Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Skulduggery Pleasant (Skulduggery Pleasant, #1)” as Want to Read:
Skulduggery Pleasant (Skulduggery Pleasant, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Skulduggery Pleasant (Skulduggery Pleasant #1)

4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  27,075 ratings  ·  2,251 reviews
Meet Skulduggery Pleasant

Ace Detective
Snappy Dresser
Razor–tongued Wit
Crackerjack Sorcerer
Walking, Talking,
Fire-throwing Skeleton

—as well as ally, protector, and mentor of Stephanie Edgley, a very unusual and darkly talented twelve-year-old.

These two alone must defeat an all-consuming ancient evil.

The end of the world?

Over his dead body.
Hardcover, 392 pages
Published April 3rd 2007 by HarperCollins (first published January 1st 2007)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Skulduggery Pleasant, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Mozamil Ashraf Slow down, Edacheeky!

Let me get my pad and a pen.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
"So you won't keep anything from me again?"
He put his hand to his chest. "Cross my heart and hope to die."
"Okay then. Though you don't actually have a heart," she said.
"I know."
"And technically, you've already died."
"I know that too."
"Just so we're clear."

When Stephanie Edgley’s Uncle Gordon – a writer of horror novels – passes away, she meets his one-time friend Skulduggery Pleasant…who just happens to be a skeleton wizard-detective, that believes he is invincible and has the world’s bigg
I loved discovering this book; I thought it had a very fun mixture of magic, action, creepiness, and humor--plus, I really love the title character :-)
Feb 28, 2015 Helen rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Helen by: A good friend that I will always thank

“Doors are for people with no imagination.”

I will always remember when I first read this. It was back in 2009. I was over at a friend's house when her older sister, Emma, recommended it to me. "I just know you'll love it," she told me when she handed her copy over.

You have to understand that, at this point, I wasn't a big reader. Yeah I didn't mind reading, but I also didn't love it. I didn't sit down for hours on end with a book in my hand. I didn't value the power of words as much as I do no
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
I have had the print book on my bookshelf for years, but I decided to try the audiobook from my library as this looked like it would be fun to listen to. Turns out I was right. This was a lot of fun. The narrator was great. He had a delicious Irish accent, although he modified it to suit other characters. I liked his sort of flat tone he used for Skulduggery, making him sound kind of ironic and mysterious, like there was a lot going on under the surface.

At first, it's a bit odd. There's some wei
“Doors are for people with no imagination.”

Initial Final Page Thoughts.
When I grow up I want to be Stephanie Edgley.

High Points.
Skulduggery Pleasant. Stephanie. Banter, so much banter. Dublin. Witty prose. Canary Cars. Supporting characters. Cloak and daggers shizz. Willpower. Magic. Raising Cain. The Girl from Ipanema. A fantastic start to a promising series.

Low Points.
As much as I love Skulduggery and Stephanie, I would have liked there to have been more time spent with the other character
Skulduggery Pleasant is Derek Landy's first book for children, and the second is already in the can, which is a Very Good Thing. His characters are broadly drawn, meaty, yet precise - like Chinese calligraphy done with a big fat brush dripping with ink. The dialogue is snappy, with some fun deconstructionist bits; and the plot is just twisty enough: not even the very close listener Mr. Four could find any holes.

But the real revelation here is Skulduggery Pleasant himself, a several-hundred-year-
Mike (the Paladin)
Interesting odd little book, a dead wizard...sort of. Well, I mean he's a skeleton, and you know, no skin or organs...but he's not really dead. Sort of.

Is this a kids book? It did strike me as odd how the reaction to a walking, talking skeleton didn't freak Stephanie out more completely.

Not a bad book, help track down the Faceless ones...if you dare. hee hee hee ... (or is that bwa-ha-ha?)

Some have suggested that there are some similarities between the Faceless Ones and Lovecraft's Great Old One
Jul 17, 2014 Kaethe marked it as abandoned  ·  review of another edition
I wish I'd loved this because the name Skulduggery Pleasant is probably the best name ever.

Library copy
AnHeC the Paperback Obliterator
Word count: about 68 000
Rating: I’ll finish you like a cheesecake

For me it’s 3,5 * - keep in mind that it’s a positive rating. I liked that book. I really did.

The grand haze had been lifted! I come to tell you of a good book (no, don't shut your doors in my face, not that book, come on!). If you want a break from all the romance and drama (*I want to break feeeeeeeeeeee!*) of many today's books, you're in a right place! It's a pretty short book (well, as far as children's books are concern
Kelly H. (Maybedog)
One of the best children's urban fantasy books ever. The plot is interesting, the heroine strong and intelligent (and a girl!), and the book is genuinely funny. I listened to the audio version and the reader is exceptional. I laughed out loud many times and couldn't wait to listen to the next one.
[Note: from the charming Georgina's comments on this review, I've come to believe I am too far outside the age range. I still believe what I wrote, it's just that the concerns of my review are mostly irrelevent to the book's average reader. Cheers!]

Disappointing. The title/name and the cover illustration really appealed to me, but the book was generic and unbelievable from the start. I suppose some could be forgiven considering that the intended audience appears to be maybe 11 year olds (?), but
So deliciously entertaining!!! I really loved the whole experience of this book. The story is excellent, and the narrator is outstanding, bringing this to a solid five stars from me.

This is the story of twelve-year-old Stephanie, who inherits her beloved but somewhat mysterious author uncle's fortune and estate after his sudden death. The unusual stranger at the reading of the will catches her eye--his voice, his mannerisms, his name (who is named Skulduggery Pleasant, after all!?), all so stran
This was a perfect book for kids and not just. I loved every minute of it. Witty and hilarious and so much fun to read. There were more witty repartees in this book alone than in the sum total of my last 10 reads.

Rupert Degas did a wonderful job as a narrator. He managed to convey the author's sense of humour with great skill. Then this guy is not bored by the book he's narrating, he does wonders!
Auntie J
*** Review available by request for those on my Friend list ***
I loved this book! I found it listed on one of Goodreads' best audiobooks lists, and boy were they right. I'm sure I would have enjoyed the story in print as well. It's the kind of story I like, with a plucky but slightly snarky kid and a cool magical mystery. And Skulduggery just takes it over the top with his cool lines and risky moves. But listening to the book as read by the incredible Rupert Degas made it extraordinary. He made every character feel totally real. Skulduggery is cool, funny a ...more
Cait Grace
There is a lot of awesome in this book. Yes, yes there is. I'm pretty extra sure I'll be continuing with this series because: HUMOUR! FINALLY!! I don't know what it is, but most books don't get into the real dry sarcastic epic humour. And it's a shame because dry humour is. the. best. Skulduggery and Stephanie are the most epic banter pair of ever. I'm still giggling over Skulduggery's quips.

Like this:
Skulduggery: "Things are going to get a bit rougher from here on in, and I need someone to f
An Odd1
5* so I read more. "Skulduggery Pleasant" is a skeleton, magician, detective, and mentor to his just-murdered friend's heir, niece Stephanie Edgeley 12, "wise beyond your years" p318 on summer break, resident of small town Haggard, east coast Ireland. Author Derek Landry, karate black belt, teaches children self-defense "for his own munchkin army" (back fold blurb) so I'll back down on doubt when the girl runs, kicks, punches, and out-fights supernatural army led by wicked Adept Nefarian Serpine ...more
Jul 17, 2007 Kadrin rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everybody
This book is absolute fun from beginning to end. It has a sweepingly fast pace without feeling rushed, all kinds of epic drama without feeling melodramatic, horrific monsters (I'm thinking of one in particular, but it's a spoiler) without being too dark, and brilliant banter without not having brilliant banter. While a children's book, it can definitely be enjoyed by all ages. The strong female characters (both Stephanie and Tanith Low are my heroes), warnings against violence and revenge, and i ...more
Kimberley doruyter
she is irratating and he is weird.
i... am in love.
i know this is not written for people my age but i really enjoyed it.
i giggled and gasped well worth the read!

a re-read in august after a lot of dissapointing books it's good to go back to something you know you already love.
This should really fit into the three and a half stars category...

As far as children's books are concerned Skulduggery Pleasant is an interesting and different read. However as far as an older audience it lacked a little. Hopefully the few cracks I detected were mainly due to this being the opening story for the series.

There were sections where the writing was superb and brilliant. It was witty and it was fun. The opening sentence was particularly well structured and really drew me into the plot
colleen the contrarian  ± (... never stop fighting) ±
I will freely admit that a good part of the consideration of this 4-star rating is that I'm really enamored with the whole idea and premise of the thing - the animated skeleton, who's also a wizard, and a detective? It's like Harry Dresden and Bob all rolled into one snarky, crime-fighting, bad-guy-stopping-pacakge. So, if the execution faltered here and there - the idea is just too cool.

Another part of the 4-star rating is that I like the characters. I like Skulduggery and Stephanie, and I can
I really enjoyed this book. I wanted a genre change from the YA Vamps & Werewolves, so I went for a 9+ yr's funny skeleton detective book *laughing*...

Landy really nailed it from the start with his zappy writing style that draws you in. If you're ever going to judge a book by it's cover, then this is the one that lives up to the cover and then some. The skill of the writer to pull you into a story well told, seemingly without effort, is what makes for a good book. You don't get any pauses, o
Rachel Lightwood
Reading this book was kind of a dare. My friend (love you, Alisha!) and a guy at school struck a deal: they had to read each other’s favourite book. The guy told my friend to read Skulduggery Pleasant, as it was his favourite series. Not too enthused, because let’s face it, a skeleton detective that can use magic sounds lame and childish, she began it a little grudgingly. But she enjoyed it.

Surprised? I was too, so I decided that I had to give it a go. Boy was I shocked when I was unable to put
Stephanie's Uncle Gordon, an eccentric novelist, recently passed away, and at the reading of the will she discovers not only that she has inherited his house and all his wealth, but she also meets a strange character named Skulduggery Pleasant. When Stephanie is stranded by a flood in her uncle's house and is attacked, Skulduggery comes to the rescue. That's when Stephanie discovers that Skulduggery is actually a skeleton, who is also a detective trying to find out who murdered Gordon.
There is
Reads like a screen play - all action and dialogue with minimal description and setting. The prose is stilted, in some places, down right clumsy, as if Landy can never decide on tone or voice. There is no sense of time or place. The longer chapters tend to ramble from location to location, from scene to scene, so that when it ends, you've forgotten what happened at the beginning.

One of the things I hate most when reading is when a character spends a long time telling another character the histo
Reading Scepter of the Ancients by Derek Landy is an unusual experience! Quite unlike anything else I’ve read, although it reminded me of some of my favorite Middle Grade books, like A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle or Noah Barleywater Runs Away by John Boyne. The easiest way to describe this book would be to say that it’s a mix of Harry Potter and Indiana Jones, but I’m afraid it wouldn’t do the book justice because Scepter of the Ancients is so much more than just that! Highly amusing, r ...more
Kat  Hooper
Originally posted at FanLit:

Scepter of the Ancients is the first book in Derek Landy’s children’s series called SKULDUGGERY PLEASANT. The story follows 11 year old Stephanie Edgley who inherits her eccentric uncle’s property after he dies. Stephanie gets involved with some supernatural goings-on when a thief breaks into her new house (the one her uncle left her) and nearly kills her. To her rescue comes Skulduggery Pleasant — a man who used to be alive bu
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Is this becoming a movie? 749 788 1 hour, 6 min ago  
Skulduggery Pleasant: Skulduggery Pleasant Book 1 37 48 Mar 27, 2015 10:49PM  
Things Derek didnt tell us???? 2 30 Jan 22, 2015 08:45AM  
YA Book Club!: January BOTM 3: Skulduggery Pleasant 2 6 Dec 31, 2014 11:40AM  
Does anyone agree, Val is kind of horrible? 27 115 Dec 17, 2014 01:14AM  
  • Starcross (Larklight, #2)
  • Alex and the Ironic Gentleman (Alex and the Ironic Gentleman, #1)
  • Theodosia and the Staff of Osiris (Theodosia Throckmorton, #2)
  • Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians (Alcatraz, #1)
  • The True Meaning of Smekday
  • The New Policeman (New Policeman, #1)
  • The Arctic Incident: The Graphic Novel (Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novels, #2)
  • Lionboy (Lionboy Trilogy, #1)
  • The Empress's Tomb (Kiki Strike, #2)
  • Ghost Knight
  • Simon Bloom, The Gravity Keeper (Simon Bloom, #1)
  • The Call (The Magnificent 12, #1)
  • The Black Book of Secrets (Tales From The Sinister City, #1)
  • Escape Velocity (H.I.V.E., #3)
  • Alchemy and Meggy Swann
  • Dragon Games (The Books of Umber, #2)
  • The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co., #1)
  • The Search for WondLa (WondLa, #1)
Derek Landy is an Irish writer and screenwriter. In addition to the bestselling children's/YA series of Skulduggery Pleasant books, a supernatural mystery series starring Skulduggery Pleasant, a skeleton detective, and Valkyrie Cain, a young female magician, he has written two screenplays that have been made into films: the IFTA award winning "Dead Bodies" and the IFTA nominated "Boy Eats Girl". L ...more
More about Derek Landy...

Other Books in the Series

Skulduggery Pleasant (9 books)
  • Playing with Fire (Skulduggery Pleasant, #2)
  • The Faceless Ones (Skulduggery Pleasant, #3)
  • Dark Days (Skulduggery Pleasant, # 4)
  • Mortal Coil (Skulduggery Pleasant, #5)
  • Death Bringer (Skulduggery Pleasant, #6)
  • Kingdom of the Wicked (Skulduggery Pleasant, #7)
  • Last Stand of Dead Men (Skulduggery Pleasant, #8)
  • The Dying of the Light (Skulduggery Pleasant, #9)
Playing with Fire (Skulduggery Pleasant, #2) The Faceless Ones (Skulduggery Pleasant, #3) Dark Days (Skulduggery Pleasant, # 4) Mortal Coil (Skulduggery Pleasant, #5) Death Bringer (Skulduggery Pleasant, #6)

Share This Book

“Doors are for people with no imagination.” 814 likes
“What is it?' Stephanie whispered.
'That, my dear Valkyrie, is what we call a monster.'
She looked at Skulduggery. 'You don't know what it is, do you?'
'I told you what it is, it's a horrible monster. Now shut up before it comes over here and eats us.”
More quotes…