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The Traitor in the Tunnel (The Agency #3)

4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  5,078 Ratings  ·  525 Reviews
Get steeped in suspense, romance, and high Victorian intrigue as Mary goes undercover at Buckingham Palace - and learns a startling secret at the Tower of London.
ebook, 371 pages
Published 2012 by Candlewick Press
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Katie I read the second one first and I enjoyed it, so I decided to go back and read the whole series in order. The books had hidden intricacies that way.…moreI read the second one first and I enjoyed it, so I decided to go back and read the whole series in order. The books had hidden intricacies that way. You can read the first two books in whichever order, but I would suggest doing it in order and for the third book, you will need some background.(less)
Jenny Have you read the Enola Holmes series? They're great, but shorter than these.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Okay, this is going to be short because really there are only a few things I want to say about this novel.

1. I loved it. Really, really loved it.
Mary confronts the skeletons in her closet . The book takes a somber look at the people who sire us and how their mortality and morality affect us. This gives Mary new depths and she evolves much more as a character.
2. The kisses are smoking hot. My toes curled multiple times. It’s quite a feat since I wasn’t even the one being kissed.
3. Lee’s portr
This book was absolutely wonderful! There was sooo much you didn't expect. Leave it up to Y.S. Lee to make it a suspenceful yet funny Victorian novel. She put it the right amount of detail in the book. Enough to let you get the main idea of where the characters are and what they are doing, but not so much to bore you to death. It was so good I couldn't put it down until 2:43 am (I could have stayed up longer- but unfortunatly, I had school in a few hours). Something that I enjoy in all of Y.S. L ...more
I have, honestly, never come across a couple in a book more adorable and perfect together than Mary and James.

Y.S. Lee, THANK YOU, for giving us these two, especially James!

P.S - Queen Victoria is SUCH a badass in this book! :D
Feb 05, 2012 Tracey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a young adult novel I was granted access to through Netgalley – with thanks to them. It is the third book in a series, but the only problem with that is that I want very much to read the first books and don't have them yet. (This also appears to be called The Traitor and the Tunnel - for the original Canadian edition, perhaps?)

Mary Quinn is undercover. She is twenty years old, and a part of an extraordinary intelligence agency, and posing as a maid in Queen Victoria's household. And I mu
Feb 17, 2012 Heidi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Three and a half stars: A book with a little something for everyone: mystery, romance, history and thrills.

Mary Quinn is working undercover on her first real assignment. She is posing as a parlor maid in Buckingham Palace. Mary in actuality is a secret agent working for an agency that employs all women spies/ detectives. Mary is sent to the palace to try and track down a thief. Someone is stealing small artifacts from the palace. While performing her daily duties, Mary unwittingly stumbles acro
Feb 23, 2012 TheBookSmugglers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally Reviewed on The Book Smugglers:

**WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE FIRST TWO BOOKS IN THE AGENCY SERIES. If you have not read books 1 & 2, and you wish to stay unspoiled, look away now! You have been warned.**

After the events of The Body at the Tower, Mary Quinn finds herself a full graduate of the Academy and an official operative of The Agency. Her first official assignment, however, is the somewhat disappointing mission to d
Sep 27, 2012 Amy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jennifer (FFT Reviews)
Oh my god!! It is rare that I find a series that sucks me in the way that Y.S. Lee's Agency series has. It is even rarer when every book in a series gets a 5-Star ranking from me, but that is what happened with these historical mysteries.

For those of you who are unaware, The Agency is a young adult historical mystery series that tells of the adventures of Mary Quinn. Mary is a former street thief who was saved from execution/transportation and given the opportunity to be educated at a charity sc
May 15, 2015 Hannah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Traitor in the Tunnel is by far the best installment of The Agency series; with the character introductions and early foundation cases out of the way, Mary finally (literally) moves onwards and upwards - in the world and as an agent of The Agency - faces her past and hitherto mysterious Chinese heritage and really makes some serious relationship progress with former beau (of sorts) James Easton. Hurrah.

Nothing could have prepared me for how much I enjoyed the change of scenery - we depart fr
Sep 11, 2011 Dulcinea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE!!!
You should have seen my face when this book came in the mail, it was probably Facebook worthy!!
When I first started reading the book I was starting to feel a little let down, so I put it down and thought, what was missing? It was only then that I realized that my anticipation for this book had been building up for over a year, so I had envisioned some almighty holy grail-esque shining novel in which I would hear a choir singing whenever I turned a page. And that I shouldn't start the book think
Oct 21, 2013 Thenia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, series, 2015, reviewed
Mary is undercover posing as a maid in Buckingham Palace, trying to find a thief. Her assignment isn't going as well as she'd like and there is tension in the Agency complicating matters further.

To make matters worse, James Easton is back unexpectedly and Mary suspects that (view spoiler) is her long lost father.

My life sucks so much right now

Conspiracies, an immature prince and not nearly enough support for Mary, who is struggling to complete her
Rating: 2.5/5

I think it's been too long since I picked up this series because although I literally inhaled this book since I borrowed it from the library yesterday, I didn't enjoy it as much. First, anything where royalty is involved just bores me; their generosity, their love for their people, ugh it chafes at me and I don't enjoy all the prostrations that it involves. Second, there wasn't much high tension in the story, for me at least. The resolution to the mystery kinda whimpered out at the
Mar 10, 2012 Ifmarybooks rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think I can say it now : i'm in love with The Agency series and it might be one of my favorite series ! This third book was even better than the two first books !!!! I couldn't put it down and I read it in one sitting.
Once again I was so happy to be back in this world of spies, this victorian era, london...
This time this is completely different. At the beginning of the book Mary is already in a mission so we're right from the beginning into the action. And this is quite extraordinary there i
colleen the convivial curmudgeon

A lot is happening for Mary, both personally and professionally, in this latest installment. It opens with Mary on her first assignment as a fully trained Agent, even though the case - petty thefts at the palace - is a bit humdrum after the excitement of previous cases.

But then, while she's at the palace, this go awry for the Prince Bertie, and the case touches on Mary's on past. She also is left in a position of having to decide just how far she'll go to compromise herself to get information
Carla *Jen7waters*
Ah, Ying…you are amazing. If I could give you a big hug right now, I would, I would also look like a crazy person/creepy stalker, but it would be worth it, because you just wrote the most PERFECT third book in a series of this kind, and I'm so happy I can finally give my beloved Mary Quinn a 5 star rating! SO HAPPY!

In this third book, Mary is working as a maid at the Buckingham Palace, undercover, of course, for the Agency. Some objects have gone missing, suggesting there's a thief among the sta
Allison (The Allure of Books)
Y’all, historical mysteries are one of my favorite genres. The Agency series by Y.S. Lee definitely delivers – I love these books! The Traitor in the Tunnel is easily the best yet.

Mary Quinn, working for the shadowy female Agency, is undercover at Queen Victoria’s palace as a maid. Some petty thefts have been going on, and Mary is hoping to figure out who is behind them. Then things get complicated. Extremely complicated. The prince witnesses a murder – and the accused murderer just might be som
Steph Su
Oct 25, 2011 Steph Su rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poc
Whenever a new Agency novel by Y. S. Lee comes out, I always try to resist the temptation to devour it immediately, knowing that I will have to wait a while until the next book. I succeeded in resisting for all of approximately two weeks after I was approved for it on NetGalley. While, in my opinion, THE TRAITOR IN THE TUNNEL didn’t quite live up to how much I loved the first two Agency books, it is still a satisfying return to Lee’s Victorian London.

My biggest frustration with TRAITOR was that
jillian n.
Feb 16, 2012 jillian n. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is very likely the best of The Agency series so far. Certainly better than the second, which wasn't quite so good as the first, though it's a bit harder to remember that one, as it's been a good year or more since I read it (but I do have some vague recollections of a mystery gone horribly awry). I enjoyed the writing, the story was excellent, and I have a notion that the setting was perhaps a bit better done the others. Also, the addition of Mary's father didn't go amuck.

So overall, quite
Jul 13, 2012 SusannaF rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This installment of YS Lee's excellent historical romance-mysteries is, in my opinion not quite as tightly plotted as the last two, but I still thoroughly enjoyed it. If I could, it would get 3.5 stars. Mary is, as always, intelligent, courageous and impulsive. Her thoughts always take more of the center stage than the actual mystery, and in this one, the mysteries are numerous and a bit confusing. They don't end up being related, which was disappointing. And as for James...well, at the beginnin ...more
Mar 27, 2011 Krystle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, this review will be short but let me just some this book up first in three words: fun, addicting, and fabulous.

I absolutely loved the new setting in this one. We went from the absolute lows of Victorian society (the poor and the hardworking who live in shoddy housing and unhygienic places) to the utmost of highs (the ruling royalty). It was so fun seeing how she portrayed everyone from the well-meaning, sharp, but also caring queen to the ineffective, cowardly, and lazy ponce of a prince.
Mar 12, 2012 kari rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, 5-star, 2012
This series continues to be entertaining with well-developed characters and excellent plots. The mystery in this one, the thefts from the palace and the lurking about in the tunnels, is somewhat secondary to Mary's personal mysteries and actions. Not that that is bad, it's just that solving the mystery isn't central to the story, although it is the central story.
Without going into much detail, I loved how this one ended. I would have liked Mary to get to know more about her heritage and why thin
Krista (CubicleBlindness Reviews)
So far this is my favorite book in the series. Of course this is the natural thing for most series because the characters and the world setting is mostly done in the first book. So we already have the established characters and just get to focus more on the plot of the story, which is a new mystery for Mary to solve.
This time the characters involved may be closer to Mary than she would have ever thought. It not only develops a story within the Royal court at Buckingham Palace, but one that leads
Margaret H.
This book made me laugh out loud, it made me flip pages frantically to find out WHAT WOULD HAPPEN NEXT, it made me sigh soulfully over perfect romantic scenes, it made me cry, it was-- in short-- a Mary Quinn book. The mystery here is a little less tightly-plotted than the others have been, as the two disparate threads Mary is investigating never coalesce into a larger, joined problem and the payoff in each-- since neither has been the specific focus-- is therefore lessened. But Mary's emotional ...more
I loved this book! Mary finally confronts the ghosts of her past...and she seems to be the better for it. She also has to make some major decisions about where her life is going n this book, and I really hope that she sticks with what she chose. James is so confusing. I mean in the first part of the book, I really hated him for what he did to Mary. But by the end, I was totally back on his side again. The mystery, as usual with Y.S. Lee books was great. I never suspected who was stealing the tri ...more
5 stars

Nice to see Mary as a full-fledged agent. Glad she was able to see her father for one last time. Also glad to see James again. Wonder if Mary will stay with Anne or go to work with Felicity. Finally, glad that Mary and James confessed their feelings for each other. Can't wait to read Rivals in the City!!!
Mar 14, 2017 Hayley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mary has a new assignment: to find out who has been stealing from Buckingham Palace. Disguised as a parlor maid, she keeps an eye and an ear out for gossip among the servants, but Queen Victoria runs a tight ship and there is very little idle chat on the subject. Mary is growing frustrated, the end date of her mission nearing, when she makes an interesting discovery that convinces her employers to let her stay on a little longer.

This novel is an improvement on the previous. Mary seemed to make m
I love love lovie loved it!
The full review will be posted on January 28 2012 both here and at my blog:

Mary Quinn returns in another intriguing novel overflowing with suspense, scandals and romance...

After nearly 2 years with the agency, Mary is allocated her first real assignment: to discover the culprit behind petty thefts in Buckingham Palace. Disguised as a domestic, Mary must work quietly and efficiently without alerting anyone of her true agenda. Unfort
This is the third in the Mary Quinn series, set seven months after the second book.

It is 1860 and we find Mary assigned as a housemaid to the home of Her Majesty Queen Victoria. It seems there have been several petty thefts and, while Her Majesty wants to get to the bottom of it, she does not want a fuss made.

As an experienced graduate of the Agency, Mary is clever, resourceful, and ambitious. Frustratingly, after seven weeks on the job, she is no further ahead in finding the thief. Just as sh
Alexandra Bayer
Feb 13, 2014 Alexandra Bayer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mary Quinn is finally a full working agent, after years of learning and training with the Agency. Her case this time is to find the thief who has been stealing from the Queen of England, Victoria. Little things have been going missing for a while now, and Mary still doesn't have a lead. But it turns out petty thievery isn't the only crime happening at this palace. Secret tunnels and misleading hints make Mary feel more useless than useful. And when Mary thinks she may have found her father, who ...more
Jessie Burroughs
Spoiler Alert!! No summary here, only review.

Overall, I preferred this book by far over the other two. What I liked best was James appearance in this novel. I found him more and more endearing as the series went on. Mary is brilliant in this novel too, and I was glad she was more confident in this installment. Her growing maturity was a beautiful thing to witness. I was glad to see her think for herself, follow her instincts, her smarts, and for once, her heart. I really liked that her emotions
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Y S Lee was born in Singapore, raised in Vancouver and Toronto, and lived for a spell in England. As she completed her PhD in Victorian literature and culture, she began to research a story about a girl detective in 1850s London. The result was her debut novel, The Agency: A Spy in the House. This won the Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s inaugural John Spray Mystery Award in 2011.

The Agency quart
More about Y.S. Lee...

Other Books in the Series

The Agency (4 books)
  • A Spy in the House (The Agency, #1)
  • The Body at the Tower (The Agency, #2)
  • Rivals in the City (The Agency, #4)

Share This Book

“Stop shining your lantern in my face."
"It's such a lovely face.”
“He smiled. "I suppose I thought we'd have a madly impractical, terrifyingly modern sort of marriage. One based on love. Not to mention dangerous undertakings and hair's-breadth escapes from burning buildings, high ledges and exploding sewers."

"And bickering."

"Always that, yes."

"Assuming I want to marry at all."

"True. I know of no good way of forcing you to do anything."

"And you're mad enough to think it could work - one day?"

He cupped her face in his hands. His smile was so brilliant it seemed to illuminate the room. "I think it would be heaven."

She trembled, then. "You have a very strange idea of heaven."

"Kiss me and see.”
More quotes…