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.-------
Follow me to the Victorian Era as I review Y.S. Lee's debut novel A Spy in the House (The Agency #1). We follow Mary Quinn a seventeen year old orphan who is shadowing as a spy for all-female agency. Mary is an out-spoken, independent, headstrong, and intelligent young woman whose been through a lot in her young life.
In the beginning we meet a 12-years old Mary on the verge of life or death. After escaping by the help of Annie, Mary enrolls in Miss Scrimshaw’s Academy for Girls. But, this academy is secretly the front of a detective agency for women. Think of the times. It's in the 1800s' around this time women weren't taken very seriously. Only seen to do the housework. To "fragile" to do anything other than that. This is the catalyst for The Agency. Using that stereotype for women, no one would suspect them as hired spies. It's a perfect set-up when you think about it; it gives them the advantage.
Our male counterpart to Mary is James Easton. Oh James. He's witty, arrogant, and adorable! When he first meets Mary he has his judgement and questions. (I LOVE how they first met. How awkward was that? lol) But, as time went by and they saw each other more; James came to respect and appreciative Mary as an equal. They were an adorable pair, I really enjoyed their flirty banter. I also enjoyed how James and Mary's relationship is one that will gradual grow. Sadly, there is an obstacle in the way. Mary's secret --- of being a spy. I'm curious as to how everything will turn out when James find out.
Either way, I will continue to follow Mary on her adventures along with James and the ladies of the Agency.
I recommend this to anyone with a thirst for historical romance/mystery.