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The Screaming Staircase

(Lockwood & Co. #1)

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  34,211 ratings  ·  4,748 reviews
When the dead come back to haunt the living, Lockwood & Co. step in . . .

For more than fifty years, the country has been affected by a horrifying epidemic of ghosts. A number of Psychic Investigations Agencies have sprung up to destroy the dangerous apparitions.

Lucy Carlyle, a talented young agent, arrives in London hoping for a notable career. Instead she finds herself jo
Hardcover, 440 pages
Published August 29th 2013 by Doubleday Children’s Books
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George I'm pushing 70. I liked it. I don't much care that it's going back to the "j" section of the library.…moreI'm pushing 70. I liked it. I don't much care that it's going back to the "j" section of the library.(less)
Katie You should definitely give Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch a try. The protagonist is a police constable dealing with basically anything supernatur…moreYou should definitely give Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch a try. The protagonist is a police constable dealing with basically anything supernatural, ghosts included. Lockwood & Co. also reminds me of Mary Stanton's Beaufort & Company series (which I read some ten years ago, so I don't remember much). The protagonist is a lawyer who doesn't really mind dead clients (aka ghosts). (less)

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Average rating 4.20  · 
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 ·  34,211 ratings  ·  4,748 reviews

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Rick Riordan
Nov 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
My YA recommendation of the month -- which is not really fair since I read the ARC and it doesn't come out until September -- is Jonathan Stroud's Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase. You may be familiar with Stroud's earlier series about the genie Bartimaeus, and like Bartimaeus, Lockwood & Co. offers us an alternate modern England -- a brilliantly rendered world in which "the Problem" has inexplicably caused ghosts to run rampant and disrupt the lives of mortals. In this new reality, priva ...more
This series is my Harry Potter. And I love it so much, forever rereading till I die.

Anyways, review to come and feel free to visit the dumpster to scream about this book with me because I'M TRASH FOR LOCKWOOD AND CO.

I swear my hand slipped.
Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥
”Oh, quit complaining. You got naked with a ghost –“

Well, if this sentence didn’t capture your immediate attention then I really don’t know! ;-P
It’s one of the many good examples of the amazing humour in this book and I have to admit that this was one of the first things that got me hooked on “Lockwood & Co.”.

The second thing that got me more than just a little curious was the amazing world building though. I just loved the idea of a world that is haunted by ghosts and is in dire need of profes
bella farren
May 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to bella farren by: Sana
5 / 5 stars


This book follows Lucy Carlyle, a teenage ghost investigator looking for a job in London during The Problem. The Problem is a ghost infestation, with the dead not staying dead. It resulted in houses being haunted and many dead; and the only people capable of defeating the ghosts are children and teens.

Lucy winds up getting a job at London's m
Hannah Greendale
Lucy Carlyle has two special Talents: she can hear the voices of the dead and she can experience memories of the dead by touching belongings they once owned. Normally she puts her Talent to use for an organization that investigates paranormal phenomena, but when a tragic incident leaves her jobless, she wanders into the office of Lockwood & Co. hoping to find work. There she teams up with Anthony Lockwood and George Cubbins to tackle solving the mystery behind one of the most notoriously haunted ...more
Reynita Maharani ★ The Night Reader ★

Edit : few months have passed since I read this book and I recently feel I'm missing the characters so I finally made up my mind to buy the second book! Hopefully, I'll buy a copy soon. ☺️


3.5 Stars.

"My view is: with you and
George on my team, nothing can stand in our way."

The problem has been happening for over 50 years. This problem is an epidemic of supernatural phenomena (ghosts) and there are agencies to help people to deal with their supernatural proble
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘

Edit 03/25 : Reread with my teacher glasses... Well now, this is a success :) Let's see what the kids think now!

Why an experiment? To be honest, I wasn't accustomed to discriminating Middle-Grade and Young Adult novels back when I read in French. WHY? This would be because they're similarly advertised (when in hardbacks) - and don't get me started about the New Adult ones which are blended with them : frankly, I applause all the parents who're trying to make some sense of the way books are sold
✨    jamieson   ✨
well this was totally freaking spooky and scary 👻 Ghost hunting, mansion hauntings, screaming staircases, murder and a trio of best friends? This book really does have it all. All the Good Stuff

“Of the first few hauntings I investigated with Lockwood & Co. I intend to say little, in part to protect the identity of the victims, in part because of the gruesome nature of the incidents, but mainly because, in a variety of ingenious ways, we succeeded in messing them all up.”

I'm shocked you peo
Tina ➹ the girl who lives in Fandoms
4.25 Golden Stars

wow! the Winchesters definitely need some iron swords too! (but I mostly preferred Iron rings to punch the ghosts in the face!) XD

okay, out of Supernatral tv shows, into Lockwood & Co:

about the Concept:

if you like supernatural horror detective stories, you probably like this.
if you are in Winchester brothers fanclub, you like this.
if you watch (& like/love) Supernatural TV shows, you definitely like this.

tho at first two pages, I had Sherlock vibes, but in general, I felt I was
Bentley ★
Aug 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
See this review and more like it on!

Well that was fun and basically everything I hoped it would be!

Every once in awhile, in the midst of all my fantasy and YA reads I get a craving to read something just a little bit spooky. When I first came across some friends on my feed raving about this book, it immediately called to me. What's spookier than ghosts? To me, not much!

I wasn't sure when I could fit this into my reading schedule until Netgalley emailed me a widget
Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen)
Mar 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommended to Kaylin by: Sana °¤°
3 Stars



^ Basically my entire feelings about this book. I can appreciate it, but something about it didn’t click. I just don’t think it was for me.

I liked it. I just didn’t love it.

Buddy Read with the lovely Frankie! Who enjoyed this much more than I did!


There’s some super cool worldbuilding. It’s ghosts mixed with science and somehow it works. This is set in a London where the world is almost over-run with paranormal activity, and children are the only ones able to detect the
Kayla Dawn
Aug 01, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
3,5* - this was definitely entertaining but it unfortunately dragged on sometimes, especially in the beginning.
may ❀
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommended to may ❀ by: Sana
This book was one of the most entertaining books I’ve read in a while.


Reasons Why this books is Epicsauce
- Anthony Lockwood
- The whispering skull that lives!!for!!the!!roasts!!
- Ghosts and scary things like staircases that scream and walls that bleed and young girls with creepy pasts
- Ghosts
- Even tho it was categorized as middle school genre, it had me SHOOK
- But not toooooooo scary so you’ll be okay
- Fast paced
- Strong build up
- Sass
- George and his unconditional lo
"Okay," I hurried on. "But why me?"
"You're a girl," Lockwood called. "Aren't you supposed to be more sensitive?"
"To emotions, yes. To nuances of human behavior. Not necessarily to secret passages in a wall."
"Oh, it's much the same thing."

Hello, let me introduce you to one of my new favorite series.
I freaking loved this first book and I seriously can't wait to read more of it.
The writing was exquisite and funny, and there's seriously not a character I haven't loved with my entire soul (h
Frankie Lovely
4.5 stars
See this review and others at A Thousand Lives of Frankie Lovely
Buddy read with my girl Kaylin
who did not love this as much as I did.

Ok so … I LOVED it
Also, my inner child has a new book boyfriend

The Story

Perhaps better titled “The world”, because I am going to avoid telling you anything about the actual story. Some things are better left to your own discovery and I feel like this book is one of those instances.

Lucy can hear things … not the things you and I can hear (for we - at least
Rachel Reads Ravenously
Audio re-read August 2019.
Thoughts remain the same!

4 stars!

“Of the first few hauntings I investigated with Lockwood & Co. I intend to say little, in part to protect the identity of the victims, in part because of the gruesome nature of the incidents, but mainly because, in a variety of ingenious ways, we succeeded in messing them all up.”

Who knew a middle grade novel could be TERRIFYING! It took me a while to get through this book because I was too scared to read it at night!

The Screaming
0Teenager Ghostbusters


in London


and in a haunted mansion


with lots of tea, fright and all kinds of otherworldly creatures. Scary, funny, tense and exciting in equal parts from beginning to end.
What more do you need to celebrate Halloween?

Normally I give a wide berth to ghost or horror stories on all levels, be they adult or even middle-grade, but the fact that the book was written by Jonathan Stroud was irresistible.

He is a brilliant writer - I knew that already while reading his Bartimaeus-tr
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
This YA spooky series was a surprise for me! I enjoyed the book more than I thought I would.
The writing was well done, the plot was complex and the scary moments were fantastic. I really enjoyed the world building that Jonathan Stroud has produced with the hauntings, how to destroy them and the type of world the characters live in because of this ghostly issue, aka "The Problem".

The Problem is the epidemic of hauntings currently affecting Britain and how only young children and teenagers can act
Faye, la Patata

Man, this book was awesome and impressive. To be honest, although there are a lot of good MG stuff out there, I'm still a bit wary of this demographic because there is a fair amount of books out there in this category that is absolutely juvenile. But The Screaming Staircase screamed unique, it screamed different, it screamed FANTASTIQUE! in big, bold letters. There is so much to love in this book: the endearing, well-polished characters; the enchanting, well-written narration; and the hypnot
May 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to ✶Rachelle✶ by: Frankie Lovely
Update: 8/1/17
Rereading this because Lockwood ❤️ and Lucy 💕 and George ❤️

Also because I miss them 💕❤️💕





And now I want a Percy Jackson/Lockwood crossover book...
(Can someone make this happen?)

I usually shy away from ghost books cause that's just not my thing. But the wifey told me that Lockwood would be my next book boyfriend and since she knows best I figured I needed to check it out. And now I w
Cora Tea Party Princess
I mostly requested this because I'd heard good things about it, and boy am I glad I did. This book is awesome!

I think that this is a children's book (middle grade maybe?) but don't let that put you off. This book is ridiculously well written, reading with the flair and complexity of only the best books (ever) and I freaking loved it.

This book is creepy and a little bit scary, set in a terrifying alternate world where ghosts have taken over the night and have the power to kill. When only the youn
Oct 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
I can't believe I almost forgot about Jonathan Stroud. His Bartimaeus trilogy was one of my favorites when I was in middle school/high school, but I never thought I would find another one of his books, because for some reason I believed that he hadn't written anything else after that series. It was pure chance that I learned about this book at all - I can't remember which of my Goodreads friends put this on their to-read list, but someone did, and I happened to be looking at my feed at the exact ...more
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, middle-grade
I was really excited to start this series, because someone *cough* Sana had hyped it up so much. Needless to say, it more than met those expectations.

The Screaming Staircase follows the story of a team of teenage ghosthunters, set in an AU London plagued by dangerous paranormal apparitions. It was somehow fun and cute and creepy all at the same time. I don’t read very much middle grade, and I appreciated that while this was easy to read and its content is appropriate for a younger audience, Str
I’m sick of historical fiction. I’m sick of contemporary fiction. I’m sick of realism and science fiction. Fantasy I watch with a wary eye. I don’t always feel this way but when I’ve read seven depressing meaningful middle grade books for kids in a row the old noggin screams for something enjoyable for once. And to place into this mental desert a book like The Screaming Staircase ... well, it’s the best possible cure for what ails ye. A pleasure from tip to tail, this is the book you hand the ad ...more
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
London has been plagued by ghosts for more than half a century. Those with hauntings turn to psychic investigator agencies to help them. Several such agencies operate in London. Lucy Carlyle came to London in hopes of joining a prestigious agency to fight the spirits. But....she ended up at the low end of the industry. Lockwood & Company is the smallest and most beleaguered agency in the city. In fact, the company has one last chance to prove itself, or be defunct. Their last chance is a doozy - ...more
Oct 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, spooktacular
What a fun and hauntingly great time this was. I decided to try Jonathan Stroud's The Screaming Staircase for one of my Spooktacular Halloween reads. After finishing this first book, I may just have to read the entire series right away.

The setting is London, England and this is not the London we know today. For the last 50 years there has been a problem with ghosts and hauntings. This has been named easily enough The Problem. See the thing about ghosts in this world is they can only be seen by
Darth J
Oct 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Darth J by: Andrea ❤Ninja Bunneh❤
3.75 stars

*Please note that an Amazon seller sent me an uncorrected ARC of this instead of the hardcover I actually ordered so the book I read may be different than the final product.*

Initially I liked the concept of this book: young, psychic ghost-hunting sleuths who use an array of gadgets to solve mysteries in haunted houses. The problem is that the writing is sometimes too dry to keep your attention. Though the dialogue is realistic for the characters, not the overly snarky way adults writer
May 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Recommended to Alyssa by: Sana
Shelves: 2017-reads, 4-5-stars
4.5 Lockwood Stars!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ and a half / 5 stars
Lead Male Character: ★ ★ ★ ★ and a half / 5 stars (Lockwood and George)
Lead Female Character: ★ ★ ★ ★ / 5 stars
Plotline: ★ ★ ★ ★ and a half / 5 stars
Genre: Thriller, mystery, adventure, action, middle-grade
Will I recommend this book to others?: YES
Will I reread this book?: YES
Overall story summed up in one word: Brilliant!

Minor Spoilers Ahead!

Sauna, I thank you for recommending me this book because it was beyond brilliant! I haven't read
Aug 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens, ghosts
I have two confessions...

1) I have NEVER read a Jonathan Stroud book before. I am aware this is a shocking error and shall have to be rectified before I end up in library purgatory.

2) I am a complete scaredy cat and do not read ghost stories.

So, when I received a review copy of Lockwood I was...unsure to say the least, but I thought give it a go - expand your reading horizons, and I am SO glad I did.

Ghosts are real. The Problem is widespread with many reports of Visitors and fatal cases of ghost
☆★Tinja★✮ A Court of Pizza and Laziness

I picked this up because I wanted a Spooky October read and since I don't handle actual Horror necessarily all that well, I decided to read this instead.
(Yeah total marshmallow over here and despite of it, one of my fav TV-Show is American Horror Story... *Snorts* You can imagine.. After watching a season I basically don't sleep for a month.)

This was so, so good! And funny! And so well written! I highly recommend this.
And it was actually scary
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Jonathan Anthony Stroud is an author of fantasy books, mainly for children and youths.

Stroud grew up in St Albans where he enjoyed reading books, drawing pictures, and writing stories. Between the ages seven and nine he was often ill, so he spent most of his days in the hospital or in his bed at home. To escape boredom he would occupy himself with books and stories. After he completed his studies

Other books in the series

Lockwood & Co. (5 books)
  • The Whispering Skull (Lockwood & Co., #2)
  • The Hollow Boy (Lockwood & Co., #3)
  • The Creeping Shadow (Lockwood & Co., #4)
  • The Empty Grave (Lockwood & Co., #5)

News & Interviews

Twists, turns, red herrings, the usual suspects: These books have it all...and more. If you love mysteries and thrillers, get ready for dozens...
126 likes · 31 comments
"No. I'm being ironic. Or is it sarcastic? I can never remember."
"Irony's cleverer, so you're probably being sarcastic.”
“When you go out hunting wicked spirits, it's the simple things that matter most. The silvered point of your rapier flashing in the dark; the iron filings scattered on the floor; the sealed canisters of best Greek Fire, ready as a last resort...

But tea bags, brown and fresh and plenty of them, and made (for preference) by Pitkin Brothers of Bond Street, are perhaps the simplest and best of all.

OK, they may not save your life like a sword-tip or an iron circle can, and they haven't the protective power of a sudden wall of fire. But they do provide something just as vital. They help keep you sane.”
More quotes…