Reader Reviewed Lockwood & Co: the Whispering Skull Book 2 by Jonathan Stroud

The Lovereading4Kids comment

Chosen as one of the Top Ten Best New Books for Children 2015 by Andrea Reece.

Jonathan Stroud is a gifted author, and he is on very fine form with these supernatural adventure stories. Set in a Britain where wandering ghosts offer a constant threat, especially after dark, it stars three teenagers, the staff of a Psychic Investigation Agency adept at seeing off the dead. Here they are recruited to track down a stolen artefact that seems to offer phenomenal power to its owner, along with the risk of unpleasant death. Stroud skilfully keeps the tension high from beginning to end and this a really thrilling read. ~ Andrea Reece

Reader Reviews

Some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were lucky enough to read and review the first in the Lockwood & Co Series, The Screaming Staircase. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Jamie Bamford, age 11 - 'You can’t put down The Screaming Staircase.  You instantly feel part of it.  The characters’ fears are your fears; their happiness is your happiness; you see what they see.  Recommend for brave 9+.'
    Sam Harper, age 11 - 'Like Ghostbusters with an extra dimension, there’s action, twists, turns and mystery. The Screaming Staircase was impossible to put down.'
  • Kevin Goodall - 'With a puzzling murder story to solve they will have to use all of their brains to get out alive or die like the last team that went in did. I can't wait for the next book to come out.'
  • Poppy Milburn, age 10 - 'This book involves so much energy, excitement and fear. You actually feel that you are entering the book, feeling all the characters' emotions for yourself.'
  • Daisy Pritchard-Williams, age 11 - 'I highly recommend it to readers over 9 because for anyone younger it would be scary.'
  • Amelia Corrick-Gough, age 14 - 'This book kept me on the edge of my seat, and is all I can think about! I love this book! I can't say a bad word about it. In my opinion, this book is up there with the Harry Potter series.'
  • Cora Willans, age 9 - 'I would say this book should be read by confident readers only as it was a fairly scary book.'
  • Edward Bailey, age 10 - 'A cracking read! Jonathan has really outdone himself! It couldn't be better!'
  • Jenna Welch, age 10 - 'This hair-raising book chilled me to the bone but surprisingly contained a rather large amount of sarcastic humour.'
  • Callum Broomfield - 'I couldn’t put this book down and ended up reading it late into the night. The ideas were great and the book was well written with a good pace and strong, well-drawn characters and I would look forward to reading a second book by Jonathan Stroud.'
  • Traviss Chaytors, age 12 - 'Absolutely brilliant… but do not read on your own just before bedtime!'
  • Rose Hopkins - 'Lockwood & Co is funny and scary at the same time – the perfect mix. I love the ghost buster theme and it has a wonderful twist.'
  • Llew Harrison, age 8 - 'The action starts straight away and I was gripped until the very end. This is the spookiest book I have ever read but it is also very funny. So read if you dare!'


Lockwood & Co: the Whispering Skull Book 2 by Jonathan Stroud

Ghosts and ghouls beware! London's smallest, shabbiest and most talented psychic detection agency is back. Life is never exactly peaceful for Lockwood & Co. Lucy and George are trying to solve the mystery of the talking skull trapped in their ghost jar, while Lockwood is desperate for an exciting new case. Things seem to be looking up when the team is called to Kensal Green Cemetery to investigate the grave of a sinister Victorian doctor. Strange apparitions have been seen there, and the site must be made safe. As usual, Lockwood is confident; as usual, everything goes wrong - a terrible phantom is unleashed, and a dangerous object is stolen from the coffin. Lockwood & Co must recover the relic before its power is unleashed, but it's a race against time. Their obnoxious rivals from the Fittes agency are also on the hunt. And if that's not bad enough, the skull in the ghost-jar is stirring again...

The author of the blockbuster Bartimaeus sequence delivers another humorous and chilling instalment in the critically acclaimed Lockwood & CO. series.

Browse inside this book


Stroud is a genius Rick Riordan, author of the Percy Jackson series

Stroud delivers another riveting narrative Booklist

Rousing adventures for young tomb robbers and delvers into realms better left to the dead Kirkus

As in the first volume there are plenty of heart-stopping moments and a generous dollop of gore, but nothing most teens and confident readers can't handle: in fact, the problem will be to persuade them to put the book down. In short, it's both gross and engrossing! The Bookbag

The Whispering Skull frees Stroud to let his flair for spectacle run riot, resulting in several deftly constructed set-pieces far more akin to true horror than the ghost house antics of the first book. Starburst As in the first instalment, Stroud manages to perfectly balance grisly encounters with gleefully sarcastic humour. Independent Children's blog

About the Author

Jonathan Stroud

Jonathan Stroud was our Guest Editor in November 2010. Click here to see his selection of titles.

Jonathan Stroud was born in Bedford and grew up in St Albans. He studied at York university. He has a strong background in children's books - working at Walker, in their Game Book and Non-Fiction departments and Kingfisher Publications, editing children's non-fiction. He has written and edited a number of game books and non-fiction titles for Walker Books. Jonathan lives in St. Albans with his wife.

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Book Info


496 pages
Interest Age: From 9


Jonathan Stroud
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Corgi Childrens an imprint of Random House Children's Publishers UK

Publication date

26th February 2015




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