I read the first book in this series, The Emerald Ring, a few months ago and was delighted by how complex the story was while remaining on a middle grade shelf. There were many twists and turns in that book and Sara, the main character, was truly likable, so I was very excited to read the second one.
I did something dumb and didn't read the back cover copy before jumping into the book so I was a little thrown off when the second book has a new heroine. It took me a paragraph to figure it out but by then I was already captured by the mystery and had to keep going.
What I like about the second book is that it is not dependent on the first one, but the do connect. There is a whole new issue with this magical stone and Melanie has her own way of figuring it all out. It's a fun read with ghosts, bad guys, crypts, and danger, as well as friendship, family, and some fun.
I would recommend The Ruby Pendant to middle grade readers and their parents.