NEW author Derek Landy has famously got an advance in the region of seven figures for this children's book - a very nice region indeed, to paraphrase Groucho Marx.
Skulduggery Pleasant is great fun, full of creepy zombies, initiations into new magical horrors and adventures in the otherworld.
Our 12-year-old heroine Stephanie's uncle dies, and a skeletal friend comes to the funeral. Soon Stephanie is choosing a magical name, having an enchanting outfit tailored and battling vampires and other evil beings around Dublin.
It has a story that rackets on from crisis to crisis, and genuinely unnerving moments, not to mention a mirror that produces a clone that goes to school for Stephanie while she goes adventuring - every pre-teen's dream.
The perfect present for your nearest 10-year-old, it's full of fictional history and great quips as the skeleton detective and his girl helper knock the jokes back and forth.