Thrills & Chills Blog Tour- Jonathan Stroud

thrills & chills banner

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays because I love the fall season, candy and the fun of dressing up. I also enjoy spooking myself with books and films so what better way to get in the festive mood than to highlight some of this year’s creepiest reads. I’m so excited to be part of the Halloween Thrills & Chills Blog Tour hosted by the incredible The Midnight Garden.

I am honored to have Jonathan Stroud here on the blog today talking about his spectacular series, Lockwood & Co. These books are stellar! I adore the mystery and spooky aura he so deftly incorporates into these books. His characters are well developed and impossible not to love. You must give them a try if you’ve not. First, let’s meet the man behind the books…

jonathanstroudhalloweenAbout Jonathan Stroud
Jonathan Anthony Stroud is an author of fantasy books, mainly for children and youths.

Jonathan grew up in St Albans where he enjoyed reading books, drawing pictures,  and writing stories. Between the ages seven and nine he was often ill,  so he spent most of his days in the hospital or in his bed at home. To  escape boredom he would occupy himself with books and stories. After he  completed his studies of English literature at the University of York,  he worked in London as an editor for the Walker Books store. He worked  with different types of books there and this soon led to the writing of  his own books. During the 1990s, he started publishing his own works and quickly gained success.

Jonathan is the author of the bestselling Bartimaeus Trilogy as well as Lockwood & Co. from Disney-Hyperion. Visit him online on his website, blog, Facebook, GoodReads, and Twitter.


The Whispering Skull Synopsis
In the six months since Anthony, Lucy, and George survived a night in the most haunted house in England, Lockwood & Co. hasn’t made much progress. Quill Kipps and  his team of Fittes agents keep swooping in on Lockwood’s investigations. Finally, in a fit of anger, Anthony challenges his rival 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. Things look up when 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 author of the blockbuster Bartimaeus series  delivers another amusing, chilling, and ingeniously plotted entry in the critically acclaimed Lockwood & Co. series.

The Whispering Skull, the second book in the Lockwood & Co. series, was released on September 16th, 2014. Add it to your GoodReads, and find it in stores and online!

Guest Post: Jonathan Stroud on Fashion Accessories for Ghost-hunters
Traditional spooky stories, at least literary ones, tend to weigh the scales quite heavily in favour of the scary ghosts. These spectres are powerful and purposeful; they know they’ve got a job to do (usually involving vengeance, punishment or warning) and they knuckle down and get it done with maximum efficiency. The living protagonist of the tale, however, is usually a fairly wet specimen, being hapless, innocent and/or fatally curious, and (crucially) almost always vulnerable and alone. In other words, when something spectral comes calling, they’ve got precious few defences to offer. Usually the upshot is they die straight off, go mad with shock, or are otherwise enfeebled, wasting pathetically away or dying months later, never having spoken again. In other words, it’s an easy win for the ghost.

Not in my books, it’s not.

Don’t get me wrong. I still want my ghouls to be scary. I want them as sinister and horrible as I can make them. Cute dewy-eyed phantoms a la Caspar the Friendly Ghost need not apply. But I want it to be a fair fight between them and my child heroes, who (since the frankly rubbish adults can’t sense ghosts at all) are the ones who have to face them. It’s true the kids have strong psychic abilities, and are able to see, hear and otherwise sense supernatural things almost before they happen, but this isn’t itself a great defence. In some respects it actually makes them more vulnerable, since they see stuff (and hear stuff) that preys on their mind. No, they definitely need a bit of authorial assistance, going in.

What does this mean in practice? It means giving them nice clothes.

I intuited this right at the start, before I had a clue what the story was really about. The first scene of The Screaming Staircase sees Anthony Lockwood and Lucy Carlyle, two of our three heroes, arriving at a haunted house. They go to the door, ring the bell, stand there ready to be let in.

Lockwood’s nattily dressed in a suit and tie. He also goes in for a long coat that looks cool but has a tendency to get caught in things at moments of danger. He wears gloves against the spectral cold. (Under his shirt and trousers he’s probably got a set of thermals too, but we won’t go into this right now.) He’s also got ectoplasm-proof boots, made in London by a fashionable British footwear company. His outfit says: English, coolly assertive, upper-middle class. He’s not going to be overawed by any old scrubby phantom.

Lucy’s equally sartorially well-equipped for supernatural encounters. She goes for a neat parka, a warm jersey, a short and funky skirt, a set of (extra-warm) leggings, and another pair of swish boots. Unlike Lockwood, she has a woolly hat to hand; like him, she sports a long shiny rapier at her belt for dealing with spectres. Her look is rather more up-to-date and classless than Lockwood’s, but equally formidable.

The third hero, George Cubbins, is introduced later in the first book. He’s different again – generally appearing in a rather scruffy untucked T-shirt, jeans and massive trainers. More of a slacker-look, in other words (and the subject of much derision from Lucy), but it’s still a statement of youthful confidence.

So, like every set of professionals, Lockwood & Co. have a certain uniform. It helps give them power. What ghost wouldn’t be unnerved to face these three?

Giveaway Info:

Win a Thrills and Chills box of horror! Includes copies of the following new releases:
Mary: The Summoning
The Screaming Staircase The Whispering Skull
Welcome to the Dark House
The box will be delivered just in time for spooky Halloween reading. Open to US and Canadian residents, see complete rules on entry form.
Rafflecopter code:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to visit the other blogs on the tour

Thrills and Chills: Halloween Event Tour with Jonathan Stroud, Hillary Monahan, and Laurie Stolarz

Wednesday, October 1
The Midnight Garden
5 Questions with Jonathan Stroud

Thursday, October 2
The Starry-Eyed Revue
Into the Spooky Swamp Setting of Mary: The Summoning

Friday, October 3
Supernatural Snark
Rules for Surviving a House of Horrors (guest post by Laurie Stolarz)

Monday, October 6
Xpresso Reads
Deleted Scene from Mary: The Summoning

Tuesday, October 7
Love is Not a Triangle
5 Questions with Laurie Stolarz

Wednesday, October 8
For the Love of Words
10 Great Horror Films with Jonathan Stroud

Thursday, October 9
Winterhaven Books
How I Became a Horror Fan  (guest post with Hillary Monahan)

Friday,  October 10
YA Romantics
Quiz: What Dark House Character Are You?

Monday, October 13
My Friends Are Fiction
Fashion Accessories for Ghosthunters (guest post by Jonathan Stroud)

Tuesday, October 14
The Flyleaf Review
5 Questions with Hillary Monahan

Wednesday, October 15
Books with Bite
Top 10 Items to Survive The Dark House Amusement Park

Thursday, October 16
The Social Potato
A Tour of Jonathan Stroud’s Writing Space

TMG blog tours


  1. says

    Oooooo I really need to read these books, I’ve been meaning too for so long. At first I thought they were a little young for me as I don’t usually connect with the characters very in comparison if you know what I mean. Love the Guest post, I have to say a character’s fashions certainly does inspire the novel quite a bit and I can see through the hero’s that they each compliment the book and each other. Lovely post! 🙂

    • says

      I agree! I love to read about what characters are wearing. It helps me visualize them as well as the setting. I really enjoyed them so you should try the first to see if you like it! It was a quick read and very well done.

  2. says

    Yay for being a part of this awesome tour 😀 Thank you so much for sharing. <3 I love this post. I have yet to read these books, but I do think they look creepy and so awesome 🙂

  3. says

    The outfits sound so cool, especially Lockwoods. I like the rapiers, I’d definitely one one if I was going up against a ghoul. I love the idea that only children can see ghosts! This also explains why they don’t just go to adults for help. Nice post! 🙂

    • says

      I couldn’t help it but Lockwood reminded me of the 10th Doctor. I could so easily picture him similar to Tennant. I hope you enjoy them if you read!

  4. Jillyn says

    If I were hunting ghosts, I’d want a corseted dress and a pair of kick ass black leather boots. It’d make me feel fierce!

  5. Mary DeBorde (M.A.D.) says

    I haven’t read these yet, but Lockwood’s outfit sounds epically awesome – I would definitely be wearing some of those ectoplasm-proof boots and after years of watching BBC I’ve got the British accent down pat lol 😀
    Only thing is, I’d have to add on to my ensemble a (TNT) Trance-Nullifying-Tiara (in basic black, of course) 😉

  6. Stephanie says

    I love this since it combines two of my favorite things: ghosts and clothes. 🙂 And I would probably dress somewhat like Lucy – stylish yet still practical for encountering ghosts

    • says

      Me either to be honest but some of these comments have it down! The TNT Tiara, Biker Boots and leather. I think I’d really enjoy the trench coat look.

  7. says

    If I were hunting ghosts, I’d definitely need one of those large, warm coats and sleek gloves too. I kind of want that “mystery solver” look going on, plus ghosts tend to be associated with chills and whatnot, right? Warm clothing is necessary!

  8. says

    Clothes are weapons as they say. Or maybe they don’t but they absolutely should. Have you ever been to high school? I know it has been almost 15 years since I was in one, but even then clothes were formidable weapons. They are also shields, in the emotional sense and in the physical sense in these books. Speaking of, I can’t wait to read this series. I have the first book. Now all that needs to happen is me reading it. And highly enjoying every minute!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *