A Spy in the House (The Agency #1)
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...more
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There's a tendency now in books for authors to just ignore those rules and just barrel forward with whatever...more
My favorite part of the book has to be the interactions between James and Mary. I must’ve cracked up tons of times from their hilarious banter. They just sizzle in their scenes together. After all, if she meets him in a closet there is bound to...more
It's 1853 in London, England, and 12-year old Mary Quinn has just been sentenced to die! Convicted for thievery, Mary is saved from the gallows pole at the last moment by a mysterious stranger and brought to Miss Scrimshaw's Academy for Girls. But much like Mary herself, the Academy is full of secrets....more
The setting itself was enthralling... the cobblestone streets and smelly river of Victorian England, don't tell me that didn't get your attention! I even managed to learn a few things, that is always a positive....more
An orphan destined for the gallows, Mary is rescued by a school for girls that is an agency on the side. Her first assignment: Pose as a lady's companion and extract as much information as she can about stolen goods from India. We meet an interesting cast of characters as Mary becomes embroiled in more than the bargained for...more
In general I found Mary, the lead, annoying and besides doing stupid things she was told not to and arguing with her romantic cou...more
I guess that explains just how much I enjoyed it. I have had A Spy In The House for a while now, but I never got around reading it till now. I mainly started this for Bout Of Books read-a-thon which failed due to my midterms. So after finishing my mids on Wednesday when I picked up the book again it was impossible to let go. I don't know if it was the era writer projected in her story or the characters she created, but I felt so connected!
With her quick wit and adventuresome spirit, Mary Quinn has quickly become one of my favorite main characters! A SPY IN THE HOUSE is set in Victorian London, where Mary’s secret life as a spy is one of the many tr...more
Set in 1850s Victorian England, this is the on-going story of a teenaged girl rescued from certain death (for thievery) by a secret organization that believes women have more to offer the world than being maids or teachers. Mary Quinn is clever, fierce, and ambitious. These qualities are honed and channelled at Mis...more
She then became a companion (lacking a better word) to the young, rich, snobby, Miss Thorold. Her mission is to find out the things...more
Y. S. Lee presents a story that strikes the perfect balance between interesting, three-dimensional characters, a vivid Victorian England setting and a strong, well-paced mystery. So often these days I find t...more
At age 12 Mary is sentenced to hang for burglary and theft. The orphaned daughter of a dead seamstress and sailor lost at sea, no one will notice if she goes missing. The day the sentence is delivered the wardress breaks Mary out of jail and hands her over to Miss Scrimshaw’s Academy for Girls. The school is really a front for a secret female spy agency. The Agency is successful in Victorian London because after all no one would ever expect...more
I liked this book, but it wasn't the best spy book or even the best 19th century book I've ever read. It was more so-so, an interesting blend of teenage trouble and values we never really see anymore. An aspec...more
There are many things I love in books: spies, mysteries, England (back in the day), hot guys, and disguises. And these are just some. I love EVERYTHING about this book.
I love Y.S. Lee’s writing style. I love the way she captures the time period, the amazingness of Mary, the total hotness and amazingness of James, the suspense and mystery of the plotline, and the way she had me guessing up until the very end. When describing everyth...more
When Mary is 12, she is sentenced to hanging because she broke into a house to steal. She is rescued by a woman who runs a school for girls. Fast forward 5 years. Mary has graduated from the school and is now teaching, but she doesn't care for teaching. She learns that the school also includes The Agency, a group of women spi...more
1. You play Victorian dress-up, but really, you're a modern girl at heart who likes to swear and call boys by their first names. Also, being a "lady"--I do not think it means what you think it means.
2. I was teased completely by Mary being half-Chinese, but then Lee spoke very little to that experience. That...more
There was one thing about this book that rubbed me the wrong way a bit, though, and that was the attitude towards marriage. The book got my hackles up early, with the lin...more
In A Spy in the House Mary Quinn is saved from the gallows and raised in a girl's school. When she is 17, she finds she is bored and kindly asks the two women who took her in what other work, besides teaching, there is for her. She discovers that her guardians/employers are really a part of a secret spy company that trained and employed women as spies, because women in 1850's England were some of the most inconspicuous people at that time.
She joins the ranks of these women spies and the book mai...more
high school & up
Mary is an orphan in 19th century London. At the age of 12 she was about to be hanged for the crime of thievery. Instead, she is taken to Miss Scrimshaw's School for Girls. After 5 years of education she is working as a teacher in the school and feeling completely bored. The headmistresses of the school offer Mary a chance: to join The Agency. This is a secret agency with a very revolutionary idea: that women make perfect spies. On her first assignment, Mary is s...more
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The expression in his eyes set her heart pounding. "Yes?"
Twice he began to frame a sentence, and twice his voice seemed to fail him.
And she thought she understood. What could he possibly say to her now, when he was on the verge of leaving forever? Even something as simple as asking her to write to him carried a distinct sort of promis, the type of promise he was ten years and a half a world removed from being able to make.
She forced a polite smile and held out her hand. "Good luck, James."
Regret-and relief-flooded his eyes. he took her hand, cradling it for a long moment. "And to you."
It was foolish to linger. She slid her fingers from his grasp, turned, and began to walk away in the direction of the Academy. She'd gone about thirty paces when she heard his voice.
She spun about. "What is it?"
"Stay out of wardrobes!"
She laughed, shook her head, and began to walk again. She was smiling this time.”