Book of the Week – The Agency Series

Hello gentle reader,

today I’d like to share with you a belated discovery of mine: The Agency series by Y. S. Lee.

The Agency series

It’s a YA Historical Mystery series set in Victorian London. It was published between 2010 and 2014 by Candlewick Press (US-Canada) and Walker Books (UK). It comprises four novels (A Spy in the House, The Body at the Tower, The Traitor and the Tunnel, and Rivals in the City). In the UK the books were published under the title: Mary Quinn Mysteries.

Here is the blurb from Goodreads for A Spy in the House:

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.

The first book in the series won the Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s inaugural John Spray Mystery Award in 2011. The following instalments were shortlisted for various awards as well.

I enjoyed reading these books because they have an authentic Victorian voice and fun plots. The main character is a strong female character who struggles with a criminal past and her Chinese origin. She’s clever, witty and tough, which I love in a heroine.

I recommend these books if you like Historical fiction and fun whodunits.

Have you read THE AGENCY series? What did you think?

What are you reading this week?

3 thoughts on “Book of the Week – The Agency Series

  1. ccplteenunderground says:

    Some of my very favorite childhood books are Philip Pullman’s Sally Lockhart trilogy, also about a feisty female detective and set in Victorian London. Looks like I will have to check The Agency series out too!

  2. EM Castellan says:

    I love the Sally Lockhart books as well! Note that The Agency has no fantasy elements, though.

  3. Yun-a says:

    I love The Agency series (my friend introduced me years ago), but I haven’t been able to read the last book yet. I prefer the UK covers, both old and new, to the US ones, though.

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