Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy
If you like weird and strange, Skulduggery Pleasant is the book for you!
Twelve-year-old Stephanie Edgley's favorite uncle, Gordon, died suddenly, and since Stephanie was his favorite niece (actually his favorite relative of any kind), he left his lovely home and almost all of his possessions to her. Everything except one very ugly brooch that he left to his least favorite relative.
Stephanie ends up spending the first night after Gordon's funeral in the house...alone. She is not alone for long, however. A very sinister man breaks into the house demanding a key - a key that Stephanie knows nothing about. Just when it looks like Stephanie is about to be killed (and the story about to end as soon as it has begun!), she is rescued by a very strange, very thin man dressed in an overcoat, a hat and a scarf that covers his face.
Stephanie is not reassured at all when she realizes that the "very thin man" is actually a living, moving (breathing??) skeleton; a friend of her recently-deceased uncle, named Skulduggery Pleasant.
What has Stephanie gotten herself into? Who is Skulduggery Pleasant? Did her uncle die of natural causes or was he murdered? And what is the key that the sinister man was willing to kill her for?
Need I say again that this is a weird and strange book! It involves magic and mages, Ancients and a mythical Scepter, and people with very strange names. In addition to Skulduggery, you'll meet Ghastly Bespoke, China Sorrows, Nefarian Serpine, Eachan Meritorious, Tanith Low, Sagacious Tome and others. The names alone are reason enough to read this book, but the story is good, too, and appears to be just the beginning of a weird and strange series.
Find out more than you want to know about Skulduggery Pleasant here.