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Constable and Toop Paperback – October 4, 2012

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Hot Key Books; 1St Edition edition (October 4, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1471400115
  • ISBN-13: 978-1471400117
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,536,006 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Funny, gruesome and scary, with the great setting of a funeral parlour, this is an action packed adventure full of the darker and dirtier details of life in Victorian London. -- Julia Eccleshare Lovereading4kids With an appealingly gothic setting, this pacey and exciting mystery perfectly blends comedy with the dark, spooky and supernatural. There are plenty of funny and gruesome moments that will appeal to young readers; but this is also a well-researched, thoughtful and compassionate novel, that takes inspiration from the Victorian preoccupation with mourning and death. Jones skilfully manages a complex series of interlocking storylines and an engaging cast of characters in this witty, action-packed and hugely entertaining ghost story. Booktrust This is a wonderful tale of crime, retribution and spiritualism, set in a richly historical London full of Fagin-like thieves and bent policemen. Jones balances the razor-sharp wit and huge cast of characters with a genuinely gory and chilling underbelly that asks questions about life and death. And is very funny... Daily Mail

About the Author

Gareth divides his time between writing books, producing TV programmes, spending time with his wife and son, Herbie, and playing the slightly ludicrous number of stringed instruments in his front room. He recently won the Blue Peter Book of the Year Prize 2012 for THE CONSIDINE CURSE. THE CASE OF THE MISSING CATS, the first book in The Dragon Detective Agency series, was nominated for the Waterstone's Children's Book Prize. THE THORNTHWAITE INHERITANCE won the Hounslow Junior Book Award, the Calderdale Book Award, Leicester Children's Book Award, Sefton Super Reads, Doncaster Book Award, Rotherham Children's Book Award, and Fantastic Book Award, Lancaster. Follow Gareth at or on twitter: @jonesgarethp

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I would second every comment I've seen about how clever the story is, how well plotted, how amusing, and how creative. The characters are engaging and interesting, the atmosphere is as thick as a London fog, and the treatment of ghosts, from the knocking and the Unseen Door to the ghosts' selfish demands for attention from a Talker, is as rich, complex and rewarding as any ghosty story I've ever read.

But this is a long and exhausting book. It's not because it is overstuffed with incident or plot complications, or anything like that. It is long because everything goes on for more than it needs to. We don't walk down one described street, we walk down three. Before we go in to an office we have to describe the reception area and meet the receptionist. Every conversation has a few unnecessary exchanges that don't really contribute to the story.

That's fine - it helps build atmosphere and illuminate character. It adds to the Victorianness of it all. But it also tries the patience and saps momentum. That might not matter that much, except this is aimed to be a middle grade read. I may be way off base here; I'm sure there are fifth and sixth graders willing to read over 400 pages of clever, whimsical, very Victorian ghost adventure, but there are also such readers who might just run out of steam or interest. It's not a deal breaker, but something to keep in mind when recommending this title.
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Format: Paperback
Set in the seedier side of Victorian London, this story follows two characters, Lapsewood, a ghost office clerk from the other side and young Sam Toop, who works alongside his father at a mortuary. Sam also is a talker, someone who has the ability to see and hear ghosts who need to clear up unfinished business on earth. The story rushes along with chapters alternating between Lapsewood working to find out why ghosts are disappearing on earth and Sam trying to balance the demands of working at the funeral parlor and fulfilling the dearly departed one's last wishes. Throw into this mix, an independent young girl with journalistic dreams, rogue ghosts, a mad exorcist, and a psychopathic uncle who is only to happy to add to the number of ghosts on the other side.

Like London in the 1860s, the story is rife with humor, action, intrigue, and deaths most vile. The story's pacing kept me from putting the book down until the end. I found myself caring about the characters, including the ghosts; I kept wondering who would be next to disappear. The story is geared to Middle Grade readers but it will appeal to anyone who enjoys period novels, ghost stories or a fun read.
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By Chelsea Hannah on February 10, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Cute ghost story. Yeah....I said cute ghost story. Interesting characters and plot. Funny but it did have its gruesome parts.
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