Take Your Last Breath

(Ruby Redfort: Bk. 2). 7 CDs. 7:54 hrs. Brilliance. 2014. $24.99. ISBN 9781491518540.
Gr 5–8—Ruby Redfort, the 13-year-old code-breaking genius, is part Sherlock Holmes and part Nancy Drew. She faces off against sharks and pirates, scornful adult agents, middle school swim teammates, sea monsters, and claustrophobia. But Hitch, Digby, and Clancy are back to help Ruby survive long enough to find the long-lost treasure that evil Count von Viscount is willing to kill for. Rachael Stirling's narration is spot on; she hits both pace and characterizations perfectly, especially the sardonic and smart Ruby. Like the first in the series (Look into My Eyes, Brilliance, 2014), many of the code-breaking plot elements are best understood after seeing them in print, though the work still makes for wonderful listening.
VERDICT Readers who enjoy snarky heroines, mysteries that don't talk down to middle schoolers, or other "Ruby Redfort" books will love this stellar series.

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