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.
Taken from GoodReads.
A Spy in the House follows the story of teenage Mary Quinn, a young lady offered an elite position of an all-women's investigative league - a complete turnaround from her difficult life and upbringing. Mary is given a singular task to blend in and enmesh herself in her first assignment, gaining her employers' trusts so she can discover the truth of the mystery she's assigned to. However, things don't always go as she plans, and Mary needs to learn to be a quick-thinker, and come to terms with her difficult past.
I hadn't heard too much about The Agency series before I received the sequel for review, but I decided to give the series a go. Written in fantastic prose, an easy-to-read tone, and alive details of the time period, author Y.S. Lee managed to beautifully prepare the setup for this series through A Spy in the House. The author has a clear and succinct voice, letting the characters (both main and secondary) tell the story and set the pace, which I particularly loved. The rich imagery of Victorian England was also extremely tangible - a strength not every author gets right.
A bit like Nancy Drew for a new generation, A Spy in the House has created a lovable heroine in Mary Quinn. She's a strong protagonist with morals, a past, and a clear purpose in life. I can't think of a better MC to delve into the world of investigative mystery with. Furthermore, I really enjoyed James Easton. The dynamic between he and Mary radiated chemistry and kept the pace of the story flowing steadily. I will say that it took me a chapter or two to get into the book, which was my only qualm. However, once the book got going, I couldn't set it down.
Overall, I really enjoyed A Spy in the House. It's not a particularly difficult read, but it is a series that I'm excited to continue. The next book, A Body at the Tower is waiting on my desk for me now. I give this book a 4.5 out of 5, and I would recommend it particularly to YA and adult fans of mystery and historical fiction.
P.S. I'm featured on Missie's (The Unread Reader) blog today! Check it out if you get a chance!