The Agency: A Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee

In 1853, twelve-year-old orphan Mary Quinn is struggling to survive on the unsafe streets of shady London by committing crimes. But one day, she is unwary and is caught housebreaking and therefore, Mary is sentenced to hang. Luckily, she is rescued by a mysterious woman, who is dressed as a prison warden. The woman turns out to be Anne Treleaven, the head teacher at Miss Scrimshaw’s Academy for Girls and she offers Mary an exceptional education at her school. There, she is able to acquire fine manners and other special skills. After finishing her education, Anne reveals to seventeen-year-old Mary that the academy is in fact a cover for The Agency – a top secret female investigative unit. Acknowledging Mary’s intelligence, bravery and good skills of observations, Anne encourages Mary to join The Agency and thus, put her hard training to the test.

Mary is intrigued by this new opportunity and therefore, takes up this thrilling challenge with great expectations. Her first assignment as a female investigator is to infiltrate the Thorold household in order to collect information on Mr. Thorold’s missing cargo ships. In the guise of a lady’s companion, Mary must work fast and find out the truth about Mr. Thorold’s business. But in the Thorold household, nothing is quite as it seems and Mary must be careful in deciding whom she can trust. Everyone seems to have dark little secrets: Mrs. Thorold acts rather suspiciously, her daughter Angelica is spoiled and seems to hide something and Mr. Thorold’s secretary Michael Gray flirts with Mary. And then there’s also James Easton, an arrogant, yet very attractive young man. His brother George is one of Angelica’s suitors and they have met several times. But why is James always behaving so strangely and why does he follow her everywhere? Can she really trust him or will she put herself in great danger by cooperating with him? And why is Mary trying to avoid talking about her past and parents?

The Agency: A Spy in the House is a delightful novel set in the heart of Victorian London, where shady and dangerous things are taking place. Y.S. Lee has written a compelling tale packed with suspense, action, mystery, intrigues and romance. Readers will enjoy accompanying Mary on her dangerous journey through the dusky streets of Victorian London and witnessing how this young and clever detective discovers secrets and fights the demons of her troubled childhood. I really loved this captivating tale and I wanted to read more about Mary and her fascinating adventures! The Agency: A Spy in the House is Y.S. Lee’s first novel and it’s part of a trilogy. Therefore, there will be a second novel in the Agency series, called The Body at the Tower and it will be published in August in the States. I can’t wait to read the promising sequel!

For more information on the Agency series, please visit the author’s website here. There, you can also enter a contest to win a copy of The Agency: A Spy in the House and other prizes.

Note: I would like to thank the author and her publicist Tracy Miracle from Candlewick Press for sending me a copy of this engaging book!


12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Aarti
    Mar 16, 2010 @ 19:53:19

    I have wanted to read this book since I first heard about it and I am super jealous that you got a copy to review! I’m glad this book stands up to your expectations of it, and that you’re looking forward to the sequels- it sounds like so much fun!


    • Andreea
      Mar 17, 2010 @ 10:24:21

      Thank you Aarti. This book was a real joy to read as I love the Victorian Period. I am so looking forward to reading the next book:)


  2. Jenny
    Mar 17, 2010 @ 02:05:15

    Ooh, sounds good!! Is this the first in a series?


  3. Alice Teh
    Mar 17, 2010 @ 06:17:47

    Hi Andreea, I’ve heard of this author but haven’t read any of her books. This one looks like a good place to start.


  4. Kristen M.
    Mar 17, 2010 @ 07:12:10

    I’m glad you liked this one! I definitely want to know more of what happens to Mary too!


  5. Nymeth
    Mar 17, 2010 @ 19:53:00

    Is it weird that “1853” was all it took to sell me? 😛 To the wishlist it goes!


    • Andreea
      Mar 18, 2010 @ 13:16:05

      No, it’s not weird at all, since I share your obsession with books set in the Victorian Period. That’s why I wanted to read this book:) And I am so glad that I did:)


  6. Lua
    Mar 17, 2010 @ 20:44:04

    This doesn’t sound like the type of book I usually read, but your review kind of convinced me to step out of my comfort zone and add it to my list! Change is good, right? 🙂


    • Andreea
      Mar 18, 2010 @ 13:17:27

      Well, I hope you enjoy it, should you decide to read it in the future. I know how hard it is to sometimes step out of your comfort zone when it comes to books. I also think that I should do that sometimes!


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