Thursday, January 26, 2012

Review: A Spy in the House (The Agency #1) by Y.S. Lee

Title: A Spy in the House
Author: Y.S. Lee
Series: The Agency #1
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication Date: March 9, 2010

Buy A Spy in the House

Introducing an exciting new series! Steeped in Victorian atmosphere and intrigue, this diverting mystery trails a feisty heroine as she takes on a precarious secret assignment.
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.(Copied from Goodreads)

My Review

A Spy in the House is the first book in The Agency Series by Y.S. Lee. Mary Quinn is an orphan who is saved from her fate, and given a formal education at Miss Scrimshaw’s Academy for Girls. Seeking something more than being an assistance teacher, Mary is given the opportunity to join The Agency, A secret all female detective agency. The story takes place in the 1850s, and women had their proper place. This means that most people would never suspect a woman as a spy, making it easier for The Agency to infiltrate suspect’s houses and businesses.

Mary’s first job as a detective for The Agency is to pose as the companion to the daughter of a merchant. The merchant whose cargo ships that keep mysteriously sinking, and could be carrying stolen artifacts. Mary’s job is to just listen, and report a suspicion activity back to The Agency. Mary Quinn is not satisfied with just sitting around doing nothing, and begins to explore on her own. This attracts the attention of James Eaton, a successful businessman.

I grew up on Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, and Trixie Belden. The first book I ever read all the way through was a Nancy Drew book. I have not seen many amazing female detective novels geared for a young adult audience. I first heard of The Agency series through Kristi at The Story Siren during one of her In My Mailbox vlogs. I decided that as a mystery fan, I had to try it. I could not be more pleased, A Spy in the House is an amazing book. It has a strong female character, who is intelligent and holds her own against the men. There is romance, danger, and twists and turns.

I really think that A Spy in the House is a great book for anyone who ever enjoyed a Nancy Drew or Trixie Belden book. A Spy in the House is Nancy Drew meets Victorian London, with a dash of snark. It is just the series I have been looking for, and I cannot wait to start the second book, The Body at The Tower. 

 **Unabridged Bookshelf borrowed this book from the public library**


Sheilagh Lee said...

I caught the second one in this series.I missed this one but this is a great series.

Jennifer said...

Loved this book! I am listening to the audio version of The Body at the Tower and it is just as amazing! Great review.

Unknown said...

Ooh, this looks like a fantastic book! Right up my alley, too! Thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

How awesome is it we both had Trixie Belden reference in our reviews?! Spy in the House does sound like a fabulous read. I definitely will keep an eye out for this one.
Great review, dearie!

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