The Ruby In The Smoke
Sally Lockhart has just struck a man dead.
Not with a weapon, though she has a pistol and probably the heart to use it. Sally killed Mr Higgs with just three words –
"The Seven Blessings". Unfortunately, she has no idea what they mean. They were sent to her by her father, just before he
drowned in the South China Seas, in a letter warning Sally of danger to come.
She had hoped that her father's colleague,
Mr Higgs, might have explained the mystery. Instead he died of fear. The only other person to witness this strange turn of
events is Jim Taylor, the young company dogsbody at the Lockhart and Selby shipping firm.
With his passion for solving
mysteries, Jim helps Sally answer the questions surrounding her father's death. Together, they are quickly drawn into a mystery
filled with opium, Chinese Triad gangs, secrets from Sally's own past – and, at the heart of it all, the Ruby of Agrapur…
Sally's father came into possession of the Ruby many years earlier, during his time in India, and had since hidden the
gem, leaving Sally a series of clues to follow.
However, Sally is not the only person trying to locate the priceless stone.
Her nemesis, a sinister old hag called Mrs Holland, is desperate to get her hands on it – and will stop at nothing,
Whilst trying to escape Mrs Holland, Sally crosses paths with a young photographer called Frederick
Garland who takes her under his wing. Soon, he and Sally are firm friends – though a growing attraction between them
may one day develop into something altogether more romantic.
Together, Sally, Fred and Jim pit their wits against the
deadly plans of Mrs Holland and her cronies. But as they are drawn deeper into the mystery, they realise that "Lockhart and
Selby" was involved in dark and treacherous dealings in the Far East. In so doing they invoke a villain altogether more terrifying
than Mrs Holland, whom Sally will have to overcome if she is to learn the truth about
her father's murder, and solve the riddle of her own identity…