Meet the great Skulduggery Pleasant: wise-cracking detective, powerful magician, master of dirty tricks and burglary (in the name of the greater good, of course). Oh yeah. And dead. Then theres his sidekick, Stephanie. Shes… well, shes a twelve-year-old girl. With a pair like this on the case, evil had better watch out… “So you wont keep anything from me again?” He put his hand to his chest. “Cross my heart and hope to die.” “Okay then. Though you dont actually have a heart,” she said. “I know.” “And technically, youve already died.” “I know that too.” “Just so were clear.” Stephanies uncle Gordon is a writer of horror fiction. But when he dies and leaves her his estate, Stephanie learns that while he may have written horror, it certainly wasnt fiction. Pursued by evil forces intent on recovering a mysterious key, Stephanie finds help from an unusual source – the wisecracking skeleton of a dead wizard. When all hell breaks loose, its lucky for Skulduggery that hes already dead. Though hes about to discover that being a skeleton doesnt stop you from being tortured, if the torturer is determined enough. And if theres anything Skulduggery hates, its torture… Will evil win the day? Will Stephanie and Skulduggery stop bickering long enough to stop it? One things for sure: evil wont know whats hit it.