Monday, September 6, 2010
The Agency: Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee
Source: From Publisher
Summary From Goodreads:
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.
My Two Cents:
Mmmmm what can I say about Ms. Mary? She's fierce, determined, charismatic, witty and not afraid to get her hands dirty. She is.....my Shero lol. Growing up as an orphan she was a complete ball of destruction. She stole whatever she could to get by but eventually she was caught. Just when she thought all hope was gone she was recruited to attend an all girls school where things aren't as they seem. It turns out that they want her to become one of their spies for their agency.
So many characters but for the first time I find them all relevant to this mystery. Mary is told to only listen and observe. However, when have well behaved women ever changed the world?? She does some pretty questionable things to get down to the truth. She ends up finding out more secrets than she bargained for....even about herself.
Moving in with the Thorolds to investigate what shady dealings Mr. Thorold might be into proves to be a challenging task. It shows her that just because a family has a lot of money doesn't mean they don't have issues.
After getting more acquainted in the wardrobe, second main character James Easton and Mary carry on a very strange relationship. I'd call it romantic in its own way. They have such a love/hate relationship. They argue about everything but the arguing distinctly sounds like flirting to me!
Another plus for me was that it was still a historical fiction novel. We learned about The Great Stink that hit London. This is why I love this genre because I'd never learned about that piece of history in school. Also, for once I did not crack the mystery on my own. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time trying to figure out who did it and I was wrong every time. Now that's what I call a mystery! I truly enjoyed this and I'm sure you will as well.