The Shadow in the North

By Philip Pullman
Classification: YA fiction
Genre: Mystery
Age Level: 13+
Subjects: Women’s rights, weapons, warfare, technology, spiritualism

Reader’s Annotation:  Sally Lockhart encounters unspeakable evil when she investigates the business ventures of Axel Bellmann.

Summary:  In 1878 London, Sally Lockhart is undeniably unconventional.  Self-employed as a financial consultant, Sally is devastated when a client loses her money after investing on Sally’s advice.  Turning her devastation to recover her client’s money, Sally enlists the help of friends Jim Taylor and Frederick Garland to investigate the enterprises of the elusive businessman Axel Bellmann.  As the friends dig deeper and deeper, encountering illusionists, spiritualists, fraud and murder, they uncover a sinister plan involving weapons technology and find themselves all in mortal danger.

Notes:  This novel is the second book of the Sally Lockhart trilogy.  Books one and three, respectively are The Ruby in the Smoke and The Tiger in the Well.  Sally is 22 years old in this book, so not technically a teen heroine (though she is a teen in Book 1), but it is a very provocative book, treating themes still relevant more than a century after the book’s setting.
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