Sally Lockhart's father is dead. His death seems to be connected to a mysterious phrases, "The Seven Blessings", a phrase that when uttered, kills one of his business associates from shock. These Seven Blessings begin Sally Lockhart's journey into Victorian London, trying to uncover the truth of her father's death. While doing this, she also discovers that she is an important key in two mysteries: one involving the opium trade, another an Indian ruby. While being pursued by villains, Sally is determined to find out the truth in The Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman.
From the first page to the last chapter, there is never a dull moment in this book. It is full action and all kinds of different characters with their quirky dialects. Sally, herself, defies all the gender stereotypes we expect from a Victorian heroine. She calls herself "good at figures" (math) and can shoot a pistol no problem. Instead of fretting about catching a husband at the age of sixteen, she is too busy being awesome.
This book, like the previous one I reviewed, did the whole jumping around character perspective thing. However, this gives the whole mystery a fuller view: the reader can see what the heroes and the villains are doing. While it may take a bit to know who's on what side, it is worth it.
I would recommend this book to people who love a good mystery. If you're looking for something a little more mature then Nancy Drew, then look no further. This is the first book I've read by Pullman, but I have definitely enjoyed it and am planning to read the next in the series.
So have you read The Ruby in the Smoke? Did you love it? Did you hate it? Have you read any of Pullman's other novels? Let me know in the comments!