I had seen this book around many times before I finally decided to go ahead and read it, so in my break between classes I picked it up. The story follows 12-year-old Stephanie Edgely, and precocious girl whose favorite uncle has just been murdered. At the wake she runs into a strange man named Skulduggery Pleasant. That man is also at the reading of the will, where Stephanie finds out that her uncle has left most of his assets to her, despite having two living brothers. While exploring her uncle's home, Stephanie is attacked by a strange man, and then saved by Skulduggery Pleasant, who, unsurprisingly, turns out to be a skeleton. She insists that Skulduggery bring her along in his investigation into her uncle's murder. In this way Stephanie discovers a world of magic that she never knew existed. She and Skulduggery partner up against the bad guys to save the world, which they do, for now.
The book definitely sets itself up for sequels to follow. This is just the beginning of the intrepid partnership, after all. The characters are very entertaining, and the relationship between Stephanie and Skulduggery is consistantly amusing. Their banter does not get old, though it can get a bit silly. The story keeps moving at a rapid pace, and the excitement does not slow down very often. This book would be very engaging to young teens and middle schoolers, who would not only appreciate the jokes, but would also feel a kinship with Stephanie, and her desire to find a world outside of that she has known.