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Publisher's Summary

When Anne's mother agrees to marry a wealthy, mysterious man, she expects a nice mansion in the hills. But their new home, Belrose Abbey, is more like a castle - imposing, cold, and full of shadows. The more Anne explores the corridors and vacant rooms and dusty crannies, the more she discovers about the abbey's master - her soon-to-be stepfather - Ivan Helsburg. As her mother's wedding draws closer, Anne begins to harbor a creeping suspicion that all is not well at Belrose Abbey.

©2016 Anita Higman (P)2017 Anita Higman

What listeners say about The Ruby Locket

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Book 1

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)


It has a very dark but had all the ingredients for a gothic romance novel. There were some untied ends so I will have to wait for the next one in this series. Good narration.

4 people found this helpful

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A cozy mystery with a paranormal touch

Some time after her husband’s death, Dauphine has decided to remarry. The groom, Ivan Helsburg, is an old fashioned Hungarian who is stinking rich and lives in Belrose Abbey, a great mansion in the middle of nowhere. Dauphine and her daughter Anne move to the Abbey some days before the wedding, just to find a dark and somber place with mysterious servants and secret passages. Soon after their arrival mother and daughter find out that there was a previous Mrs. Helsburg, but what happened to her?

I always love a good cozy mystery to rest from other harder listens. This one is quite short, ideal to listen from beginning to end on the same day. I felt something unnatural in all the mystery surrounding Ivan and the Abbey. Paranormal is not my favorite genre, but the story trapped me in a way that I could not stop listening. The atmosphere of the Abbey is very well described, and the feelings of the characters seem so real that I was almost able to smell the dusty passages they had to traverse.

Chapters are narrated from the point of view of either Dauphine or Anne. To make things clear, each is preceded by the name in question. I found this made the story easy to follow. Somehow, even despite the age difference, I found myself connecting to the teenage daughter more thsn to Dauphine. Anne is clever and resolute, and the heroin in this book; while Dauphine is severely damaged by her past and weak to the point that I wanted to shake her and tell her to open her eyes.

I found the setting and events really intriguing, and the characters very well pictured. The characters feel like real people, and each one of them is very well defined.

I had the impression that the story had a paranormal touch, but in the end it did not show up. I am not sure if it will be like this on future books, I am curious to find out.

There is a long build up, reveling pieces of the mystery. This kept me interested and intrigued, but I felt the end a bit rushed and anticlimactic. It could be that I expected something more due to that paranormal touch, and the end eliminated any possibility of supernatural forces behind the Abby mysteries. Still, I think there are still a lot of unrevealed mysteries that will show up in future installments.

My main reason for listening to this book was that it is narrated by Michelle Babb. Apart from Cozy Mystery is also considered YA, and with this genre I tend to tread carefully, since they do not always fulfill my expectations. With Michelle Babb narrating this book I decided to give it a chance, and I am glad that I did, since it was a much better book than I expected. Michelle Babb’s abilities to narrate Cozy Mysteries are unique, giving the story a special rhythm, and interpreting the characters in a way that brings them to life. There is no boring listening with Michelle, and I am sure I would even enjoy her reading the phone book.

I am looking forward to the next book, see how Dauphine and Anne get acclimated to the Abbey, and discover what mysteries are still awaiting them.

I received a copy of this book in audio format from the narrator in exchange for an honest review.

1 person found this helpful

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Didn't see that coming

Have you listened to any of Michelle Babb’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes and she is one of my favorite narrators. If I see she has narrated the book, I will definitely be listening. I love her style and how she brings the characters to life, I just crawl inside the book and sad when it's over.

Any additional comments?

My original review disappeared. I loved the start of this series and I'm very eager for the next in line. Hurry up already, haha. I thought I had this book all figured out but the end was a complete surprise which I loved! Parts of the story are sad and other parts got to me, I won't give anything away. Lets just say you will crawl into this book. This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom

1 person found this helpful

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Loved it... Couldn't stop listening

Book was part of a series but felt book could stand alone by itself. Can't wait to listen to the next one in the series. Enjoy how Michelle Babb narrated the book

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A Fun Mystery

This was a Fun listen about a Historic Estate and the Old, and New Characters that reside and work there. The Lord of the Estate has a Creepy side to him which elicits lots of intriguing ideas in the young Heroine. The story line is "fun" in a creepy kind of way. I am excited to start the next book in the series. The Narration was done well and the clarity and intonation were very good.

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Loved this book

Really enjoyed reading this book. It reminded me of the old classics. When I was reading it, Jane Eyre came to mind (although the storyline was different and this was set in modern times). The old castle with the passageways gave it that feel with the secrets it held.

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confused

Some twisted things go down and I'm still uncertain of Ivan's motives. I liked the good over evil and I had some empathy for Ivan due to his abusive past in his childhood. I need more. On to book 2 for answers. I voluntarily listened to a free copy of this and am giving an honest review. The narrator did a great job.

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The Ruby Locket review

I actually liked this. The plot was interesting and had likable characters. Good writing and narration.

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short but good.

the author did a good job of writing the the for such a short story. good job in the villain. I liked the way the narrator told the story.it kept me interested.

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Okay

This book was okay. Not great, not terrible. I did find myself wanting to find out what happened in the next part, so the suspense was there. However I am disappointed in the end. The writer led us to believe that there was a vampire aspect to the book, but there was nothing about it by the end. There were also a lot of clichés and the dialogue, particularly in the part of the mom, was hard to believe.

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  • Donna Butler
  • 09-11-20

really loved this

not completely overawed by narrator but loved the story and it kept me listening till the end

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  • Helen Findlay
  • 08-23-20

Great

Great story line. One of those stories that anyone would love to read. Would definitely recommend 5*

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  • Amanda Elliott
  • 06-18-20

Good book

I really enjoyed this short book.it was easy to get into and the characters were really likeable, the narrator was good but I did make the narration a little faster.i wasn’t expecting the last third of the story and I liked the outcome at the end . Well written and great description of the manor setting the scene of the story .

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  • Julie
  • 05-05-20

Keeps you on your toes

This is the first book by this author I have read or listened. Even though I wouldn't place it in the modern detective category or judging from the picture would it be a book I would choose, I did enjoy it. It was very different and kept me guessing the whole way through. The story starts each chapter telling you who the main character is and gives you there perspective of what is going on building up the suspense. As the tension builds so does your curiosity and you soon find you have finished the book before you know it. Off to start the next book. After the death of her father Anne is just happy to see her mother smile again, even if it means moving to spooky old castle and her mother getting married to a man she barely knows. That is until the weirdness starts to feel menacing. The spooky old castle with its hidden doors and passageways was fun to explore at first but as she discovers more the more she fears her mother is making a big mistake. The narrator was the main reason I gave this book a chance. She is such a great reader that I knew I was going to enjoy it and she doesn't disappoint this time either. She really builds up the tension, so make sure you don't listen to this book in the dark. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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  • tomsboxers
  • 04-17-20

Full Of Wonder And Mystery

This is a new genre for me, did I like it? “no”, did I love it? “Yes”, Very well written, even the description in the car journey at the beginning keeps you interested and wondering what’s going on, are they going to a haunted house? The story flows well and I find it very easy to imagine exactly the interaction of the characters of all times. The narrator I found to be very clear and done a good voice of the male characters which can be hard to do. Good first book and look forward to book two.

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  • Norma Miles
  • 06-12-19

A woman in a wedding dress

A dark Gothic novella which is fun and quick to read, the Ruby Locket tells of the experiences of Anna and her mother when they move to Melrose Abbey. Dauphine, the mother, had been desolate following her husband's death just eight months before, until she met the suave and wealthy Ivan and accepted his marriage proposal one week later. Mother and daughter move to the Abbey expecting a large house in the country but instead find something more akin to a castle staffed by loyal retainers, and that they are virtual prisoners. Told mostly in the first person from Anna's point of view some chapters are also related from the mother's perspective giving a slightly more rounded view of the happenings. Despite this, the characters of the main protagonists remain insubstantial, just slightly more solid shadows in a blissfully of them. There is a decidedly chilly atmosphere, one of danger (and stupidity!) permeating the whole story, with the desire for the reader to call out something like "look behind you", pantomime style. And, !like a pantomime, it is ridiculously enjoyable. This feeling of shuddering well-being is enhanced by Michelle Babb's narration, always clear, well paced and with separate voices for each of the protagonists. Her reading definitely enhances the enjoyment of the story. Overall, an enjoyable, silly read, atmospheric from the beginning and perfect for something light and easy to fill a boring evening. If you like chilly thrills unrelated to real life, this is the book for you.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Layla
  • 03-20-17

Could have been better.

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I liked all the characters, they are all different and had there own characteristic. The scene also set the tune. I felt it had more of a Gothic setting. What I did not like was knowing without trying to hard who did and why. There was suspense (based on the scenes, like the catacombs) but no real mystery. which was a shame because it wasn't to bad a read. I believe with a little more work it would be a great read.
There is no sexual/language/violence/sexual content.
This could be (with work done) what I call a thriller. It had all the ingredients but it wasn't executed well unfortunately.

What aspect of Michelle Babb’s performance might you have changed?

Michelle had an OK performance based on other narrators that I have listened to. She changed her voice to suite the different characters which was OK. However I felt more emotion can be put in. So when the character was not sure then I want to hear so I know without being to told that the character is unsure/upset/angry, etc.