I count Jonathan Stroud as a favorite author, not because I love all the books he's ever written, but because he brought Bartimaeus into the world. Bartimaeus is a demon, who first appeared in the trilogy that begins with The Amulet of Samarkand. Those books were a tad to dark for me--I kept hoping that a certain central character would become more sympathetic, and was somewhat disappointed. But then Stroud went back and gave Bartimaeus his very own book--The Ring of Soloman--a book I love (here's my review). (Heroes of the Valley, an unrelated book, I never managed to finish...).
Stroud has started a new series--Lockwood and Co.--whose first book, The Screaming Staircase, comes out from Random House at the end of August. Even though there's no Bartimaeus, it sounds great:
"A Problem has occurred
in London: all nature of ghosts, haunts, and spirits are appearing
throughout the city, and they aren't exactly friendly. Only young people
have the psychic abilities required to see - and, hopefully, eradicate -
the supernatural enemies. Many different Psychic Detection Agencies
have cropped up to handle the dangerous work, and they are in fierce
competition for business.
In THE SCREAMING STAIRCASE, the plucky
and talented Lucy teams up with Anthony, the leader of Lockwood &
Co, a small agency that runs independent of any adult supervision. After
an assignment leads to both a grisly discovery and a disastrous end,
Lucy, Anthony, and their wise-cracking colleague, George, are forced to
take part in the perilous investigation of one of the most haunted
houses in England: Combe Carey Hall. Will Lockwood & Co. survive the
Hall's legendary Screaming Staircase and Red Room to see another day?
How did the Problem originate, and how can it be solved?"
(I especially like that it is about a Problem with a capital P).
Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.