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The Traitor in the Tunnel

(The Agency #3)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  6,449 ratings  ·  611 reviews
Queen Victoria has a problem: there's a thief at work in Buckingham Palace. The Agency - the secret all-female detective unit - assigns quick-witted Mary Quinn to the case. Posing as a palace maid and fending off the attentions of the Prince of Wales are challenging enough, but when the prince witnesses a murder, Mary's case becomes anything but petty.

Engineer and former f
Hardcover, 373 pages
Published February 28th 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. Y…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)
Krys I know I'm just a tad late to respond, but if you enjoyed this series, I recommend reading Soulless by Gail Carriger and The Last Necromancer by C.J. …moreI know I'm just a tad late to respond, but if you enjoyed this series, I recommend reading Soulless by Gail Carriger and The Last Necromancer by C.J. Archer. Both are action/romance novels set during the Victorian era.(less)

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Nov 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a rare event for me but I have accidentally started a series in the middle and now have to go back and read from the start! This turned out to be a really good book.
It is set in Victorian London, in Buckingham Palace no less, and it follows the adventures of a young lady who is acting as a kind of private detective. The story is good, the romantic interest is very entertaining and, although I am absolutely certain the author has taken great liberties with the behaviour of Queen Victoria,
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
Jul 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Ugh. I kept reading this series because I did like the basic idea of it and hoped it would improve. It did the opposite of that. The very, very opposite of that.

I’m going to lead, though, with what is good about the series. The central idea is fun, if anachronistic: the main character, sentenced to death for theft at the age of 12, is brought instead to a girls’ school founded on the revolutionary principle that women are capable of independent thought, life, and work. In time, she’s introduced
Feb 17, 2012 rated it liked it
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 rated it really liked it
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 disco
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 rated it really liked it
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
3.5 stars.

“If you ever need to poison someone, do it with a bacon sandwich”

You do not know how much at ease I am when I read Y.S.Lee. For me, The Agency series turned out to be full of humor, family, friendship and James Easton. Even though the first book was slow to build a steady pace, they were so freaking relaxing. Especially after clawing through the endless chapters of Ulysses by James Joyce.

And what I love most about these epic quick-reads is that the romace is never, ever over-t
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Blergh. This one really didn't work for me. It was just too... much. In other words, nothing about this felt realistic.

-Mary and James' fight at the start felt contrived, and for dramatic purposes only
-The setting felt over the top (Mary is investigating shenanigans at Buckingham Palace of all things). I mean, sure, some of the stuff with Queen Victoria was a bit fun, but also, really over the top
-The whole sub-plot with the Prince of Whales was just ick. She's a sympathetic and attractive maid
Sep 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it really liked it
Shelves: series, mystery, 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
This was so good. It was a great conclusion to the trilogy, except I learned upon finishing it that there's a fourth book! *Immediately downloaded* ...more
Sep 27, 2012 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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 rated it liked it
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
Sep 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: people who like silly and stupid romances based solely on passion and physical attraction


Writing is fine. Story is okay. Nothing spectacular.

What annoys me to no end is Mary and James.

Their relationship appears to be all about the physical. They argue and bicker and then kiss passionately and get interrupted before they can do much more.

No meaningful conversations. Or, at the very least, not very many where they aren't yelling at each other. No signs that they really care for one another. It's all about how hot Mary gets underneath the petticoats whenever James is around and Ja
jillian n.
Feb 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 rated it really liked it
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 rated it really liked it
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 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012, 5-star, ya
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. Willison
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
Dec 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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!!!
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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

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)

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“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.”
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