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The Ruby in the Smoke: A Sally Lockhart Mystery Paperback – September 9, 2008
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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
"Ruby in the Smoke" is a very different style of book. There is no fantasy in this series, no armored bears or magical implements. This is straight historical mystery, set in England of 1872. Sally Lockhart is our young hero. She is an amazingly well-rounded character, at times a plucky, spirited lass, at times a shy young woman. She is looking for facts about the death or her Father. Someone else is looking for her, and her connection to the lost Ruby of Agrapar.
While this book does not have the sense of wonder and captivation of "His Dark Materials," it does posses it's own strengths. Pullman has gone very deep into accuracy and social relevance with this trilogy. The story is as much Sally Lockhart's battle with women's conventions of the time, as it is with the villains of the series. The story is very dark, and the opium trade and the Indian Mutiny are all major story points. (In fact, anyone taking up "Ruby in the Smoke" would do well to review this historical events.)
A very good, intelligent book. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.
I think that this is the best of this trilogy, although the last book is very good. The mystery is very compelling, and Pullman is brilliant at drawing you into the world of Victorian England. This will have you on the edge of your seat! Sally Lockhart is an attractive character, and takes everything that is thrown at her by Pullman in good heart. I definitely wanted to read the whole series after this one.
I came to this story after The Golden Compass and the Subtle Knife. I think that His Dark Materials is much richer and deeper than this series, but maybe the Sally Lockhart books are easier for a younger audience to read. They are set in a more familiar world, and the stories do not interwind. At the same time, Philip Pullman is a cut above most children's storytellers, as his characters and stories are more original and modern - Sally is definitely a feminist heroine. Will definitely keep this one for my daughter to read.
The heroine is 16 year-old Sally Lockhart and she lives in Victorian London. Her father has been murdered and her life is about to be turned upside down by a legacy she doesn't want. Pullman does an excellent job of describing Victorian London (the educational concept). He also makes an exceptional job of plotting and holding the reader's attention (the entertainment). In terms of writing, his style is clear, often amusing, and he has the ability to draw settings in just a few brief words (the readability).
Pullman's London is full or rogues and scoundrels and vagabonds and neer-do-wells. And it seems they're all on the side of the opium dealers (who really DID exist in Victorian London). But Sally Lockhart draws loyalty from some borderline characters of her her own. People who are street-wise, and know how to help her through her problems.
If you've not yet read a Philip Pullman book, start with this one and see how you get on. They're a lot of fun and they're extraordinarily well written.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not quite a mystery for young adults. While Sally Lockhart is solving a mystery and facing peril, the true motives of villains and heroes are never masked. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Dione Basseri
The Ruby in the Smoke is one of those books I've been meaning to read, but somehow, always missed. Philip Pullman, one of all time favourite authors, clearly has a huge following... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Dan Thompson, Author
after reading other Pullman books - these Sally Lockhart stories are a bit disappointing.Published 16 months ago by Toodles
A good read, strong women character, the plot never drags. Kind of a combination of Dickens, Sherlock Holmes, and Nancy Drew. Read morePublished on December 5, 2013 by Theresa May
I know Mr Pullman thinks he is superior to such writers as Tolkien, CS Lewis, Enid Blyton... who didn't need to use swearing... Read morePublished on November 21, 2013 by Fillyjonk
A gift for my niece who loved it - but I had read it previously and loved it too. An unforgettable story and never ages!Published on August 18, 2013 by L Kirby
Riveting, exciting and creative. My 10 yo loves it. Pullman is a great writer. This is complex enough to be a bit challenging, but light enough to be fun and engaging.Published on June 26, 2013 by mteague