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A Spy in the House (The Agency Series #1)

Average Rating 4.5
( 56 )
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(33)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 56 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted April 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Jennifer Rummel for TeensReadToo.com

    Mary Quinn used to be a thief. In fact, she was rescued from certain death by hanging and brought secretly to a special school for girls. Here, she worked hard to change her station in life. Now, she's a young lady without a job and doesn't know where to turn next.

    Fortunately, her advisers at the school let her in on a secret. They have a spy agency where she'd be a perfect fit. They help out Scotland Yard and gather information. With her former skills, Mary would be perfect for the agency. Plus, they have a position in mind for her, after she undergoes training.

    Mary emerges and makes her way as a paid ladies companion to Angelica Thorold, a spoiled girl. Mary's duty, besides her job, will be to gather any intelligence on Angelica's father and his business in regards to smuggling items.

    Miss Thorold doesn't take to Mary. The two of them attempt to work out their differences in a variety of ways while Mary snoops about the house. When she finds nothing, she goes investigating at Mr. Thorold's business when she's caught, not by security, but by a man with similar concerns. He offers up a partnership where they share information each uncovers. Mary reluctantly agrees, but with time running out, will she risk too much and find her identity discovered?

    I read this mostly in one sitting and then wanted the next book immediately. I love both spy novels and the Victorian England era, and combining the two equals pure magical entertainment. A great feisty heroine, lots of danger, plenty of mysteries to untangle, and a little romance creates a wonderfully perfect first edition to a new series.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2013

    Skit123

    It was amazing book that suprises and keeps you in supsense. I loved it and would recommend to ages 12 and older.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 31, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A wonderful Victorian mystery read.

    What I loved:

    The story was unique and thrilling.
    The writing style was great!
    The characters are interesting and not boring at all. Even the maids had a place in this story.
    The suspense amazing.
    It was interesting and fun to see the Victorian era in general and in London specifically.
    The few last chapters were breath taking. I had to stop myself from sneaking on the next page. I wasn’t 100% successful >_<”.
    It was set in London! What’s not to like?!

    What I disliked

    I would be crazy if I hated one thing about this book.


    Conclusion:

    If you’re looking for a wonderful YA thriller and mystery, this is your book. You won’t regret it at all even if you don’t enjoy stories set in the Victorian era.

    I should thank Y. S. Lee for writing such great books, I’m definitely a big fan of yours Open-mouthed smile.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2012

    Great Light Suspenseful Read

    I love the Mary Quinn/Lang book and i enjoyed James as well. A wonderful read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2012

    Review

    I LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!(:

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Fun Mystery Series

    In A Spy in the House, Lee tells a story filled with mystery, intrigue, and romance. Mary, a girl who was saved from a death sentence, has been educated at Miss Scrimshaw's Academy for Girls. At the school she's given the education of a wealthy girl, and is encouraged to work in a field she enjoys. The idea of a school that educated girls regardless of their social class, or connections, was an aspect I enjoyed. Not only that, but the school existed to give the women some independence. In a time when the role of women was primarily in the home, it was refreshing to read about a group of women who acknowledged that they deserved more options than being a wife/mistress/governess. It also made me appreciate the educational opportunities that I've been given.

    The writing was another big part of why I enjoyed this book. In my opinion, a good mystery needs an interesting setting, strong characters, and should make you question the motives of those characters. A Spy in the House contained all of these characteristics, and more. The description of Victorian London, made me feel as though I was there, stuck in warm weather made worse by the smell of the polluted Thames. Throughout the book, I also questioned the motives of each character. Each time a new piece of information was discovered by Mary, I attempted to figure out how the story would end. Of course, I was completely wrong.

    I really enjoyed reading about Mary. In the early chapters of the book, the reader finds out why Mary was sentenced to death by hanging. We also see how Mary's education has helped her to grow, and become stronger, and more sure of herself. I particularly liked that she was looking for a work that she found fulfilling. She had attempted many of the jobs that were acceptable for women, but she wanted something more from her work. It takes a lot of courage to go from a job that you know, to something that's completely foreign. Mary was also kind to her young maid, Cass. This was a characteristic that was uncommon in the wealthy women in the book. Cass reminded me a lot of Mary at the start of the book. Cass was a bit unsure of herself, and given the right opportunities, had the potential to be very clever, much like Mary had been.

    There were a few times when I thought that the plot could have moved a bit faster, but aside from that I really enjoyed this book. It's another great 2010 debut, and I look forward to the sequel, The Body at the Tower, which is being released this August.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2014

    Awesome book!!!

    Not crazy about the romance, dut very well writen and suspencefull


    P.S.
    Please stop doing the random words and acualy write a reveiw please, it is VERY annoying.

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  • Posted October 24, 2014

    Y.S. Lee is the best new mystery author to hit the book/nook in years

    A great trilogy. Please continue with The Agency books. Y.S. Lee is one of the best writers I have read in years.

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  • Posted October 17, 2014

    Check out this book.

    Very good reading. Enjoyed it. A++

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  • Posted October 17, 2014

    Captured

    I thought it was well written and captured me from the beginning and held my interest. Will be reading more of this series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2014

    Highly Recommended

    I have just recently started reading mystery books and find them most enjoyable. Held my interest and was difficult to put the book down even when necessary.
    Put on your "Must Read List".

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2014

    Loved it!

    I enjoyed Mary's story and look forward to reading more of her work as a spy!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2014

    will23@gmail.com

    Add me

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2014

    Tuyu

    Yb tuyty

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2014

    Fabulous!

    Fabulous! More please!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 30, 2014

    Excellent Read

    The whole premise of The Agency in Victorian England is most interesting and foreward thinking. Y.S. Lee has done a great job of creating Mary Quinn as a very likeable and interesting character. Even though this was a relatively short book, I liked it so well, I had to get The Agency Series #2 and I'm sure I'll get The Agency Series #3. If you like good strong female types, mysteries and Victorian England, I think you'll really enjoy this series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2014

    Awesome

    This is one of the very best mystery books i have ever read!!!! :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2013

    Author Y. S. Lee presents an intriguing idea in her series of my

    Author Y. S. Lee presents an intriguing idea in her series of mystery novels called *The Agency*. The essential gist is that of a specialized private agency that employs women as spies in mid-nineteenth century England. The rationale for the characters is that the heads of the group believe in two truths: that women should have more opportunities than just wife, governess, or poverty; and that women are never taken seriously.

    This two-fold belief leads to the ability to hire out the services of this mysterious group's female agents because no one will bat an eyelash at saying things in front of women that they will say in front of men. Is this sexist? Yes. Is it realistic for the time as well? Also yes.

    The first book, *A Spy in the House* follows a young beginner agent named Mary Quinn. Miss Quinn has escaped a very harsh and tragic life on the streets (and gallows) when the Agency took her in as a student and later teacher. Upon finding out the truth of what the school does, Mary jumps at the opportunity presented to her to become an agent. As she is untested, and a novice agent, her first mission is a simple one: she is to observe what occurs around a family that a senior agent is investigating, and report back any suspicious activities she observes. It is a training mission, really. Nothing more. However, a convergence of factors, including her pride and a new possible ally, lead her to a far more involved role than she, or her superiors at the Agency, were prepared for.

    I really enjoyed this novel for a few reasons. One is that it isn't steampunk, but still dealt with some neat themes. Please do no not misunderstand. I am starting to love steampunk as a genre, but so often the cool stories with strong women characters, chivalrous men, and compelling interpersonal plot lines taking place in the past are steampunk. That this author did so in a very realistic portrayal of 19th century England, is terrific.

    I also appreciated that this wasn't some screed against men, and didn't excuse bad women simply because they were mistreated. It is a work that has both good and bad men and women as characters, and treats them thusly. When a character does something particularly selfish, it isn't just passed off as her being a “strong woman not submitting to a man”, but seen for what it is, bad behavior.

    The research the author put in was obvious, and only served to strengthen the work. In fact, the only real criticism I have is that is still don't understand why the one bad guy didn't put a stop to the other bad guy's plans. Yes, there were legal issues, but nothing that should have made the one just endure it so pathetically. But, in a way, the one bad guy *not* being QUITE as ruthless works to the book's theme. And that's all I'll say about that. Also, the ending was a tad rushed. I really would like some more wrap-up than what this book gave us.

    Other than the above, the work was terrific, very meticulously researched, and well-worth a read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2012

    Soulkit

    Soulkit gives him a high paw. (Same, night! -yawn-)

    0 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2012

    Blossompaw

    "Die!"

    0 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 56 Customer Reviews
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