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The Body at the Tower (The Agency, #2)
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The Body at the Tower (The Agency #2)

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  6,899 Ratings  ·  614 Reviews
Now nearly a full-fledged member of the Agency, the all-female detective unit operating out of Miss Scrimshaw's Academy for Girls, Mary Quinn is back for another action-packed adventure. Disguised as a poor apprentice builder and a boy, she must brave the grimy underbelly of Victorian London - as well as childhood fear, hunger, and constant want - to unmask the identity of ...more
Hardcover, 1st U.S. ed., 337 pages
Published August 10th 2010 by Candlewick Press
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May 04, 2010 Kristi rated it really liked it
This series is fantastic! I don't read much historical fiction, let alone historical fictions that are mysteries, but I will continue to pick up this series, no doubt about it.

I think the thing that makes this novel so awesome is Mary. She has an excellent voice! You want to read her story, you care what happens to her and you want to help her solve the mystery. I felt a lot more empathy towards Mary this time around.....because of having to face her past as a child growing up on the street....
Steph Su
Mar 16, 2010 Steph Su rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, best-of-10
The first book in this series, A Spy in the House, was a solidly entertaining and well-researched historical mystery, but this second installment, THE BODY AT THE TOWER, throws me into fangirl zone. THE BODY AT THE TOWER, is off-the-charts incredible for its genre, a Victorian London mystery that is sure to please old and new fans.

All of Y. S. Lee’s writing strengths return in full force in this worthy sequel: from character development, to exquisitely immersing historical details, to a sizzling
Apr 16, 2015 Hannah rated it liked it
3.5 stars. A time gap of about a year separates the events of the first book, A Spy in the House, and book 2, The Body at the Tower: Mary is now a full-fledged secret agent for The Agency. I would have liked more than passing references to the events in those in-between months that transformed her from street urchin to young lady, but in most other respects book two gave me precisely what I wanted more of from the first installment: Further character development for Mary and James, more details ...more
Why I picked it up: I read the first one and enjoyed it.

It's a year after A Spy in the House and Mary has a new assignment from the Agency. Disappointingly, we get basically no detail on what she has done for the past year. Mary has a new assignment, and she has to decide if she wants it: posing as a young boy at a construction site. This puts her back in a similar position to her own childhood and the emotional affects are a bit overwhelming for Mary.

I liked it, possibly even more than the firs
May 24, 2017 Bina rated it really liked it
Originally reviewed on my blog WOCreads

The Agency: The Body at the Tower by Y.S. Lee is the second book in the Agency series around young Mary Quinn, a biracial detective in Victorian London. Now part of the Agency and with more detective training, Mary’s second case requires her to don the disguise of a young boy and solve a murder at a building site.

I really enjoyed the first book, the series is great for all of us who enjoy Victorian age mysteries but w
TheEagerReaders Violet
Y.S. Lee's The Agency 2: The Body at the Tower is the second book in a series of mystery novels following Mary Quinn, a Victorian girl who was sentenced to death at the age of twelve and was fortunate enough to be rescued by a couple of women who run an exclusive school (as well as a secret investigative agency). In the first book, Agency: A Spy in the House, Mary was sent undercover on her first field-training exercise. The second book begins about a year after the first book ended, when Mary a ...more
Dec 05, 2010 Ceitidh rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult, best-ya
Originally posted at

I have said many time how much I love The Agency series. This month, on February 28th to be exact, the third book is coming out! I had the privilege to receive an arc of The Traitor in the Tunnel (The Agency #3) So, just to encourage you to read these outstanding YA mysteries, you can read my review on A Spy in the House (The Agency #1) HERE! and now I will tell you all the things I love about the second book in the series, The Body at the To
Nancy O'Toole
At eighteen, Mary Quinn is almost a full fledged member of The Agency, an all female spy organization. When a man is murdered at the building site for the clock town at the House of the Parliament, The Agency is hired to gather intelligence. Mary agrees to take the case, despite the fact that it will require her to masquerade as a working class adolescent boy, a role which forces her to remember her time living on the streets in poverty. The case becomes more complicated when Mary runs into Jame ...more
Burgundy Rose
Oct 02, 2010 Burgundy Rose rated it really liked it
I was really looking forward to reading the second installment in The Agency trilogy. In this book, Mary has to investigate the death of a worker on a construction site & she goes undercover, disguised as Mark. While it was a really enjoyable read, I wasn't as pleased with it as I'd been with A Spy in the House (reviewed here). First of all, I didn't find the plot as engaging as for the first book. In the first book, I'd grown quite fond of reading about the secondary characters and their de ...more
After zipping through this novel's predecessor, A Spy in the House, it's no surprise I read this one just as quickly. While I loved A Spy in the House, The Body at the Tower was actually even better. The story was much more intriguing for me, the character development was absolutely wonderful, and the relationship between James and Mary had me bitting my nails the whole way through.

(view spoiler)
Apr 03, 2014 Estibaliz79 rated it really liked it
Empiezo aclarando que las cuatro estrellas son una forma de destacar esta novela entre el maremagnum de las que quedan con las tres del punto medio, más que nada porque me ha gustado mucho el concepto y el planteamiento de la historia y de la serie en su conjunto.

De hecho, empiezo aclarando que ésta es la segunda entrega de una serie, aunque admite la lectura independiente sin mayor problema... más allá de la natural curiosidad del lector por conocer el cómo la protagonista llegó a ser quién es
The things that bugged me about the first book - details of Victorian London life being so off they were really irritating - were here again. Lots of little things, use of language that didn't sound right, reactions that seemed totally unlikely or were just there seemingly to explain to other "outsiders" in a way that made it too obvious that the narrator was thinking as an outsider - like a "teetotalling, cliché-spouting, church-going" overseer asking Mary if there was "no Christian charity" to ...more
Mar 07, 2012 kari rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, 5-star, 2012
I'm giving this one a five even though I did love it a bit less than the first in this series. It is still far better than much of what is out there in the YA genre.
Mary is such a wonderful heroine, feisty, vulnerable and yes, even scared. The fact that she is scared and yet continues on without waiting for some guy to rescue her makes her one of my favorite characters. Her past and parentage make her a very sympathetic character. She makes choices that don't always make her happy and as a reade
Tara Chevrestt
This is the second installment of The Agency series about a young lady in Victorian England who is doing undercover work for a secret agency consisting of only women. I love these books and everytime I read them I taken back to my Nancy Drew obsession days...
For full review and pictures, please click the link below:
Sharon Michael
Mar 15, 2015 Sharon Michael rated it really liked it
Entertaining read with the plot centered around a detective agency in Victorian times owned and staffed by women. Works quite well, good characterization and a main character that is, in some ways, vaguely reminiscent of Mary Russell in the Laurie King "Sherlock" mysteries.

The mystery itself wasn't that great, now that I think about it... but who cares? :)
Sep 26, 2010 Linda rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this interesting historical spy-caper. It had the feel of some of the historical suspenses I grew up reading. An exciting, fun story! I'm adding this series to my girl series library.
Nov 30, 2016 Maria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jun 07, 2017 Mary rated it really liked it
Another good mystery with Ms Quinn, working undercover as a boy, for the Agency. Fun book.
Mar 19, 2017 Iris rated it really liked it
Ok, let me just say that I love the idea of a girl dressing up as a boy in order to exist in a society where her gender would normally hinder her. That is, I don’t like that girls had to do such a thing, but I find the idea compelling because I think every girl has wondered at some point in her life, if she’s socially aware, what it would be like if she was a boy. Life would be profoundly different. No cat-calls or wage gap. Jerk men would always listen to you, unless of course they were just je ...more
Mar 14, 2017 Hayley rated it liked it
Ladies dressing up as boys to get stuff done is one of my favorite archetypes so this book is exactly the sort of story I like. However, it didn't seem to me that Mary did much investigating, more waiting around to see if info would fall into her lap. And she seemed to take careless risks with her disguise. The plot of this installment seems a bit limp in comparison with the others. I stilled enjoyed it, but would have preferred a little more sleuthing and adventure.
Jennifer (FFT Reviews)
With the second book in her historical mystery series, Y.S. Lee continues the fascinating adventures of Mary Quinn, the half-Chinese, half-Irish former thief turned secret agent. Almost a year after her first assignment, Mary has become more confident in her abilities as a member of the Agency and enjoys the adventure involved in her missions. Her latest job requires her to take on the guise of a twelve year old boy in order to investigate a mysterious death on the building site of St. Stephen's ...more
Dec 30, 2010 Krystle rated it really liked it
You know how much I raved about the first book? A Spy in the House? Yeah, well, the fun returns in this one!

I love how we get a lot more character development for Mary. In the previous book it was lightly alluded to that she was half-Asian, specifically, Chinese and this is further delved into and brought more to life. We get to find out about the mysteries behind her father and how she’s seeking to understand the circumstances around her birth but at the same time there is this complicated inne
K. Bird Lincoln
Nov 10, 2010 K. Bird Lincoln rated it it was amazing
Second in the series, The Body in the Tower continues the intriguing story of Mary Quinn (Lang), an orphaned girl rescued from a death sentence for house breaking by a spy agency run from a Girls' Boarding House entirely run by women in the Victorian age.

Mary is now a full fledged employee of the Agency and is being sent on her first major case...dressed as a boy at a building site where a suspicious death is a clue to a complicated web of graft and bribery.

I almost gave this book four stars ins
Jaz (Cloud Child )
OK here are my thoughts now that I am a little more coherent and the cobwebs are not so existent in mah brain:

You know the example of a really gripping story? One that when read in audiobook form doesn't render me asleep. And I fall asleep to many books that I really enjoy and even my favourite authors like Terry Pratchett etc. Its not that they're bad but they don't have that feeling of riding a rollercoaster, which if you stop halfway you know you're going to fly off the rails and die, because
Jess Myname
Dec 12, 2014 Jess Myname rated it it was amazing
I had forgotten how much I Loved Lees first book in the Agency series. Mary is an amazing leading lady. This book sucks you in from page one and never lets up for even a moment. When you read these book you will feel possessed and obsessed... always thinking about when you can sit and read and wondering what will happen next. Oh and can I just say I lOVE LOVE LOVE James... I am not a romance book fan it always feels forced... or added just because... or they push the sex stuff in your face and y ...more
Second book in The Agency historical / Victorian-era mystery YA series.

I enjoyed the first book quite a bit, back when I read it, and this second book was possibly even better - with the backstory of our main character Mary established in the first book, this one could focus properly on the case at hand.

I'd say the historical aspects, as well as the social commentary, regarding the life of people of various classes in Victorian times, the differences between what's expected, and what life is li
Jun 06, 2013 Thenia rated it really liked it
As enjoyable as the first one!

The story begins just as Mary receives her next mission, going undercover as a 12-year-old boy to a construction site where a suspicious death has occurred. She is reminded of her past, when she disguised herself as a boy to be safer while she struggled to survive in the unforgiving streets of London. That causes some unwanted feelings to come to the surface, but she manages to cope quite well.

James Easton unexpectedly re-enters her life and the two continue to bick
Apr 01, 2014 Alexa rated it liked it
In this second book of The Agency, Mary Quinn is asked to go undercover as a twelve-year-old boy at a construction site in order to find a murderer. Everything is going alright, right until her path crosses with James Easton, the guy she has been trying to forget during the past year. They once again make an agreement to help each other solve the case; and as she gains respect of her co-workers she inches closer to the suspect. This assignment sadly reminds Mary of her childhood past, for she’s ...more
Blodeuedd Finland
I did not read book 1, but I felt it worked anyway. I quickly got into the world, of course when this guy showed up I did wonder what had happened between them in book 1.

BUT, I know they said she was not big, but still, how does a 17 year old get away pretending to be a 12 year old? See I never get that in books, mostly cos when I was 12 I could not have played a 12 year old boy. Damn, they were short, it took them to like 16 to get near me in height. And then there is the whole thing that somet
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Feb 24, 2015 08:35AM  
  • The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline (Enola Holmes, #5)
  • Exile (Lady Grace Mysteries, #5)
  • Wrapped (Wrapped, #1)
  • The Education of Bet
  • Fallen Grace
  • Betraying Season (Leland Sisters, #2)
  • Prisoners in the Palace
  • The FitzOsbornes in Exile (The Montmaray Journals, #2)
  • Death in the Air (The Boy Sherlock Holmes, #2)
  • The Girl is Trouble (The Girl is Murder, #2)
  • Cat Among the Pigeons (Cat Royal, #2)
  • Folly
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 Traitor in the Tunnel (The Agency, #3)
  • Rivals in the City (The Agency, #4)

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“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.”
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