Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Agency 1: A Spy In The House By Y.S. Lee Review #48

Author: Y.S. Lee
Publisher: Candlewick
Pages: 352
Thanks To: Jessica @ Random House Canada
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.

Ah how I love Victorian Literature, and what a fine piece this is. Y.S. Lee did wonders for herself by getting a PhD in Victorian Literature & culture, because what she has been taught is clearly shown on each page of her novel. As a reader you really feel of that time period, and get a good description/vibe of it. The writing is very well done, and was a joy to read. The story catches your interest with the first lines, and keeps you hooked. The mystery will have you guessing and wondering who the culprit could be. And when it is revealed you'll be shocked, as well as some of the plot twists that are put in the story.
The characters are very like-able, and the dialogue was well put. The POV's were shared between Mary and James, which was a nice touch. It was also nice to see a second view, on some of the characters. Some of the lines that James & Mary shared together were very funny, and had me laughing.
Even though I highly applaud the author's work, and liked it. I didn't love it, and I thought that was one of the reasons that I rated it three stars. Some others are, I thought the beginning and ending were a bit rushed. And when it came to the climax of the story, it was a bit of a downer because it was to quick. I'm also not a fan of the ending, but after reading the sequel's bio I'm excited for it. In addition, I thought that Mr. Thorold wasn't in the story enough. Which put a damper on the story, a bit. Other then that, the story was good. And I'm looking forward to the next one in the series.

So overall it was a great book, and I'm looking forward to reading more of Mary Quinn's adventures.

To Learn more about The Agency: A Spy In The House by Y.S Lee Then Check Out The Random House Canada page!! Click Here!!

Or Check Out Amazon, Click Here!!The Book Depository, Click Here!! o
Yours Truly,


Shweta said...

Great review Maura! Hope the sequel gains a better rating from you :) I am excited to read this book and then decide what I feel about it.

How have you been?

Nina said...

I love Victorian literature too! That's candy for me :). The book sounds amazing, even with the ending that is not that very great! Thanks for the great review, I can't wait to read this.

prophecygirl said...

I completely agree with everything you said! I enjoyed it too, but didn't love it. I'll be reading the sequel, though :)

Anonymous said...

Yes, I would have liked it if Lee had written more about Mary training as a spy.

Lauren said...

Ooh, sounds like I can expect to find a lot of historical detail in this one. Since I think the Victorian era is fascinating, that sounds really tempting. Thanks for the heads up.

justpeachy36 said...

Great review! This one looks very interesting.

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