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

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4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  4,157 ratings  ·  455 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, 337 pages
Published August 10th 2010 by Candlewick Press
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Kristi
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.......more
Steph Su
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...more
Emily
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...more
kari
Mar 07, 2012 kari rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012, 5-star, ya
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...more
Hallie
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
Estibaliz79
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...more
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:

http://wwwbookbabe.blogspot.com/2010/...
Linda
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.
Kribu
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...more
Sariah
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Natalie
I had this book sitting at my house forever. I was waiting for the first one to come in at the library so I could read it again and refresh. Finally I couldn't stand it anymore and I just had to read it immediately.

Of course I loved it. How could I not? It has all my favorite elements - mystery, romance, intrigue, historical, victorian - sigh. That is the formula for an excellent novel.

Mary is going undercover again. This time as a boy. There has been a murder at the work site of Big Ben. She...more
K. Bird
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...more
Krystle
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...more
Jennifer
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
Ruby Rose Scarlett
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
Kereesa
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)...more
Natalia Ceitidh
Originally posted at http://dazzlingreads.blogspot.com


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...more
Thenia
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...more
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
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
Allison
I'm really enjoying this series! I liked the first book even though it took a while to get to know Mary and to like her, but The Body at the Tower gets right into the thick of things and I was able to sympathize with her much more. Mary is now a trained spy working undercover as a boy on her first murder mystery. She is forced to face her childhood nightmares in addition to present dangers, and the world of poverty she enters feels very real.

I love the romance between Mary and James - it feels...more
Annette
The Body at the Tower is the second book in The Agency series, and I enjoyed it as much as the others. (Yes, I've read them out of order.)

I really enjoy the premise of these detective stories. It's the mid 1800s in London. Our main character, Mary, is a detective working undercover from The Agency, which is known as Miss Scrimshaw’s Academy for Girls. It's a bit far-fetched. This teen girl was plucked off the street from a life of crime and trained to be a sleuth in a time when women couldn't ev...more
Lisa
This is the second book in Lee's The Agency quartet, set in Victorian London and featuring a clever and highly trained undercover operative as the main character. I enjoyed the further development of Mary's skill and character, and loved the history around the building of the houses of parliament and what was, at the time, called St. Stephen's tower. Once again Lee has clearly done her research and many small historical details shine through, meaning you can learn something while having fun.

Aga...more
Alexa
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
Rosa
Mary is sent on another case for The Agency. This time she must dress as a boy and work on a building site to help determine whether the death of one of the workmen was an accident or whether something more sinister is afoot. While on the job Mary once again connects with James Easton and finds that there is a lot more going on at the building site then meets the eye.

I enjoyed the mystery and did not figure out everything right away which is always a big plus to me. The historical details were...more
Connie


I love this series. The mystery and the characters. I lo the setting and all of the views of the social classes. I can't wait to read the next one. I really want to know what happens between Mary and James.
Laura Mitchell
I'm really enjoying this series. A good bit of tension in this installment, as Mary's new assignment requires her to dress up as a boy and infiltrate a building site. This is all too reminiscent of her early years, and old memories of her childhood threaten to overwhelm her. It is clear to her (or is it?) that she must suppress who she was in order to live this new life of working for The Agency. The character development and the background pieces slowly filled in engage the reader, and the stor...more
Jordan K Bell
I can honestly say I enjoyed this book as much as the first. Still only four stars, but unlike the first - in which my complaint was for the lack of that extra umph, that life-changing something, that some books have - the extra star was lost because I didn't feel Mary grew much. She may be more responsible than she previously was, but that growth happened between books.
Overall, four stars for a thoroughly entertaining book that leaves me ready for the third.
If you're looking for a Victorian-age...more
Sara
Un poco más de profundizacion en los personas respecto al libro anterior.
Un caso sin muchas pistas, con múltiples sospechosos, y variados motivos.
Me da curiosidad qué será exactamente lo que le pasa a James, no parece una simple malaria... pero por lo terco y cabezota que es se merece algo doloroso.
No hay tanto discurso feminista como en el anterior, pero vuelve a reflejar una clase vulnerable de la época, esta vez los huerfanos y vagabundos... y probablemente las cosas no han cambiado mucho hoy...more
Meredith Armstrong
I didn't find it to be as strong as the first book. One must swallow some whoppers for this one. For example: the idea that Mary could fool anyone into thinking she was a 12-year-old boy for several days while in close quarters; the fact that everyone who looks at her in that disguise automatically assumes *12-year-old* boy--like everyone in London could peg a boy's age that accurately at a glance. There were other leaps I had to make, but on the whole it was a fun read. I hope the third book is...more
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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
More about Y.S. Lee...
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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