by Philip Pullman
"A Sally Lockhart Mystery"
Sally Lockhart is a recently orphaned 16-year-old in Victorian England. Currently staying with a dreadfully cruel aunt, Sally is determined to make it on her own, and her father has prepared her, at least mentally, to do so. Her first task? To decipher a mysterious letter that she receives. The letter leads her to a gentleman by the name of Marchbanks, and the mystery really begins here.
A coveted ruby, a mutiny, a secret society, and the opium trade all play a part in the first in a trilogy of Sally Lockhart mysteries. The plot is complex and intriguing, and Sally is a highly resourceful and spirited girl.
I loved it. And I loved Masterpiece Theatre's presentation of the story a few weeks ago. This is a great historical mystery for young adults.