Stephanie's uncle Gordon was an author. After his death, Stephanie is surprised to learn Gordon had a few secrets. As she is roaming through Gordon's house, she meets Skulduggery Pleasant, a skeleton detective, who warns Stephanie that her life may be in danger. Run-ins with all types of villains abound: vampires, friends who are turncoats, and someone named China Sorrows. Action is non-stop as Skulduggery and Pleasant try to find the Scepter before the evil Serpine can use it to destroy all that is good in the world.
Though I think the main character's age is somewhat youngish (she is 12 but comes across as much older), this is the only quibble I have with this action/adventure/detective/quest/comedy.