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Constable & Toop

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  1,059 ratings  ·  218 reviews
Something mysterious and terrible is happening throughout Victorian London: Ghosts are disappearing. When this reaches the attention of the Ghost Bureau, the diligent but clueless Mr. Lapsewood, a paranormal paper-pusher, is sent to investigate, and what he discovers is grave. The Black Rot has arrived—a voracious spiritual infestation whereby empty haunted houses suck in ...more
Hardcover, 391 pages
Published October 8th 2013 by Harry N. Abrams (first published October 4th 2012)
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3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,059 ratings  ·  218 reviews

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Richard Cardenas
Oct 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
4 STARS!!!


Even thought this took me a couple of weeks to finish, it does not take away from my love for this book. I will admit that this book could've easily been cut down at least a hundred pages but that aside, this was still awesome as hell. I loved how quirky, dark, grotesque, and heartbreaking this is. The adventure, the suspense, and the spookiness was executed amazingly. I also bought myself a copy for my shelf because it deserves a place with the rest of my babies. If you love Victorian
Jun 02, 2015 rated it liked it

"I think people should be ghosts first. If we were dead before we were alive, we'd appreciate it more, wouldn't we?"

Victorian England. Smokestacks spewing smog. Derelict buildings.

 photo Contable amp Toop - 19th Century London 1_zpsryaanzwt.jpg

And ghosts. Many, many ghosts. So many ghosts, there is a bureaucracy of several levels, where these 'beings' file papers and work to control rogue ghosts, those who scare humans without permits. But not all is well with the London ghosts, for they are disappearing thanks to a deranged exorcist. Someone has to discove
Rebecca McNutt
This book is brilliant, eerie, funny and a great old-fashioned mystery with a paranormal twist. If you're a fan of Neil Gaiman's work but are looking for similar authors, you'll love this. :)
Original review posted on The Book Smugglers

Sam Toop lives in a funeral parlour with his father and this proximity to death is thought to be the reason behind Sam’s ability to see ghosts. As a Talker, he is constantly sought after by hopeful spirits wanting to put their affairs in order with Sam’s help. He is not very keen about it especially when he ends up helping the wrong sort of people.

On the “other side”, over at the Ghost Bureau, it is business as usual as long-dead clerks take care of Gh
3.5 curious and satisfying stars


Let me tell you something - if the cover alone doesn't coaxes you to pick this up because a small colourful curiosity cloud formed after staring at the magical cover as it did for me, then I can assure you the following praises -- from a few dear friends of mine -- will:

"An extraordinarily witty story that accurately depicts the lives of the dead and compellingly describes the death of the living." - The Ghost of Oscar W
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
''-Creo que la gente debería ser primero un fantasma-dijo Grunt-. Si estuviéramos muertos antes de vivir, apreciaríamos más la vida, ¿no crees?''

Compré esta novela por la sugerente portada, por su precio, y porque estaba recomendada por los fantasmas literarios más famosos de la historia, el fantasma de Jane Austen, de Mary Shelly, de Poe... Me pareció tan original que no pude evitar comprarlo.

La historia está encuadrada en un Londres victoriano, donde muertos y vivos ¿conviven? bueno cohabitan
Nicole Overmoyer
Oct 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I took a chance on this book and I'm a little devastated that I finished it. That's the sum of it all.

I won the book in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway and I entered the giveaway because I thought it seemed like steampunk and I wanted to try steampunk. I don't think this is steampunk and I no longer care about steampunk because I love every word of this book.

Constable & Toop is a ghost story and I don't usually do ghost stories. Gareth P. Jones' book could change things. The trick will be f
Daniela Pérez nava
I have just finished reading it. I liked it a lot. But my feeling right now is: This story was really unfair to some characters. I mean... POOR EMILY!! She was just an innocent girl murdered TWICE!! And her two murderers? They're fine: both went through the fucking door, the first one even got a beautiful funeral!!
Tanner was left trapped alone, his lovely hound dead again and gone into the Void....That's sad too, although he said he was fine with it.
I felt Sam could have been done more at the cl
Aug 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You can also read my review at my blog

While I was surfing through Goodreads, I came across this book and the synopsis and the cover just made me want to read this book. There was no reason or logic behind this feeling. I read about the book and I just knew that this would be something I would like. So I ordered the book online at Flipkart. As it was an imported edition they could not procure the book and had to cancel my order. But I did not give up. I really wanted this book (Because I'm stubb
Aug 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is an absolutetly DARLING book!!!

Sam is the son of a coffin maker. They live above the shop where his father and his partner Constable have their funeral business. With his left eye, he sees the normal world; with his right, he sees ghosts. And he talks with them.

Meanwhile in the Bureau, the clerk Lapsewood is sent from Dispatch and his usual job of logging in dispatches to the Housing Department and assigned to find Doris McNally, an Outreach Worker. But Lapsewood hasn't been out in the "r
You know how sometimes you see something in a bookshop that catches your eye? You decide to buy it on a whim? You begin reading and you fall in love? Constable & Toop is that book.

Beautifully written, wonderful characters, mesmerizing storytelling – it’s all there. Everything about this book is just what I wanted it to be. I loved all the characters, yet I despite the richness of them I never struggled to follow what was happening. With each new chapter I got pulled further into Sam and Laps

I really loved the writing; it was so atmospheric and lovely to immerse yourself in. However, I probably couldn't have cared less about the characters. The whole plot, the Black Rot, was ill explained for my taste and I didn't much care for how the priests and exorcisms were portrayed. So I gave up, because I didn't think finishing that last 80 pages was worth it.
Dec 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Absolutely loved this book! I think this is supposed to be middle grade but it certainly didn't feel like I was reading middle grade. Loved this Victorian London ghost world with all the different perspectives and characters. Beautiful and creepy and fun!
Marie the Librarian
This was interesting but a bit too long. Not his best work. It took some time getting into and getting the hang which I think many kids will probably struggle with. It also doesnt say as clearly that it should that its set in the 1800s. It started making sense after a while though and towards the end it got real entertaining. However it took too long I think. But for kids who like ghoststories, I think it'll be a hit.
Marite Juul
Feb 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Morsom og spennende historie. Vi befinner oss i London i 1884, i en verden full av spøkelser. Våre helter er levende Sam, sønn av begravelsesagent Toop, kontoristspøkelset Lapsewood og det ville gjenferdet Tanner. Mine innvendinger går på at historien er litt lang, og ganske komplisert, litt for komplisert for mange i målgruppen, vil jeg tro.
Gina Baik
Apr 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Gina by: Jusitna
I'd recommend this book to you if you like stories involving ghosts, murder, detectives, rebels, and afterlife. It's a good book but I felt like it was a bit too long for it's story so that's why I gave it a 4 out of 5.
Selvianty Selvianty
it was surprisingly good. imagine lingering spirits have a bureau organising them, putting them into jobs so they won't turn into sorrow that can only moaning and wailing *chuckles*. There were few subplots in this story that seemed separated but you know they were connected and you're waiting for it to happen. And when it did, such joy and satisfaction. lol. The ending was also good. I recommended this for any MIddle Grade book lovers.
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Surprisingly good. The plot isn't as predictable as some of the middle grade books I've read. It's funny without being dumb, and it has the right amount of gloominess.

The main character, a young boy who lives all his live in a funeral home, is a sensible person. I don't find it hard to like him.
Brenda A
Sep 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Praise for Constable & Toop:
I very much enjoyed the melancholy and tragedy contained within these pages. The humor was less to my taste.
- The Ghost of Emily Bronte

I think I'm going to like this book.


I'm really, really happy with Constable & Toop. I was so excited when I found out I won it. Just with the little blurb, it was already apparent that it was a subject and style that I would love. So maybe I'm a bit biased. Becau
Oct 06, 2018 rated it liked it
There are many characters in this book, each with their own story. In the beginning, it's very disconnected. In the middle, it drags. In the end, it's all wrapped up nicely.
johanna granholm
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
this is a lovely book i recommend it to everyone!
Stacey (prettybooks)
Set in 1884, during the forty-seventh year of Queen Victoria's reign, Constable & Toop is a marvellous Victorian ghost story told by a hoard of extraordinary characters. I knew I was about to embark on something a little different as soon as I opened the book and was confronted with 'Praise', not from press or reviewers, but from famous ghosts: 'I wish I had written this story' says The Ghost of Charles Dickens.

Sam Toop is an undertaker's son and it's all he's ever known. He's used to death,
A droll coming of age story set in Victorian London involving ghosts, death, love, and family drama.

This reads really quick, with short chapters that breezed right along—which it should, given that this is a novel written for children between the ages of ten and fourteen. Guess it helped that the lines had extra spacing. But there's plenty here to appeal to adult sensibilities—from the frequent allusions to Victorian literature (of course the ghosts of famous authors continue writing on into dea
Melissa Chung
Aug 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
What an interesting ghost story. I have told everyone that will listen that they must read this Beatlejuice-type middle-grade.

There are several points of view in this story, so lets break it down shall we.

The Living,

Sam Toop is a boy of 12 I believe who lives in a funeral home run by his father Charles Toop and his partner Mr. Constable. Oh and Sam can see ghosts. Ghosts call these types of people "talkers" and Sam finds himself helping these sad ghosts with "unfinished" business so that they m
May 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of the Graveyard Book
Shelves: children-s, fantasy
Review originally posted on my blog The Otaku Librarian, which I now have a rough-sketch of a header for, woo!
3.5 stars.

Sam's just the son of Toop, as in Constable & Toop's funeral parlour, but he can see the dead, and hear them, for that matter. And there's something happening in the streets of London. Ghosts are going missing and houses are hungry for souls...

I quite enjoyed this, although I think that some may be put off by the varying narrative POVs. I know that I did, and I admit that
Jan 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Esta reseña... la podéis leer entera¡¡ jajajajaja¡¡¡

Si queréis leer una historia entretenida y muy fresca... no dejéis pasar este fantástico libro. Os lo recomiendo, de verdad.

Esta es una historia de fantasmas. Parece que últimamente me rodeo de libros de fantasmas. Después de leer la trilogía de la Restauradora ha llegado a mis manos Constable & Toop.

Una historia llena de historias. Varios personajes que narrarán sus intrépidas experiencias y acabarán entrelazadas de una forma muy curiosa.

Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
I enjoyed this one a lot.

The afterlife as bureaucracy; a wimpy accountant ghost set on the trail of a missing ghostly official. A sinister priest who kills ghosts and leaves their haunts vulnerable to a weird infestation. A resourceful ghost boy and his dogs, an undertaker's son who can see ghosts and talk to them, his crooked uncle who shares his talent and a young girl who wants to be the Victorian equivalent of an investigative journalist. Several other ghosts, a kindly old undertaker who se
Nov 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Dylan by: Sun Richter
I loved it! The back of the book says it is about ghosts solving a mystery, which didn't sound interesting to me, and I almost didn't read it. Boy am I glad I did. It is actually about an undertaker's son finding himself and a modest clerk breaking out of a Byzantine dystopian bureaucracy. (The clerk happens to be dead.) Add in Jack the Ripper, a love story, political intrigue and a zealot exorcist and you have a wonderful, funny, page-turning story.

I have enjoyed Gareth Jones' writing on Dr. W
Nov 09, 2015 added it
DNF. It was probably a bit hopeful picking a book off the kids' shelves when I'm 19 (still worth the mortification on my sister's face though) but I just couldn't get into it. I mean I was trying to read King Lear and a biography on the Inklings at the same time so that didn't help, but mostly I didn't have a reason to care about either of the main characters. Like a ghost might lose his job, a random kid might... I dunno. There wasn't anything at stake for him, really.
All this said, for a kids
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Gareth first started writing when he was very young but it wasn’t until he was in his early twenties that he completed his first novel. Having had it universally rejected he wrote a novel for children called Who Killed Charlie Twig, which received an equally unimpressed reception and remains rightly unpublished to this day.

Some years passed during which Gareth met his future wife, Lisa and began a
“With so many people talking, he wondered if there was anyone left to listen to what they had to say.” 0 likes
“The death of a loved one is a difficult time. It is a time when many of us say things we do not mean. It is, therefore, a time when the biting of one’s tongue is sometimes the wisest course of action. A little thought before each word spoken can save a great deal of hurt and upset.” 0 likes
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