The Whispering Skull

Lockwood & Co., Book 2: The Whispering Skull by Jonathan Stroud

Published Sept 16, 2014

Starting six months after the events of The Screaming Staircase, this second volume of the Lockwood & Company series starts off with a bang. Lockwood, Lucy and George have had nominal success with cases, but they still keep getting them stolen by Quill Kipps and his Fitts Agency team. Incredibly frustrated with this, Lockwood challenges Kipps to a contest. Whoever solves the next case the quickest, the loser must admit his defeat and do it publicly in the Times newspaper for all of London to see. Shortly thereafter, Lockwood & Co are engaged by a Mr. Saunders to help with the excavation of a Victorian doctor named Edmund Bickerstaff. Everything is going well for the team until George encounters the ghost of the dead man, is distracted by an artifact in the coffin, and is nearly frozen. Once back at their base, Lucy berates him for not paying attention, but is interrupted by a voice coming from the mysterious skull in the jar George had been messing with since the last book. Before they can investigate this further, they are called to DEPRAC (Department of Psychical Research and Control) – the governing body of the ghost hunting agencies – to join with Kipps in an attempt to find out more about Edmund Bickerstaff and his artifact (which has been stolen since they were at the grave). Will they be able to solve the mystery of whispering skull and figure out just who Bickerstaff was and what his artifact was for? To find out, read the exciting second book of the series. Highly recommended for ages 13+, 5 stars.

I devoured this latest book from Jonathan Stroud. It was great to see Lucy, her kick-ass abilities, and learn more about her and Lockwood’s past lives, though I will admit the cliff-hanger ending did totally drive me crazy. The story was creepy and fast-paced. The book was full of the author’s awesome sense of humor and the jar’s comments in particular cracked me up. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series!

Disclaimer: I received this book as an advanced reader’s copy from the publisher. It did not affect my review of the book.