Constable & Toop by Gareth P. Jones

A darkly comic Dickensian ghost story from Blue Peter Award winner Gareth P. Jones.
Sam Toop lives in a funeral parlour, blessed (or cursed) with an unusual gift. While his father buries the dead, Sam is haunted by their constant demands for attention. Trouble is afoot on the ‘other side’ – there is a horrible disease that is mysteriously imprisoning ghosts into empty houses in the world of the living. And Sam is caught in the middle – will he be able to bring himself to help?

Other books by the author
Ninja Meerkat series
The Considine Curse
The Thornwaite Inheritance
Space Crime Conspiracy
The Dragon Detective Agency series
Perry’s 5

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Author website link

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The Demon Collector by Jon Mayhew
Fire Spell by Laura Amy Schlitz
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place by Maryrose Wood
Montmorency by Eleanor Updale
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M Valente
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman


16 thoughts on “Constable & Toop by Gareth P. Jones

  1. I loved this story. Its many memorable characters are drawn in sufficient detail to elicit empathy without information overload and contribute to a powerfully rich story with more than a shade of Dickens

  2. Lapsewood is a ghost and he’s never done anything remarkable in his lie – or his death – until he’s kicked out of his afterlife job. He ends up on the streets of Victorian London, trying – with the help of a rogue ghost – to stamp out the Black Rot, an evil substance which is taking over buildings deprived of their resident ghost.
    Meanwhile, Sam Toop, the son of a funeral director, is trying to avoid ghosts because they pester him to do them favours in the living world. The stories of Sam and Lapsewood seem unrelated until later on when everything comes nicely together and makes sense.
    As ghost stories go, this one isn’t at all scary but that makes it good! It’s a totally new take on what happens after death and it’s also completely believable because it explains why ghosts haunt and do all the things we expect of them. The characters in this book are fantastic, especially the ghosts. You learn enough about them to be hooked and are left happily imagining what their previous lives were like.
    I hate to make any criticisms but I do have one or two. Towards the end, the sentences got shorter and less descriptive which might have been deliberate but I don’t understand why. Also there wasn’t really a climax. The level of tension and excitement stayed at the same level throughout the book and the end came almost as an anticlimax.
    Overall, I’d probably give this book 9/10 because, although it was hugely enjoyable and there was never a dull moment, I would have liked a climax.

  3. Sam Toop has always been able to communicate with ghosts but wishes that he couldn’t because they are so demanding. Sam helps prevent an exorcist from emptying houses of their ghosts and meets Clara who has befriended her resident ghost even though she can’t see her. Sam is clearly in love and if the book was longer, something romantic would have come of it, which would have made a nice ending.
    All in all, it was a well written story. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone.

  4. I’m not a great fan of ghost stories but this book is really excellent because it is funny, scary and gruesome and the ghosts have strongly described personalities. The slow beginning put me off a little but then the lands of the dead and living twined together and I got involved. This book is really well written and it’s my favourite book so far.

  5. I thought it was clever how all the characters’ stories were linked together.

  6. I loved this book because it is sort of a history book and its a really good story to read.

  7. I think that Constable and Toop is a great book as it is sort of mystery which I love and I can sort of picture what is going to happen. My favourite bit in this book would be when the ghost got up, walked over to Sam and started talking to him about her past. I did like this book but not as much as All Fall Down so therefore I give this book 4 stars.

    Good luck to Gareth on the night of the event, I hope he does well!

  8. I thought this book had a good plot with just the right amount of goriness. It got a bit boring in places but never stopped giving surprises. The ending was good and I felt I got to know the characters so, overall, I think this is one of the best books I have read.

  9. Constable and Toop is an astonishing book! It’s not only well written but has a fantastic plot with lots of hooks and twists all over the place! The story is quite complex, with lots of sub plots that somehow all fit together at the end.
    One of the best features of this book is the fantastic and memorable characters. I was going to describe my favourite ones when I realised that I loved them all. However, I do think Mrs O’Twain was portrayed particularly well. I believed in her so strongly, was surprised that she didn’t give the Exorcist a good beating when he took Paddy’s ghost!
    This story must have taken an enormous amount of planning or maybe it came from a very sophisticated dream! It has a very complicated plot with lots of separate things going on but it’s not hard to carry all the threads in your mind because the next chapter always reminds you about a character that was just beginning to slip your mind. Towards the end, I was beginning to wonder if each little story would have its own ending but then everything came together amazingly.
    I enjoyed this book so much, I read it throughout one day. I literally couldn’t put it down! It is an outstanding, exceptional and magnificent novel and my favourite!

  10. Like no book I’ve read before!
    I thought it was very clever the way the many little stories and characters linked together and contributed to the grand finale. I loved the twist at the end.

  11. It was a ghost/mystery book which is my kind of book. Lapeswood is a ghost who gets kicked out of his job in his after life. And a young boy who can see ghosts makes the story a whole lot more interesting. It kept me flicking through the pages and I couldn’t put the book down.

  12. I love ghosts, or telling ghost stories so it was a fun chance to read a ghost mystery like book. This book is about a little boy who can see ghosts, which is cool because I have always wanted to see or talk to ghosts, but I never have so it’s fun to read this book because I want to experience what he’s experiencing. This book is amazing, fun to read and I really think if you haven’t read it yet you should and realise that humans can be more scary than ghosts, and keep a look out because if you do see a ghost, there’s nothing to be afraid of, becuase ghosts can’t really hurt you and they actually can be quite nice, but humans can hurt you and murdur you, so dont get scared of ghosts! The humans are the ones you want to keep away from, you know the saying don’t talk to strangers, well this book tells you that you can, but as long as they’re ghosts because they cant hurt you at all.

  13. I found this book confusing. I thought Clara seemed too modern for a Victorian girl.

  14. Its very different and just a little confusing at the start, but when the two stories fit together it made a lot more sense. The timeline of the story was a little strange, Sam seemed very old fashioned yet Clara sounded very modern.

  15. This book was interesting. There were hardly any words that I could not read or understand the meaning of. It was a bit spooky but I really enjoyed reading this book. I found it strange most of the way through but near to the end I got what was going on. If you have not read it I recommend you do

  16. I don’t usually like ghost stories but I quite liked this. I liked when it was three different stories at the start but then merged into one full story. My favourite bit is when Jack Toop kills people by slitting their throats and just dragging them to the kitchen. Also I like the name kitchen killer because it’s catchy.

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