Started reading the wonderfully grim and pessimistic series of books by the so-called Lemony Snicket (apparently a nom-de-plume), going under the title A Series of Unfortunate Events.
Having devoured the first within a couple of hours, I ran out to buy the second two. Apparently there will be thirteen in total (a suitably unlucky number), but I gather only six have been published so far.
They continue in the tradition of Philip Pullman of writing books for kids that aren't all brightness and roses - and, like the Harry Potter series, are a pleasure for adults.
They're written in character as modern-day Victoriana - the three protagonists are orphans named Baudelaire, and a key character is a banker named Mr. Poe - but the odd refrence to walkie-talkies or motorcycles creeps in, alongside the anachronistic use of such Americanisms as 'I guess' or 'cookies'.
They're simple, rich, charming and beautifully illustrated - and cheap. Check 'em out. :)