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The Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman
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The Ruby in the Smoke (1985)

by Philip Pullman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Sally Lockhart Mysteries (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,019751,885 (3.75)137
  1. 60
    A Spy in the House by Y. S. Lee (Anonymous user, Caramellunacy)
    Caramellunacy: Both stories are Victorian-era mysteries with smart and feisty female protagonists. Pullman's trilogy is definitely the darker of the two series, but Lee's complex and capable protagonist makes The Agency series well worth a read for cozy mystery lovers.… (more)
  2. 10
    The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) by Philip Pullman (Aleana)
  3. 32
    A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray (norabelle414)
    norabelle414: Excellent Victorian era historical fiction mysteries with strong female protagonists
  4. 00
    The Case of the Missing Marquess by Nancy Springer (Aleana)
  5. 00
    The Extraordinary and Unusual Adventures of Horatio Lyle by Catherine Webb (HatsForMice)
    HatsForMice: Another Victorian London-set mystery, but with a fantasy element, more humour and a stronger sense of setting.
  6. 00
    Les étranges soeurs Wilcox, Tome 1 : Les vampires de Londres by Fabrice Colin (Aleana)
  7. 00
    The Affinity Bridge by George Mann (rosylibrarian)
  8. 00
    The Broken Bridge by Philip Pullman (norabelle414)
  9. 00
    The Escape From Home by Avi (nocowardsoul)
  10. 00
    The Musician's Daughter by Susanne Dunlap (sweetiegherkin)
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» See also 137 mentions

English (71)  French (3)  Dutch (1)  All languages (75)
Showing 1-5 of 71 (next | show all)
I remember completely loving this book in high school and reading it many times. It was my favorite book for awhile, I can't wait to go back now, years later, and re read it. ( )
  Diamond.Dee. | Jul 3, 2015 |
Sally Lockhart's world has been changed utterly. Her father has recently died at sea while checking on interests of his company in India. Sally is now forced to live with one of her bitter relatives who appears to resent Sally's existence. And then a mysterious note arrives that seems to indicate that there is more to Sally's father's death than meets the eye. Suddenly, Sally is pulled into a mystery that dates back years and encompasses a strange cast of characters as well as a ruby worth more than anyone could imagine.

A decent YA Victorian era mystery. Sally is an enjoyable character with none of the typical accomplishments a girl of the period would have and is all the more likable because of it. The cast of characters that surround Sally are delightful and Pullman puts together a short but compelling mystery that leaves me keen to pick up the next novel in this series. ( )
  MickyFine | Apr 9, 2015 |
Another great read by Pullman. I'm always fascinated by the adult level that he brings to "Young Adult" novels. ( )
  brianinseattle | Oct 1, 2014 |
Throughout the year of 2014, I told myself I'd re-read some of my favourite books from my childhood. This was the first one I picked up as I remember being absolutely addicted to the series way back when. It was just as incredible as I remembered, maybe even more so thanks to finally catching the adult themes and jokes within the book within my adult eyes.

What do a man drowning at sea, a heart attack victim and a mysterious message all have in common? Little Sally Lockheart. That's all I'm going to say in regards to the premise of the book. You really do all have to read it and I don't want to give anything away. Even the slightest of details can hint at the final ending of the book.

Philip Pullman really is the master storyteller. He keeps things succinct, and yet detailed, explained and yet exciting, and everything ties in with everything else almost far too perfectly. The language he uses is rich and inviting and always urges you to read "just one more" chapter. The heroine is amazing at some things, and yet does have her flaws, which I think makes her just that much more real. Instead of having a mastermind perfect at everything running an investigation, you have a flawed person investigating equally flawed people and so on. One of the main themes of this book is what some people call "the grey area". Not one person or object within this book is either good or evil, they always lie somewhere in between. I love that.

The plot is engaging and unique and although everything is tied up neatly at the end, there are some loose threads that aren't explained which makes you want to read the next few books in the series. As if you wouldn't want to anyway, Philip Pullman is a genius. He always has, is, and will always remain, one of my favourite authors of all time.

I salute you, my friend. I salute you. ( )
  kerryelizabeth | Apr 4, 2014 |
This was a great mystery. I knew almost nothing about opium before reading this book. I feel like I know a lot more now.

I really liked the whole group of characters. I also liked that Sally was a strong and independent character, but one who also knows when to ask for help.

I would recommend this to teens who want a good mystery. ( )
  TheMadHatters | Mar 16, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 71 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Philip Pullmanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Benson, LindaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lesser, AntonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mak, KamCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stutzman, MarkCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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On a cold, fretful afternoon in early October, 1872, a hansom cab drew up outside the offices of Lockhart and Selby, Shipping Agents in the financial heart of London, and a young girl got out and paid the driver.
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Book description
Soon after Sally Lockhart's father drowns at sea, she receives a strange anonymous letter. The dire warning it contains makes a man die of fear at her feet. Determined to discover the truth about her father's death, Sally is plunged into a terrifying mystery in the dark heart of Victorian London, at the centre of which lie a deadly blood-soaked jewel.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0394895894, Mass Market Paperback)

"Her name was Sally Lockhart; and within fifteen minutes, she was going to kill a man." Philip Pullman begins his Sally Lockhart trilogy with a bang in The Ruby in the Smoke--a fast-paced, finely crafted thriller set in a rogue- and scalawag-ridden Victorian London. His 16-year-old heroine has no time for the usual trials of adolescence: her father has been murdered, and she needs to find out how and why. But everywhere she turns, she encounters new scoundrels and secrets. Why do the mere words "seven blessings" cause one man to keel over and die at their utterance? Who has possession of the rare, stolen ruby? And what does the opium trade have to do with it?

As our determined and intelligent sleuth sets her mind to unraveling these dark mysteries, she learns how embroiled she is in the whole affair. As riveting and witty as the sensational "penny dreadfuls" of Victorian England (but thousands of times better written), Pullman's trilogy (including The Shadow in the North and The Tiger in the Well) will have readers on the edges of their seats. Ruby is an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. (Ages 12 and older) --Karin Snelson

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:05 -0400)

(see all 10 descriptions)

In nineteenth-century London, sixteen-year-old Sally, a recent orphan, becomes involved in deadly search for a mysterious ruby.

» see all 10 descriptions

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