Summary

Introducing an exciting new series! Steeped in Victorian atmosphere and intrigue, this diverting mystery trails a feisty heroine as she takes on a precarious secret assignment.

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.

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Review

Hey, everyone! Sorry I haven’t been posting lately. You’d think by this point I would learn to give notice for these things, but no! 😀 Hopefully, if I ever decide to take a break again, I’ll be more considerate in the future.

Well, this time around, I want to talk about A Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee. Where do I even begin? There’s so much to talk about. First of all, I’d like to say that this is the first historical fiction I’ve read in quite a while; the last one was in 2013 or 2014. I just never got back into it for some reason. But I thought I’d give this one a whirl because of the elusive Agency mentioned in the blurb. I wanted to see how this would fit into the Victorian period. To be honest, I’m a little disappointed with the Agency since it didn’t live up to my standards of what I thought it should be. There was just so much potential for it. But ultimately, I realize that this is the first book and it might set up stuff for the next books instead of giving everything at once, which would just be too much.

While the book was pretty slow in the beginning, it did pick up by about halfway through. Then there were so many different theories about what everyone was up to that I could hardly keep up!

I felt kind of the same way about Mary Quinn. In the beginning, I didn’t really get a sense of character from her; she just seemed flat. Maybe it was her delivery or because she was pretending to be a paid companion at first. Either way, I wasn’t really sure about Mary until much later, like near the end of the book. I’m not saying she isn’t resourceful or clever, because she is. I just didn’t really connect with her as much as I could have, excluding one part in the middle and as the novel was near its end.

Well, that’s all I have to say about A Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee. I don’t know if I’ll go on to reading the second book in the series, mainly because of the really slow beginning but also because of the lack of information that was given about the Agency, and now that I think about it, Miss Scrimshaw’s Academy for Girls. At the moment, they seem more like tools used to explain Mary’s purpose within the story rather than being separate entities with entirely developed functions and histories. But hopefully if I ever do continue reading the series, this will change. If you have any questions about A Spy in the House, feel free to share them in the Comments Section below!

Have a nice day!

– Sumaya

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