As you read the reviews on Bookshop Talk, you'll notice that every review is positive. No, we're not a bunch of literary
pushovers who love everything we pick up; we just see no point in telling you about a book if we didn't like it.

November 19, 2012

A SPY IN THE HOUSE (The Agency #1) by Y.S. Lee, 2009

Rescued from the gallows in 1850s London, young orphan (and thief) Mary Quinn is surprised to be offered a singular education, instruction in fine manners — and an unusual vocation. Miss Scrimshaw’s Academy for Girls is a cover for an all-female investigative unit called The Agency, and at seventeen, Mary is about to put her training to the test. Assuming the guise of a lady’s companion, she must infiltrate a rich merchant’s home in hopes of tracing his missing cargo ships. But the household is full of dangerous deceptions, and there is no one to trust — or is there? Packed with action and suspense, banter and romance, and evoking the gritty backstreets of Victorian London, this breezy mystery debuts a daring young detective who lives by her wits while uncovering secrets — including those of her own past. (Goodreads)

Reviewed by Kate, book aficionado

This Victorian tale of mystery and espionage was indeed enthralling. I kept changing my mind on the possibilities of who was the culprit. I love a mystery novel that doesn't fall into the traditional clich├ęs and makes you second-guess yourself. I also was fond of the love/hate relationships between Mary and her reluctant partner in these spy games. Both are dedicated to their jobs, but feel certain responsibilities for one another. I love how headstrong our heroine is in this rather prudish time period. Now I can't wait to find out if there are reunions and secrets revealed further in the series future!

Market: Young Adult, Teen, Historical Fiction, Mystery
Language: Mild
Sensuality: Mild
Violence: Mild
Mature Themes: Murder, but not gory

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