Review: A Spy in the House by Y.S.Lee

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


Synopsis  from Goodreads
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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* * *
I thought that this was an exceptionally good read! The book grabs you from the first sentence and doesn't let go until the very end.

Mary Lang is twelve and is sentenced to death by hanging for an attempt of burglary. At the last moment she is saved by a mysterious benefactress who offers her a chance of a better life through education and honest work.

Five years later Mary who's taken less conspicuous surname Quinn is discontent of teaching the younger girls at the same school and her superiors let her into the real purpose of the school - some of their pupils become private detectives in The Agency, and Mary's colourful and peculiar past is perfect for such vocation.

Intrigued, excited and very eager to prove her worth, Mary goes through a crash course of detective skills and receives her first undercover role. She is to become a servant in the household of a rich merchant who is suspected in forging his insurance claims.

Impatient, daring Mary goes beyond her duty despite very specific instructions of The Agency and accidentally reveals herself to a young engineer who is also investigating the merchant. Reluctantly they teem up to stop bumping into each other at the most awkward moments, and start their dangerous journey full of treachery, family skeletons and constant lies.

The writing is flawless, the story is fun and exciting, and the twist with Mary's heritage is particularly interesting for this time period. I absolutely loved it, and will be reading the rest of the series as soon as I can get my hands onto it!

* * *
Очень неплохая вышла книга с оригинальным сюжетом и персонажами.

Мэри Лэнг 12 лет и её собираются повесить за попытку кражи со взломом. В последний момент её спасают таинственные дамы и предлагают шанс образования и нормальной работы в их благотворительной школе.

 Пять лет спустя Мэри, взявшая менее подозрительное имя Куин, нехотя обучает юных девочек в той же школе и всё никак не найдёт своё призвание. Те же самые дамы раскрывают ей секрет их заведения - некоторые из их учениц работают частными детективами в их Агентстве, так как никто обычно не обращает внимание на женщин, прислуживающих в домах торговцев и аристократии.

Восхищённая и нетерпеливая Мэри с её особыми талантами проходит быстренький вводный курс и получает своё первое задание. Она становится компаньоном дочери богатого торговца в целях выяснить не являются ли его заявления  о пропавших кораблях с товарами в попытке получить страховку фальшивыми.

Книга задорная, слог так и льётся и не отпускает буквально с первого же предложения. Жутко понравилось,буду читать продолжение и всем советую!


  1. I've been wanting to read this series forever! I hear such good reviews,but I've still never read it. I love the timeframe and the whole 'girl solving crime' angle:) Great review, Kara!


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