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The Death Collector (Department of Unclassified Artefacts #1)

3.33  ·  Rating Details  ·  672 Ratings  ·  94 Reviews
What starts as an ordinary pick-pocketing incident in Victorian London unites three teens against a madman. Eddie is the pickpocket; George is an assistant at the British Museum; Elizabeth has a nose for trouble—and all of them are being hunted by Augustus Lorimore. Lorimore is a sinister factory owner, a villain bent on reanimating the dead, both humans and dinosaurs—and
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published May 16th 2006 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
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(showing 1-30 of 1,368)
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Tom Franklin
Jan 08, 2015 Tom Franklin rated it it was ok
This was a strange book in several ways. First, the book, published by Scholastic, features Victorian-era characters in their late teens, making the target age something of a mystery. Second, the book had all the elements to make for a great story (steampunk-augmented-reanimated dinosaurs!) but it never quite came together for me.

The first chapter was one of the best, most engaging opening chapters I've read in a long while. Subtle, understated, with an amazing twist... and it ended up having pr
Becky H.
Jun 23, 2010 Becky H. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Suzie and Martin
Shelves: 2010
What does an old diary, a walking dead man, a monster, a pickpocket, an actress and a museum employee that repairs clocks all have in common?
They are all involved in a mystery novel for young adults.
George a museum employee is on the search of who killed his co-worker over a bunch of old diaries that were donated to the British Museum. When his friend was killed the diaries were caught in a fire and all that is left of the last diary is a burnt scrap with a few words on it. So with this clue and
There's one misstep in this book, and it happens fairly early on. I'll try to be vague to avoid spoilers. The identity of the Big Bad is kept secret from the characters, and presented as a secret to the readers, roughly 100 pages longer than it would take the vast majority of readers to figure it out themselves, and well after the characters should have done so for themselves. Those 100 pages have more than one incidence that made me cringe at how slow the characters apparently were. What's odd ...more
Karolinde (Kari)
Dec 08, 2008 Karolinde (Kari) rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: any one who likes a fun story with interesting twists.
Recommended to Karolinde (Kari) by: The cover!
This book has one of the best opening lines in the history of literature. I was hooked by the first period. This book has zombies, dinosaurs, pickpockets, a librarian/tinkerer, a beautiful and intelligent heroine, an evil villain, and brain dead crooks. While written for upper elementary/middle school, any one who enjoys a good story will love this book. Especially if you like tea after funerals.
Dayna Smith
Think Frankenstein meets Jurrasic Park in Victorian London. This was a very enjoyable story. It was a little slow in parts, but the suspense kept building and kept you reading. A clock maker, a minister's daughter, a pickpocket, and a strange Professor team up to stop an evil industrialist/scientist who wants to "rule the world" - hear evil insane laugh here. A fun way to spend an afternoon.
Apr 08, 2012 Sabrina rated it liked it
Sabrina Smith

The book begins with Albert coming home for tea and then taking the dog for a walk. The strange thing about this is that his funeral had been four days before, and he seemed to be a bit dead. From there the mystery deepens, complete with a street urchin who has a good heart, a young man who works the British museum, an aspiring actress, a diary, and much more set in the dark and gritty streets of Victorian London.

Part Frankenstein-esque horror, part Sherlock Holmes, Richards
Calvin Riquier
Oct 23, 2015 Calvin Riquier rated it it was ok
Eddie, George, and Elizabeth are being hunted down by Augustus Lorimore. Lorimore owns a factory and owns the dead, both humans and dinosaurs. Every one of his terrible creatures is out on the street and can be following them around.They attempt to save London is their plan, or will they die trying. To see what happens next and if they save London read The Death Collector. This book reminded me of the The Dead book by Charlie Higson. Both books had some connection with the living dead.
I though
Narrated by Steven Pacey. From book jacket: The foggy streets of Victorian London are thick with thieves. But when Eddie Hopkins steals George Archer's wallet, he has no idea athat hie is entering a dark world of grave robbers, assassins, and zombies. Because George is no ordinary citizen. He is the newest member of the Dept. of Unclassified Artifacts at the British Museum, a department that investigates the bizarre and the unexplained. And in George's wallet is a clue to one of the biggest myst ...more
An Odd1
Feb 03, 2014 An Odd1 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"Four days after his own funeral, Albert Wilkes came home for tea" p 1 and to walk dog. Opening episode is hilarious and spooky 5*. First to find journals, Museum worker returns as corpse instead of obeying new master. Of course he will remember humanity and friends at crucial moment. But why does he crush (really) hope (view spoiler) before villain? Why bother with both slower battery and fast Frankenstein-like lightning zap to reanimate fossil?

Scary chases, otherw
Amanda Stitt
Jun 13, 2015 Amanda Stitt rated it it was ok
It started off as enjoyable and entertaining, but as the story progressed it felt like it had been less thought out in how incredulous events seemed. Sir Williams was far less competent at his job than initial introductions led me to believe, and (view spoiler) ...more
Mar 07, 2013 Rosemary rated it really liked it
What's not to like about zombie dinosaurs roaming the streets of Victorian London? Dickensian pickpockets, automatons, and the British Museum too. Fun to start to a steampunk series.
Jul 23, 2013 Brooke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 29, 2012 Erin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't finish this book. It was just not my cup of tea. And I feel like it wasn't very well-written at all. I'm not the biggest fan of mystery novels, but I have read several that I have loved and I have to say that this book did not leave me caring enough about what was going on to follow through. I was drawn to the book by the dinosaur on the cover and the mention of zombies on the back cover and I thought this book would be good fun. I was wrong. Scenes that should have been fraught with ...more
This is one of those books I picked up on the strength of its blurb, given that it sounded somewhat like the Montmorency series and various other young adult stuff set in Victorian times.

The whole story of The Death Collector focusses on the British Museum whose Department of Unclassified Artefacts is something like a Victorian X Files, whose job it is to investigate the unexplainable. George Archer has been working at the museum for some time and is about to be recruited into that other Departm
Oct 26, 2012 Nella rated it it was ok
Fjortonåriga ficktjuven Eddie och nittonåriga museiarbetaren George och trodde aldrig att de skulle träffas, och definitivt inte under sådan märkliga (och farliga) omständigheter.
När Eddie stjäl Georges plånbok är han omedveten om att det i plånboken finns resterna av en dagbokssida, och på denna sida står en ledtråd som en viss galen vetenskapsman är desperat att få i sin ägo. Plötsligt är Eddie jagad av blodtörstiga skurkar och monster. Han gör det enda han kan komma på: ber om hjälp.
Juan Delgado
May 13, 2012 Juan Delgado rated it liked it
The book was good but not so great that it would you wonder how is this possible. it all starts off by a man names Albert Wilkes who goes home to get some tea; however he died 4 days ago. then it begins with a guy named George who has been given a job at the highest most classified job there is in the museum. He's then attacked by assassins who work for Mr. lorimore to retrieve some artifacts that belonged to an 18 century scientist by the name of Glick. From there he meets up with a 14 year old ...more
Lamont Stephens
Jan 28, 2015 Lamont Stephens rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 03, 2012 Karissa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
It's been a while since I read this book and I cannot seem to remember much about it which goes to show that it probably wasn't much of anything. Maybe a light read to stop thinking for a little while.

Three different characters are thrown into an adventure due to a case of missing and switched wallets. George has just gotten promoted at the British Museum, had one of his coworkers die in his arms, and gotten his wallet stolen by a young pickpocket.
Elizabeth is a young woman whose father is a p
Krystl Louwagie
This book had zombies and dinosaurs, so I'm not sure how it managed to be so boring, but it was. It was predictable, which made it all seem like it was very slow moving, because I kept waiting for them to figure out what I already knew. Eddie (the young pick pocket-er) was the most entertaining character, but most of them were pretty flat and didn't really have interesting interactions/relationships with each other. There were a lot of things that should've made a interesting/good novel, but it ...more
BCL Teen Librarians
Eddie just needed something to eat; that's why he picked George's pocket... okay, he also picked Elizabeth's father's pocket too. Whatever. But now there are zombies wandering the streets of London and a giant dinosaur is chasing Eddie, George, and Elizabeth through the sewers. How can a simple picketpocketing result in such an insane adventure?

This book was pretty good. It had a whole lot of adventure (and some crazy plot twists!), even if the main characters were a bit dull themselves. The evi
Nov 13, 2014 Georgene rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This was a fast, but satisfying read. A Young Adult book put out by Scholastic, it features a young thief, a young clock maker, a young woman and a scholar from the British Museum. Combined with a nasty villain, Steam Punk, dinosaurs and mechanical men made, it was a fun and exciting read.
Nov 12, 2011 Suzanne rated it liked it
I had a hard time finishing this one. I found that I had to read aloud the last chapter to my dogs just to get through it. It is a fine idea - a mash up of Victorian mystery and horror, but I felt it never settled into a groove. The characters never had a realistic reaction to the events, and that did take away from the suspense that the plot needed to build to be successful. This is a YA book geared more towards younger, middle school students with its simplicity. To be fair, I did read this wh ...more
Apr 16, 2009 Robin rated it really liked it
This book really is quite interesting, even from the start.
It begins with:

"Four days after his own funeral, Albert Wilkes came home for tea."

If that doesn't catch your attention, I don't know what will. Anyway, the book is fast-paced, the mystery is intriguing, and I like that the author did not waste words in describing every single thing. Oh, this was no fairy tales, no dragons, just dinosaurs and... zombies. Sure, the were parts that made me roll my eyes and said 'oh come on, that's so obvi
Annie Oosterwyk
Started out great, a steam punk mystery, with good characters- but they could have been great. The action got sluggish and the pacing slowed at the end.
A real page turner, so many stories rolled into one to make (dare i say it) a great crime fighting team! I cannot wait to read the next one and then the third. i ope it only gets better from here.
Puscas Mircea
Aug 22, 2014 Puscas Mircea rated it it was ok
I had some expectations from this book when I bought it and it didn't accomplish them . Don't get me wrong , it was ok , but i can't say it was great .
Eleandro Rodriguez
At this moment I’m at the edge of my seat about to fall off it. You might be wondering why? The only thing to blame is the mysterious and wonderful book The Death Collector. The book takes place at the foggy streets of London where there’s thieves and death at every corner and the book talks about a young man named Eddie ‘Dipper’ Hopkins who steals a man’s wallet named George Archer but has no idea that he is about to risk his life and his two friends live’s. So if you liked the book Valley of F ...more
Victor Monaco
Oct 21, 2013 Victor Monaco rated it it was ok
After reading the first line "four days after his own funeral, Albert Wilkes came home for tea" I was instantly hooked. Of course this was short lived because the story was really hard to finish. After the first chapter things just got tedious. The plot line was almost to predictable for a mystery novel. It's a good concept, mashing dinosaurs and zombies in a Victorian London setting but it was applied poorly in this case. Overall it was an average book, nothing about it really stood out enough ...more
Mz. Diana Gagliardi
Jan 16, 2014 Mz. Diana Gagliardi rated it it was ok
Ermigerd! THIS counts as Victoriana? They had NO clue about social mores or likelihoods and etc etc. Ok, the premise was odd as well (and the climax slightly obvious) but...I really expected more and better, more along the lines of the Hunchback Chronicales or Tentacles, in that ilk. Or Verne- the possibilities were there. But instead it was pedestrian and hard to get through. Ugh. Read the Unnaturalist or Clockwork Three if this is something that looks interesting to you.
Ben Robinson
Nov 24, 2013 Ben Robinson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ben-robinson
This book was very interesting with hidden things that you can solve. It really felt like I was a detective and I was there. I found this book very good and crative. Also I like how in the beginning it was all the characters story's but then it came to one story and the book was told from different perspectives. This book was amazing but at some parts it could be confusing and you need time to stop and think about what just happened. But over all this book was really good.
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Justin Richards is a British writer. He has written many spin off novels based on the BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who, and he is Creative Director for the BBC Books range. He has also written for television, contributing to Five's soap opera Family Affairs. He is also the author of a series of crime novels for children about the Invisible Detective, and novels for older children. ...more
More about Justin Richards...

Other Books in the Series

Department of Unclassified Artefacts (3 books)
  • The Parliament of Blood (Department of Unclassified Artefacts, #2)
  • The Chamber of Shadows (Department of Unclassified Artefacts, #3)

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