Nov 10, 2011

Review: The Body at the Tower by Y.S. Lee

Series: The Agency #1
A Spy In The House
The Agency #2
The Body at the Tower
The Agency #3
The Traitor and the Tunnel
Genre: Mystery, Young-Adult, Historical, Fiction.
Publisher: Candlewick
Released: August 10, 2010
My copy: ebook
Buy Link
Book synopsis from goodreads

This is another colourful, action-packed Victorian detective novel about the exploits of agent Mary Quinn. At a young age, Mary Quinn is rescued from the gallows and taken to Miss Scrimshaw's Academy for Girls. The school turns out to be a front for a private detective agency. At age 17, Mary takes on her first case (A Spy in the House). In this, the second book of the series, Mary Quinn sets out to uncover the truth behind a suspicious death at St. Stephen's Tower, better known as the clock tower of the Houses of Parliament. The accident occurred after hours in a highly public part of town and despite the presence of night watchmen. Mary, disguised as Mark Quinn, becomes a builder's assistant to find out the truth about the body at the tower.

My thoughts

After finishing A Spy In The House, the first book of The Agency series I just couldn't wait to read The Body at the Tower as well. I loved the book. The time during building the clock tower and all the rumors that grew with it helped placing this story in that period.

Mary is back to her Agency solving another mystery disguised as a boy. She comes close to blowing her cover when errand boys are beaten into pulp by the superior. But somehow she manages to slip away from that situation. In every verge it seems like people will find out she is not Mark Quinn but she comes to manage to uphold herself as a boy to most till the end of the book.

I was very happy to see another name returning to this book as well, James Easton. James is not in good health after returning from India but he tries to act tough. And Mary fails to disguise herself in front of the man. No matter what she does he seems to know it's her.

One of the scene that I loved is when James confronts Mary about being Mark and what happens afterword

“I’m so sorry. I don’t think the etiquette manuals cover this sort of situation.” He leaned in close, his lips all but grazing her neck, and inhaled. “Mmm. You smell good, too.” 

She nearly choked. Took a step backwards, until her back met cold stone. “Th-thank you.”

“That’s better. May I kiss you?” His finger dipped into her shirt collar, stroking the tender nape of her neck. 

“I d-don’t th-think that’s a good idea.” 

“Why not? We’re alone.” His hands were at her waist. 

Her lungs felt tight and much too small. “Wh-what if somebody comes in?” 

He considered for a moment. “Well, I suppose they’ll think I fancy grubby little boys.”

In this book Mary's feelings for James grows a little but he is still unaware of her reputation as a spy. Even though he have come to know some secret about Mary's past there are allot that's still uncovered.

Overall a good book. If you love reading young-adult, Victorian era this is a book worth checking out. 

I give this

Find out more about Y.S. Lee from her

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