The Ruby In The Smoke

By Philip Pullman. I checked this out of the teen fiction section at the public library, because I had heard it was good, and I know people who rant and rave about Pullman’s His Dark Materials series. The Ruby in the Smoke is the start of the Sarah Lockhart trilogy, and I’m not sure if I will read the other ones, although it wouldn’t take that much of my time. And I’m kind of a sucker for series.

The book is a 19th century mystery surrounding a ruby from India, and the 16-year-old Sally Lockhart’s unraveling of the mystery. To give away more would ruin it, so I’ll just stop there. Superfans of Sherlock Holmes might like this book better than I did. I didn’t find it dull per se, but just unsurprising. It was as if I was watching a story being put through its paces. Of course, I’m not the intended audience, so take that with a grain of salt.

If you’re looking for a gift for a 12-14 year old sibling or cousin who likes mystery novels and Victorian England, it would make a lovely gift. As for myself, I’d take the Dark Is Rising series over this one
any day.

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