Lockwood & Co. is a middle-grade supernatural thriller written by English author Jonathan Stroud. The story takes place in an alternative modern-day London which experiences an event called “the Problem”, where ghosts appear throughout the city by nighttime and attack the living. Agencies — meaning a business specializing in taking care of ghosts — have arisen to protect the public, for a fee.
The little twist is that only children and teenagers have the “talent” to sense the ghosts and they gradually lose this once they reach their twenties. We follow three young operatives of a Psychic Detection Agency as they battle this epidemic of ghosts.
How to read the Lockwood & Co Series in Order?
- The Screaming Staircase – Lucy Carlyle, a talented young agent, arrives in London hoping for a notable career. Instead, she finds herself joining the smallest, most ramshackle agency in the city, run by the charismatic Anthony Lockwood. When one of their cases goes horribly wrong, Lockwood & Co. has one last chance at redemption. Unfortunately, this involves spending the night in one of the most haunted houses in England, and trying to escape alive.
- The Dagger in the Desk (short story) – In London, a mysterious and potentially deadly ghost is stalking the halls of St Simeon’s Academy for Talented Youngsters. It lurks in the shadows, spreading fear and icy cold – and it carries a sharp and very solid dagger . . . The headmaster wastes no time in enlisting the help of ghost-hunters Anthony Lockwood, Lucy Carlyle, and George Cubbins. Can Lockwood & Co. survive the night and save the day?
- The Whispering Skull – In a fit of anger, Anthony challenges his rival Quill Kipps to a contest: the next time the two agencies compete on a job, the losing side will have to admit defeat in the Times newspaper. Then a new client, Mr. Saunders, hires Lockwood & Co. to be present at the excavation of Edmund Bickerstaff, a Victorian doctor who reportedly tried to communicate with the dead. Saunders needs the coffin sealed with silver to prevent any supernatural trouble. All goes well-until George’s curiosity attracts a horrible phantom. Back home at Portland Row, Lockwood accuses George of making too many careless mistakes. Lucy is distracted by urgent whispers coming from the skull in the ghost jar. Then the team is summoned to DEPRAC headquarters. Kipps is there too, much to Lockwood’s annoyance. Bickerstaff’s coffin was raided and a strange glass object buried with the corpse has vanished. Inspector Barnes believes the relic to be highly dangerous, and he wants it found.
- The Hollow Boy – There is a new spirit of openness in the team now that Lockwood has shared some of his childhood secrets, and Lucy is feeling more and more as if her true home is at Portland Row. It comes as a great shock, then, when Lockwood and George introduce her to an annoyingly perky and hyper-efficient new assistant, Holly Munro. Meanwhile, there are reports of many new hauntings, including a house where bloody footprints are appearing, and a department store full of strange sounds and shadowy figures. But ghosts seem to be the least of Lockwood & Co.’s concerns when assassins attack during a carnival in the center of the city. Can the team get past their personal issues to save the day on all fronts, or will bad feelings attract yet more trouble?
- The Creeping Shadow – Lucy is now a freelance operative, hiring herself out to agencies that value her ever-improving skills. One day she is pleasantly surprised by a visit from Lockwood, who tells her he needs a good Listener for a tough assignment. Penelope Fittes, the leader of the giant Fittes Agency wants them — and only them — to locate and remove the Source for the legendary Brixton Cannibal.
- The Empty Grave – Lockwood, Lucy, George, Holly, and their associate Quill Kipps are on a perilous night mission: they have broken into the booby-trapped Fittes Mausoleum, where the body of the legendary psychic heroine Marissa Fittes lies. Or does it? The young agents must survive attacks from foes both spectral and human before they can take on their greatest enemy in a climactic and chaotic battle. And to prevail they will have to rely on help from some surprising–and shadowy–allies.