Jaclyn's Reviews > A Spy in the House

A Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee
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Jul 27, 14

bookshelves: historical, teen-fiction, victorian, historical-mystery, mystery
Read from March 06 to 08, 2012

A Spy in the House follows reformed thief, Mary Quinn, when she starts her first assignment for the mysterious women's detective agency run by her school headmistresses. Mary is placed in the Thorold household as a paid companion for the family's daughter, Angelica. Mary's mission is to use her position to investigate the suspicious shipping company that Mr. Thorold runs. Mary ends up becoming more embroiled than she was intended, eventually unraveling the mystery. However, she also learns about some mystery surrounding her own Chinese heritage, which she has been keeping under wraps due to prejudice. While several threads of the story were not wrapped up, it is evident that Mary's Chinese heritage will be explored in the next novels in the series.

What I liked about the novel:

I loved the atmosphere of the novel, which was set in Victorian England. I partly enjoyed this setting because I had finished another Victorian-based mystery, The Yard by Alex Grecian that will be published in June 2012. Overall, I felt that the setting was well described and the research and expertise of the author was well conveyed.

I also liked the characterization of the main character in the novel. Lee unflinchingly portrayed Mary's unfortunate history as a thief and as a daughter of a mother who was forced into prostitution. Mary's characterization was great and she was a strong female character.

The depiction of Victorian life was also great because it was something that I found educational about the book. Lee included a lot of the terrible things that were occurring to those of a lower social class - the lack of occupations to women, class-ism, racism etc.

Overall, I really enjoyed this young adult novel and would recommend it for teens who like mysteries. Looking forward to the next books in the series.
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Coates Ooh this looks good!


message 2: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Coates Also, have you read "Before I Fall" yet?!


Jaclyn no not yet!


message 4: by Stacey (new) - added it

Stacey May I have your permission to steal your review vocabulary?


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