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The Ruby in the Smoke (Sally Lockhart Series #1)

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Posted October 16, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Courtesy of Mother Daughter Book

    Fans of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series will find Ruby in the Smoke very different, but in many ways just as pleasurable to read. It opens with sixteen-year-old Sally Lockheart visiting her deceased father's shipping firm and accidentally causing one of his associates to die of a heart-attack when she ask him if he knows of the Seven Blessings. The phrase was on a piece of paper dictated by her father before his death and sent to her in secret.<BR/><BR/>Fearing that her life is in danger, Sally seeks to unravel the mystery of why her father died, who would like to see her dead, and where to find the famed ruby of an Indian maharajah. Set in Victorian London, the Ruby in the Smoke takes the reader into the dark underworld of the times, where opium dens, disreputable boarding houses and seedy characters abound, while poverty forces many into a life of crime. Pullman keeps us guessing right up until the end, when the facts of several mysteries building during the story are revealed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2008

    The Ruby in the Smoke

    A Sally Lockhart Mystery The Ruby in the Smoke is one of Philip Pullman¿s greatest books. He wrote many wonderful Sally Lockhart mysteries like The Shadow in the North, The Tiger in the Well, and The Tin Princess. He is a very special person and a very wonderful writer. If you like his other books you will love this one. In this book The Ruby in the Smoke, Sally Lockhart is left without parents after her father died. Sally now must find what her father left her when he passed away. Sally has a long journey before she will know the truth about her father and his partners. This book is two mysteries into one. The first mystery sally must figure out is what her father left her and why did he choose to give it to her. Sally journeys too many different places in search of answers about what her father left her. Sally starts reading letters sent by her father¿s partners and these letters lead her to many different people. Some are there to help and some are there to kill. Philip Pullman fully describes many people in this book that will help Sally, but he also describes one horrible lady that will kill to find what Sally father has left her. As a reader, one can only hate this woman and what she has done to Sally and many others. Also, you can only want to help Sally figure out all of this and be free. The second mystery Sally must solve is why this horrible lady is after her. Sally does not know what her father left her and she now does not know why this frightening woman wants what her father left her. Philip Pullman reveals this other mystery that forces Sally to buy a gun so she can defend and protect herself from this awful lady. Never once does Philip Pullman relieve this pressure of being killed off of Sally which makes this very overwhelming for her, and also for the readers because you feel it too. Sally journeys to many places and every stop is different and she does not know what to do or how to act. Philip Pullman brings us on her journeys and fills us in on her discovers along the way. Every place seems to have different people that give her new information about her father that she never knew before. Anyone who is interested to read the first book of a trilogy and wondering what will happen to Sally Lockhart should read this book. This is a very magnificent mystery book. You will not only get one mystery, but you get two in one. Now you must try to solve the mystery along with Sally in this wonderful book. Anyone who likes a twisted story that will not stop getting even more twisted will love this story. Philip Pullman writes this great mystery and you will not want to put this book down ever until you are finished.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2008

    Great Mystery

    Sally Lockhart is wrapped up in a confusing mystery. First of all, sally¿s father, Captain Lockhart, died in a mysterious boat wreck. Second, there¿s a red ruby that makes people feel like they¿ve taken opium (a drug) and has something to do with Sally¿s birth. Mrs. Holland, the woman who become¿s Sally¿s enemy, is obsessed with finding this ruby. In her search she gets five men killed and herself. Sally is given the ruby by Major Marchbanks, the man who is really her father. He got it from Captain Lockhart who traded it for sally and became her adopted father. In the end of the book Sally takes the ruby and meets Mrs. Holland on a bridge in Wapping. She gets Mrs. Holland to tell her the whole story then throws the ruby into the water below. Mrs. Holland¿s obsession drives her to leap in after it and drown. The Ruby in the Smoke is a great book for all mystery and adventure lovers. The book had lots of action. After Sally¿s father died she had to go live with her aunt. Her aunt had a housekeeper named Ellen who hated Sally and one night Ellen let in a man named Henry Hopkins. Henry Hopkins was a man who was working for Mrs. Holland and was hired to get some papers and then kill Sally. When he held the knife above her throat about to kill her he found he couldn¿t do it so he just took the papers and her pistol and left. As he was running down the road someone snuck up behind him and stabbed him. When Sally discovered there was a man in the Holland inn who knew about her father¿s death she immediately started trying to get him out. So her two friends, Fredrick and Jim, went to Holland¿s Inn and were lucky enough to be there when Mrs. Holland wasn¿t. They carried the man out of his room, but Adelaide, Mrs. Holland¿s little servant girl, stood in their way. She said they couldn¿t take the man because Mrs. Holland would kill her! Then Fredrick saw Mrs. Holland coming up the sidewalk with her huge sidekick and he just grabbed Adelaide¿s little hand and took her with them. After Mrs. Holland died in the river, she got into a carriage with a man named Van Eeden who she was looking for. He turned out to be bad and almost killed her. Out of self-defense she shot him. The characters are all interesting. Sally Lockhart is a teenage girl who is caught up in a very puzzling mystery. She manages to get through it alive even after being responsible for two men¿s and Mrs. Holland¿s death. Mrs. Holland is an evil woman who will do anything to get the ruby and does. First she tries to kill Sally and then unsuccessful, tries to kill all the men that could help Sally find the ruby. Unfortunately for her, one of the men she had killed had already found a way to give Sally the ruby. Trembler is Fredrick¿s servant and when Sally moved in with Fredrick and his family she couldn¿t figure out what was so different about his Then she realized that Trembler was treated like part of the family not like someone who does whatever you tell them to. All the characters have something to do with the ruby. Sally¿s real father, Major March banks, traded her to her adopted father, Captain Lockhart for the ruby. Major Marchbanks first saw the ruby in India. He almost fainted when he looked at the ruby because it made him feel like he had taken opium. Mrs. Holland is obsessed with the ruby because she was supposed to get the ruby as a marriage present from the man who owned it and who she was going to marry before he died, the Maharajah of India. Instead the Maharajah gave the ruby to Captain Lockhart as payment when Lockhart helped him with something. The Ruby in the Smoke is a great mystery because it has lots of suspense. When Mrs. Holland finally figured out where the ruby was hidden she went to get it, but when she got there someone had already found it. This book is a great book for all mystery and adventure lovers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2002


    An interesting book. Much suspense. Confusing, but nevertheless a good book. I reccomend it.

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