Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Review: A Spy in the House (The Agency, #1) by Y.S. Lee

Publisher: Candlewick

Released: March 9, 2010

Hardcover: 352 pages

My Rating: 4 / 5

My Thoughts:
Mary is caught stealing & sentenced to death...but someone notices that Mary just might have more to offer. She is rescued and given the opportunity to receive an education - only to discover that the school is really a cover for a spy operation. Mary's first mission is to act as a companion for a rich merchant's daughter in order to discover what is causing his ships to sink.

Set in 1850's, this story surprisingly had a much more modern feel to it. What I loved so much about A Spy in the House was Y.S. Lee's ability to take her Victorian background and make something brand new. This isn't a historical novel, but given her PhD in Victorian literature and culture, historical details are found throughout (i.e. the Great Stink, child labour, class structures etc).

I absolutely loved the main character Mary! She was feisty & so not what I expected for a woman in the Victorian era. Add in James, their banter, the tension between the too plus the twists & turns as Mary discovers the cause of ship wrecks and you have the perfect ingredients for a fun historical mystery.

Today at Book Lovers Inc you will find an interview with the amazing Y.S. Lee so go check it out here!


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  2. This cover did not call to me AT ALL, but your review makes it sound suspenseful and fun! I might just give it a try. :-)

  3. Juju - hehe I saw this morning your double post & giggled since you want it so bad it posted twice!

    Brizmus - It's a tough call since the cover fits the setting so well but yes I have to agree I probably would have missed on a fun read by passing on it too!!

    Alayne - thanks!

    Nicole - I hope you enjoy it to. You're welcome!

  4. Great review. I just picked up this book and am excited to check it out. I'm glad you like the main character. Can't wait to read this one!