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

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

4.4 50
by Philip Pullman

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“BEWARE THE SEVEN blessings . . . ” When she first utters these words, 16-year-old Sally Lockhart doesn’t know their meaning. But when an employee of her late father hears them, he dies of fear. Thus begins Sally’s terrifying journey into the seamy underworld of Victorian London, in search of clues to her father’s mysterious death.


“BEWARE THE SEVEN blessings . . . ” When she first utters these words, 16-year-old Sally Lockhart doesn’t know their meaning. But when an employee of her late father hears them, he dies of fear. Thus begins Sally’s terrifying journey into the seamy underworld of Victorian London, in search of clues to her father’s mysterious death.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Sally Lockhart finds herself enmeshed in the perplexing clues surrounding her father's death, in this rousing Victorian thriller. Ages 12-up. (Dec.)
Children's Literature - Monserrat Urena
The first book of "The Sally Lockhart Mysteries" was originally published in 1985. This edition of the book is a rerelease. The author's Victorian thriller begins on a cold afternoon in 1872. Sixteen-year-old Sally Lockheart has gone to the offices of Lockheart and Selby, Shipping Agents. She hopes to garner some information from her late father's business partners. He recently drowned in the South China Sea. It was considered a terrible accident and nothing more. That was until Sally received a mysterious note posted from Singapore. Written in a mystifying hand, the note advises her to beware the Seven Blessings. It also advises her to look for help from someone named Marchbanks. Upon arriving at her father's office, she asks one of his business partners if he knows anything about the Seven Blessings. He drops down dead from the shock. With this unexpected turn of events, Sally's world is about to be transformed. The past will return, and she will discover her unwitting involvement with the Opium trade and a stolen ruby of great value. This early heroine of Pullman's foreshadows Lyra's strength and tenacity in the "His Dark Materials" trilogy. Sally is strong-minded and active in her pursuit of the truth, making her a gutsy female heroine. The story itself reads well and is somewhat hard to put down. It is a must read for Pullman fans. Reviewer: Monserrat Urena
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up A rip-roaring good adventure story filled with cutthroat villains, dastardly deeds, sleezy opium dens, filthy London slums, and a delightful 16-year-old heroine. Sally, orphaned when her father dies at sea, becomes ensconsed in mystery and treachery when she learns that a legendary ruby is rightfully hers. With the help of two friends, she sidesteps several attempts on her life, helps rescue a young girl from the clutches of a ruthless blackmailer, and finds the hidden fortune that her father had left her. There are twists and turns at every moment, with new characters constantly entering and old ones exiting (not by their own choice). Descriptions are vivid, colorful, and fully realized. Subtle innuendos enhance character development, and the understated humor keeps readers from taking the story too seriously. There are a few lapses in plotting and several contrivances, but these are minor flaws in a story that pulls together to become a rousing tale of murder and adventure in London in 1872. It's a book for sophisticated readers because of the variety of motivations and schemes as well as the shifts in setting within chapters, and one that's not for the timid because of the many murders. Trev Jones, ``School Library Journal''

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Sally Lockhart Series , #1
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.44(w) x 10.86(h) x 0.66(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

PHILIP PULLMAN is one of the most acclaimed writers working today. He is best known for the His Dark Materials trilogy (The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass), which has been named one of the top 100 novels of all time by Newsweek and one of the all-time greatest novels by Entertainment Weekly. He has also won many distinguished prizes, including the Carnegie Medal for The Golden Compass (and the reader-voted "Carnegie of Carnegies" for the best children's book of the past seventy years); the Whitbread (now Costa) Award for The Amber Spyglass; a Booker Prize long-list nomination (The Amber Spyglass); Parents' Choice Gold Awards (The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass); and the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, in honor of his body of work. In 2004, he was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
It has recently been announced that The Book of Dust, the much anticipated new book from Mr. Pullman, also set in the world of His Dark Materials, will be published as a major work in three parts, with the first part to arrive in October 2017.  
Philip Pullman is the author of many other much-lauded novels. Other volumes related to His Dark Materials: Lyra’s Oxford, Once Upon a Time in the North, and The Collectors. For younger readers: I Was a Rat!; Count Karlstein; Two Crafty Criminals; Spring-Heeled Jack, and The Scarecrow and His Servant. For older readers: the Sally Lockhart quartet: The Ruby in the Smoke, The Shadow in the North, The Tiger in the Well, and The Tin Princess; The White Mercedes; and The Broken Bridge.
Philip Pullman lives in Oxford, England. To learn more, please visit philip-pullman.com and hisdarkmaterials.com. Or follow him on Twitter at @PhilipPullman.

Brief Biography

Oxford, England
Date of Birth:
October 19, 1946
Place of Birth:
Norwich, England
Exeter College, Oxford University

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The Ruby in the Smoke (Sally Lockhart Series #1) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 48 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Honestly, I do not understand why all the attention has gone to the Dark Materials trilogy when Pullman's real achievement is the Sally Lockhart series. These books are brilliant. I do not say that lightly. The characters are fully developed and engaging. Pullman effortlessly mixes in bits of history, drawing fascinating parallels between technological advances, social changes, the transformations of global capital, and European political upheavals. All of this while managing to pull off breathless page turners.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In the past, i have read the golden compass, and i thought it was very well written. It kept me excited throughout the book. Now after reading the The Ruby In the Smoke, i was absolutely blown away. I mean, honestly, i really can't describe! plz read it. This book is so fantastic, you wont regret it! look at the other reviews and how many stars they gave it!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
i am rereading the ruby in the smoke for the second time i loved it i was very glad about her learning about her real father but didn t get a chance to met him
Guest More than 1 year ago
Phillip Pullman has an amazing style. He writes with great detail but keeps your eyes glued to the story at the same time. He has a suspenseful plot that is great for any age and will keep you reading untill you are finnished. Also I was really happy to read about such a strong female charactor, because so many books now have charactors who care more about how they look than who the murderer is. This book is so well writen and suspenseful I found myself relating my life to Sally's. READ IT! What have you got to lose? You win the experience of reading one of the most amazing books I have read. I read alot.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read many books after this one and it still reamains one of the best books I've ever read. It is a great mystery and will keep you turning the pages untill it is impossible for you to stay awake any longer. I think it is an outstanding book, and I always will.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Ruby In The Smoke Was so magnifacent I couldn't get my eyes off it! It was very detailed and beautifuly writen. You'll be done in two days! (Like I Was)
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was excellent! It kept me reading and reading. I never knew what was going to happen next. All the suspense was killing me! I'm very excited to pick up the next 2, but I am very sad that it ends there! Mr. Pullman, if you ever read this, please write more about Miss Sally Lockhart!!! Keep up the great writing!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was one of the best books that I have ever read! It is captivating and it is very hard to put it down. Whoever likes murder mysteries and historical fiction will absolutely love this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm really enjoying this book, even if I am only at page 40!!It is full of intrigue and mystery.I've been looking for a great to read for about a month and I finally found one!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Book is a great read! You can't put it down, Sally Lockhart, a sixteen year old girl who is out to avenge her father's death is a true herione!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really like this story,it's my favourite series of Phillip Pullman's books.I think he writes really good books!!! Although in The Tin Princess,i think Sally could have been in it a bit more, but i still really enjoyed it!!! My favourite part was when Sally hid in Fred's tent thing, when Mrs Holland was after her.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Phillip Pullman is by far the best author. He is also my favorite author! I have read his dark materials triology (those are my favorite) and I am currently getting intrested in the sally Lockheart books. This book makes you think and it's not confusing! It follows a tiwsting plot and is all revealed at the end. You always think its over but then you uncover a new catch. I reccomend this to anyone who wants to read a good book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Pullman really knows how to write books. I loved his other books (the 'his dark materials trilogy', and the other two sally lockhart books.) He is a mastermind in writing complex, and well devoloped books. I really liked this book and have read it over and over again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought that connecting the storys was dynamic. It was a book of self discovery. The books title was so perfect in irony, I really enjoyed it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
All the people at school are saying 'This book is confusing!' 'It's hard to follow!' and even teachers are saying it's the hardest book on the 2002 English Festival booklist. But I absolutely enjoyed it- I was pulled into the book and lived every minute of it with the characters. I'd love to read the other books in the triology!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book, along with Pullman's others. Also like the others, i could NOT put it down!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful book. It was hard to put it down! Philip Pullman is an excellent author. Some may say it is too hard to understand for a kid, but I'm 11 and I loved it! I would recommend it to any of my friends. Anyone who loves mysteries should read this book. Even if you don't like mysteries, if you read 'The Ruby in the Smoke', you will start loving mysteries.
Guest More than 1 year ago
.. perhaps. I first read The Golden Compass, and immediatley fell in love with the book. Skeptical of his other writings, I went to the library to check out The Subtle Knife. Finding that it was already checked out, I decided to read one of his other works, but was convinced I was not going to like my selection -- the Sally Lockhart triliogies. However, I read The Ruby In The Smoke the very next day (and finished it within an evening, I tend to read fast.) and could not wait to begin reading the sequels!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is great!! If you like mysteries or historical fiction, then you have to read this book. The time period is great and the plot is so good that I couldn't put it down!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was one of the books that I will always remember! It doesn't matter if you like SF or you are a teenager ( I am not), the book is going to impress you. I strongly recommend it to everybody.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm only eleven and halfway done with this book but already Pullman has again pulled me into his exquisite writing. This is an outstanding book that leads you trough the tale of a strong and clever young woman. Any person that has read Golden Compass or Amber syglass will definatly love this book.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
Liked the book and wanted to know how the mystery gets solved. Throughout the book, there were some interesting twists and turns. At times it did get a little dark. Recommend the book and movie.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago