephanie and Skulduggery's world.
I did think that Stephanie seems to be a lot older that twelve however, maybe she is just smart and witty for her age though, but it did have to keep reminding myself this girl was only twelve!

I really loved the fact that this was a UK based book.
I do have trouble sometimes with US authors when they are describing places or talking about high school. I'll admit, I don't understand how the American school system works at all. How can you only have 3 years of high school when we have 6??
Anyway, I felt relieved in a way to hear Stephanie talking about secondary school, and see the characters visiting Dublin.
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