Friday, August 13, 2010
A Spy in the House
The Agency: Book 1
by Y. S. Lee
young adult historical mystery
Somerville, Mass. : Candlewick Press, 2010
Nothing is as it seems. That is the underlying theme to this magnificent Victorian mystery. Mary Lang was a 12-year-old orphan making her way by thievery. She is caught and sentenced to death by hanging when a group of women secretly whisks her away and grants her a new lease on life. She becomes Mary Quinn and gains an education normally reserved for wealthier children. As she approaches the mature age of eighteen she is feeling a little dissatisfied with her role as teacher's assistant at the school and speaks with the matrons in charge as to her options. Great is her surprise when she finds out that the school is a cover for The Agency - a group of women working as undercover detectives. Feeling as if she was went for this line of work, she accepts her first job as a paid companion to the spoiled daughter of a wealthy merchant. As Londoners try to survive an oppressive heat wave that makes the Thames River a noxious nuisance, Mary strives to come to terms with her past as well as her future.
A fabulous historical mystery that I would be proud to own in my personal collection. I have a feeling I will be reading this repeatedly. The author has created an amazing blend of intrigue, action, romance, history and mystery that will keep me coming back for more.