Irish author Derek Landy gives young readers a rollicking adventure full of fights with fist and feet, swords, scythes, scepters, and magic. Lots of magic.
At the reading of Gordon's will, Stephanie Edgley is surprised to learn that her uncle has left her his mansion, fortune, and royalty to all the horror books he has written. A stranger she had noticed at the funeral, called Skulduggery Pleasant, is given a mysterious message. Her jealous aunt and uncle get a brooch and her parents a villa in southern France.
She and her mother visit the house one day and due to circumstances, she ends up spending the night alone in the house. Nothing strange there! What is unexpected is a call to her dead uncle's phone, followed by someone banging on the door demanding entrance. He eventually breaks in and demands a key from Stephanie. Luckily Skulduggery is there to save the day and start her on an amazing adventure.
Hard to see in the picture of the cover is a line at the bottom reading "AND HE'S THE GOOD GUY. Skulduggery is the character on the cover, a dapperly dressed skeleton with a fist full of fire. I have had this book on my shelf for three years and I can't for the life of me remember buying it. I'm sure I didn't realize it was written for middle school aged children and up. But I did have fun after slogging through the first part of the book full of character introductions. Once the reader has met everyone, it's a non-stop roller coaster ride.
I would recommend this for seventh grade readers and older.