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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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Needed more

It started of great. It was creepy, the building, the staff and all characters. The mystery build up was good. I kept expecting something really horrible to happen, but the ending was a bit of a let down. I wanted more.

1 person 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

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mystery

The narrator did a great job with the different voices. She was pleasant to listen to. The story came alive. Fun mystery short story.

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Quite a Twist

A well written book with a definite twist st the end. Interesting storyline, suspicious characters which was brought to life by the narrative talents of Michelle Babb.

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Loved It!  Unexpected, suspenseful, addicting

I thought the story would go in a certain direction, but then it went in a different direction.  I also enjoyed the multi-generational  POVs too;  usually an author chooses a single age group to tell a story.  This author not only chose adolescent/teenage POVs, but also that of a mother/mature adult.  I really enjoyed this book and have already started the next one in the series.

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A Good Cozy Mystery

With a dark gothic theme. While it wasn't a hide under the covers and grit your teeth scary book. I really enjoyed the flow of it. It led you down a path of something just isn't quite right here. But what is it? . The narrator is superb. You can't go wrong with a good mystery. While this can be read as a stand-alone, but also a build up to the 2nd book in the series. The Blood Vile which is very good full of secrets and lies.

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Good book!

I really liked this book! The story was engaging and done without profanity. I liked that the narrorator has a Mom-voice. I will definately listen again and recommend this to my friends.

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Mildly intriguing but lacks depth

Disclosure: I received a promo code to get this book for free, in exchange for an honest review.

I think this book could have used more fleshing out of the antagonist's history. I never really felt like their motivation was understandable, even though some of their past was hinted at early on and given a brief explanation at the end. Perhaps the next book will tackle some of those issues. It is a decent standalone story, but this really should have been a longer book for even this episode.

Michelle Babb's narration is good, and she handles several accents quite well.

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  • T Loader
  • 09-03-21

Gothic mystery

This was a different read for me but as always the narrator is excellent. There were plenty of suspicious characters and goings on in this Abbey to keep you interested. Twists and turns that keep you on your toes. I would recommend this book and I have already downloaded book 2!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Susan Dunkley
  • 02-17-21

The Ruby Locket

Murder, mystery and suspense at Belrose Abbey, a great listen and excellent narration by Michelle Babb who expertly brings the characters to life

1 person found this helpful

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  • John Marsden
  • 02-13-21

The Ruby Locket

A most entertaining listen, The story is told in the first instance by Anna and her mother Dauphine, each giving their own perspective on what is happening. The story is not so much mysterious as you know who the good guys are and the bad guy sticks out a mile but predicting what happens at the end would be virtually impossible, you know it ain't going to be good for our heroins but.... Michelle Babb does her usual brilliant job of narrating the story and her voices for each character are first class. Highly recommended. Now, straight on to book 2! ☺
I was given this free copy of the book and have left this honest and voluntary review.

1 person found this helpful

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  • caroline wright
  • 02-16-22

Another great listen

So this is a completely different genre for me but it worked and it turned into a listen which I had to finish in one go - helped by the fact that it was a short read and the brilliant narration.

The story is a young adult but it worked for me and I can see it appealing to my teenage daughter who is really into this genre.

I was given a free copy by the narrator but the review is entirely my own.

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  • Helen
  • 09-19-21

Brilliant audiobook

Brilliant audiobook the narrater made everything come to life
When Anne's mother agrees to marry a wealthy, mysterious man

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  • Scott Barnes
  • 08-27-21

Interesting and Intriguing Story

This one starts off a little slow for me, but finds its pace quickly and becomes a story of intrigue. It was a good listen, well thought out and written and I look forward to exploring the authors other work(s.)

The story was well read by Michelle and she has a very calming voice, very easy on the ears. I’ve enjoyed other works by this narrator and again I look forward to listening to more in future!

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  • Batwolf
  • 08-22-21

Surprising Novella.

The Ruby Locket was surprisingly gripping, as a stand alone story it wasn't as dark or convoluted as I was expecting, but as an opening book for a series of mysteries it hit the nail on the head. The introduction of the protagonists has been well thought out and conveyed brilliantly, deep characters with their own histories and flaws help bring the story to life.
The hints of Belrose Abbeys dark history and hidden secrets tease a dark future for our heroes in upcoming books and I can't wait to continue.
Well written and narrated, Michelle Babb brings each character to life with unique voices and personality while rolling the story on at a rapid pace.

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  • Kathleen
  • 08-18-21

Loved it!

I really enjoyed this gothic-themed cozy mystery! In many ways it reminded me of a Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels book. The ending was a bit abrupt, but it held my interest throughout and I thought the romance element was quite sweet. The narration was great as well. It was a fun, short read!

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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  • kim c s
  • 08-16-21

enjoyed this book

enjoyed this story very compelling.
looking forward to the next.
narrator was very good too.

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  • Tracy Tucker
  • 07-02-21

Missing Tension

Michelle Babb works wonders in the telling of any story, with individual voices for each character, making them easily recognisable.
I would have like for the author to have brought much more menace into the tale. The missing tension made the book far less remarkable than it might otherwise have been.