The Ruby in the Smoke

The Ruby in the Smoke Book Review
Phillip Pullman
4 / 5

Genre | Young Adult Mystery
Published: 1985
Goodreads | 3.8 

This was a book I read when I was 12 or 13 and it was a book I remember enjoying immensely, yet I haven’t reread it…until now.

This Young-Adult mystery is centred around the suspicious death of Sally Lockhart’s father in the South China Sea which has left her a teenage orphan alone in the smoky fog of Victorian London. Her father’s death and dying note to her triggers a series of events that place her in terrible danger. The danger and mystery deepen, and at the heart of this fascinating tale lies the deadly secret of the ruby in the smoke..

The mystery begins when Sally endeavours to uncover the significance of her father’s last warning to her – ‘Beware the Seven Blessing.’ She intends to pursue this lead and find out the identity of his killer and bring the villain to justice. Shortly after her arrival at her father’s trading office, she becomes embroiled in another murder, the vagaries of the opium trade, and the mystery of the disappearance of the fabled Ruby of Agrapur. During her adventures in London, she encounters a few associates who become true friends, including a young errand boy named Jim, an amiable photographer by the name of Frederick Garland and his friendly actress of a sister Rosa. Before the game is played out, she will need her new-found friends in her race against the clock to make sense of her convoluted past and discover just who is behind the strange web of betrayal and deceit that has taken over her life.  Continue reading