Milrose Munce is still alive. Which is more than you can say for most of his friends. No, his friends died, some time ago, mostly in gruesome accidents in the school science lab. Bored Beulah, for instance, fell asleep into a vat of hydrochloric acid. Toasted Theresa caught fire - and roasted for some hours - in the chemical store room. Neither of these girls is very pleasant to look at, but Milrose is extremely fond of them. His mentor is Deeply Damaged Dave, who was carrying a vial of something combustible in his pocket, which - sad to say - combusted. Dave is a master of all things dangerous, and specializes in Milrose's favorite activity: the staging of unwise and magnificent explosions.
Milrose is the only one, as far as he knows, who can see these ghosts. This causes some trouble: the teachers witness him talking to the empty air in front of him, and laughing at jokes that nobody else can hear, and slapping non-existent friends on the back. For this Milrose is sentence to receive Professional Help, a nasty business administered by the unhinged Massimo Natica in a hidden room in the school: the loathsome, perilous Den. He and his fellow captive, Arabella, soon discover that they have in fact been caught up in a vast and unspeakably evil plot, which threatens the lives and deaths of everyone they know. Luckily, they have an army of ghosts at their disposal.
Critics in the UK and Canada have compared Milrose Munce and the Den of Professional Help to the twisted masterpieces of Lemony Snicket and Roald Dahl. While readers as young as eight have loved the book, this dark comedy has an equally large following among adults.