Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Rivals in the City (The Agency, #4)” as Want to Read:
Rivals in the City (The Agency, #4)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Rivals in the City

(The Agency #4)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  2,193 ratings  ·  338 reviews
Convicted fraudster Henry Thorold is dying in prison, and the Agency asks Mary to take on one last case: to watch for the return of his estranged wife. Mrs Thorold is an accomplished criminal and will surely want to settle scores with Mary’s fiancé, James. With the additional complications of family and conflicting loyalties, the stakes for all involved are higher than eve ...more
Paperback, UK, 352 pages
Published June 5th 2014 by Walker
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Rivals in the City, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Julia Set in Victorian times so pretty sedate. A couple of kisses, some talk of fallen women bu tnothing that would have upset me for my kids to read.
Celeste Yeah, there are two different covers for each of the books in the series.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,193 ratings  ·  338 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Carla *Jen7waters*
*edit #2*

*edit #1*
There's going to be a fourth book???
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: series, kobo
I know that this week and weekend, I have been reading like a house on fire, but snowstorms and a brand new year is enough to set any bookworm aflame. I cannot believe that "The Agency " series has come to an end! Mary Quinn and James Easton certainly give other Victorian sleuths a run for their money. I have always loved the relationship between the two and I genuinely am saddened that they will not be around solving cases. However, Y.S.Lee ties everything up for her faithful readers, including ...more
Jun 11, 2012 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
29/11/2014 EDIT: THE COVER!!! I've been living in a hole and only just realized it's gotten a US cover (three months late LOL) AND HOLY CRAP THE FIRST CHAPTER IS UP AND I'VE READ ONLY TEN PARAGRAPHS AND I HAVE FEELS ALREADY! *dies* Oh my gosh March 2015 please come SOON. :D

OH MY GOD YES A FOURTH BOOK. Please, more steamy James + Mary scenes. And I want to know what Octavius (<333) is up to. (He's my FAVOURITE. Not to be sacrilegious, but I totally wouldn't mind James getting jealous over some
Alethea A
Mar 24, 2012 marked it as to-read
Should I just go ahead and rate this 5 stars now? A surer bet was never had...
This was another enjoyable installment in the series, bringing back some loose ends from the mystery in the first book, and answering some lingering questions about the fate of Mary's father. I'm sad that this is the last one in the series. Why can't we have more of Easton & Quinn? The Agency can still be there, right? I love the dynamic between James and Mary, and would love to read more about their partnership as it evolves.
3.5 stars - Spoilers

Really liked the main characters, they were both so normal compared to other YA heroines/heroes. Mary didn't constantly bang on about James or vice versa, they were separated from each other for most of the book but they did other things and had other interests. It was refreshing to read a heroine/hero who didn't whine non-stop about their love life or constantly feel sorry for themselves. They both just got on with their duties, they had lives outside of each other… Yet it w
Oct 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing

Oh how I love this series! I am so glad I got my hands on this book.
Honestly, it was very clever and I enjoyed reading it immensely. James and Mary are so perfect and witty. If this is the last book then it ended very well. If not, I would love to keep reading this series.
Y.S. Lee is an underrated author but I am so glad I discovered her books.
Jan 11, 2012 marked it as to-read
I feel the need to point out that The Agency series is listed as a trilogy.
I also feel the need to point out how excited I am for another book in this amazing series (because that's what it is now).
Oct 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I loved, loved, loved this final episode in the Mary Quinn mystery series. Having left the fractured Agency, Mary has set herself up as a private detective in partnership with her fiancé - but when an old enemy threatens them both, they're forced to dissolve the partnership and each work alone in real fear for the other's lives. At the same time, old lingering mysteries from Mary's family's past are finally solved - and this is really her absolute coming-of-age novel.

I love Mary's fierce intell
May 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Rivals in the City wraps up Mary Quinn's adventures in a pretty satisfying manner; both Mary and James have grown a great deal and romantics will be over the moon at how far they have come in their oft-difficult relationship. The actual mystery at the heart of this final adventure, however (though it pains me to say it), fell far short of the one in the third book with all the danger and suspense-filled twists and turns.

The plot brings us full circle to the very beginning in A Spy in the House
Y.S. Lee's series, the Agency, ranks upon my favorite book series of all time. I was hooked from the beginning and the series just kept getting better. Therefore, it pains me to say that Rivals in the City did not live up to the greatness of the series as a whole.

After following Lee's blogposts over the last years to find out when Rivals would finally be published, I was ready to make amends when I learned about the difficulty of the writing process. Nonetheless, I have to be honest and say tha
Oct 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I was loathe to start this book... Because I knew it was the beginning of the end. :(

But, of course, it was awesome. Like all the other books in this series. However, I felt it wasn't as fast-paced or heart-thumpingly exciting as the previous volumes in the series. I still seriously love the characters and I wish there was more Mary and James interaction. Is it too much that they can't stand to be apart that they plan secret rendezvous? Haha. I just wanted more, more, MORE. The book was entirel
Cue the tears.
This is one of my favorite spy series. The perfect blend of mystery, romance, and England.
Things I love about this series:
1. It is culturally diverse. Even though everyone is not treated the same, it is old England, there are many different types of people.
2. The mystery is great, I did not anticipate the endings at all and I felt that I was actually discovering things at the same time as her. It was not one of those books where I sat there going WHAT ARE YOU DOING, HE IS OBVIOUSLY
Jan 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, ya, historical, ebook
I just finished the third. Please let this not be a joke!!! I really want another!!!
Apr 07, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, history, mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 06, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
The first thing I want to say is that if you haven't started reading this series yet and love mysteries plus romance, I don't know what you're doing with your life. I first fell in love with the quartet of books when James and Mary first found each other hiding in the same wardrobe, and I've enjoyed the first three books immensely. So I guess what I'm saying it.

Now you may have noticed that I said I loved the first three books. I said that intentionally. This fourth book wasn't so grea
colleen the convivial curmudgeon

As a random installment in the series, this wouldn't be a bad entry. Not my favorite, by sure, but I'd be ok with it.

As a finale, though, it left me a bit disappointed.

The main issue is just that the mystery itself was pretty weak. It didn't have much in the way of twists or even suspense, aside from one brief moment towards the end. It should've been a good mystery and a good finale, tying back into the first story as it does, but, no.

The second issue I had was that the mystery contrived to
Jul 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014, ya
I'm sad to see this series end. I think it is one of the most intelligently written and could continue for several more books and I'd be fine with that. But, alas, that is not to be.
The only problem I had with this story is that there was little interaction between Mary and James. It makes perfect sense for the plot and it had to be that way, but still, I did miss that. The two of them together are better than either of them apart. Isn't that how the best couples should be?
The mystery didn't fee
Jul 19, 2013 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
So Lee has given us a date for the Canadian release...February 2015. Which is all fine and dandy except NO I HAVE TO WAIT A YEAR.

Most excellent. So it seems that Lee has just finished the manuscript and has sent it to her editor to look at!

YUSSS. Can't wait for this one. Such a great series with many elements to it that I enjoy. (and more possible Mary + James steam)
Rating: 3.5/5

A satisfactory, if not exceptional, ending to the Mary Quinn mystery series. I definitely recommend the first two books as they are a joy to read.

Mary's reflection on her independence and marriage are really good to read though her and James working mostly separate was a bummer.
5 stars

Nice to see the Thorold's again. RIP to all of them. Glad Mary was able to meet her cousin. Hope her and James's detective business survives. Hope she and James have a long and happy life together!!!!
May 09, 2012 marked it as to-read
Shelves: top-priority
So excited for this book and so nervous that James and Mary might split up or are fighting for most of the book!!!
In the fourth novel of The Agency series, we’re throwing it back to the Thorolds. Mrs. Thorold and Angelica return for Mary’s one last adventure, bringing the whole series into a nice circle. There’s a manhunt for Mrs. Thorold, and everyone is scrambling to figure out her schemes before she can put them into play.

The dual PoV between Mary and James also returns, which I was happy to see. But the happiness ends there. I'm heart-broken to have to do this. The first three books were all well-writte
This last addition felt more like filler than a conclusive ending. The mystery/detective element wasn't as strong this time as it was simply solved and there wasn't really any high stakes or tension for me as there was in the previous books.

However, it was nice to revisit old characters and I always love Mary and James. They are so cute together. It's also nice Mary actually has a real family connection now to build and grow upon as time goes by.
A great conclusion to the series, but I'm a little bummed that Mary & James spent most of the book apart, and I would definitely read the adult romance novel about them set after their marriage.
Nina {ᴡᴏʀᴅs ᴀɴᴅ ᴡᴀᴛᴇʀ}
Great ending to the series I think!! Granted my memories of the previous three books are vague, still I really enjoyed this one!

More review later!

--U P D A T E--

I originally read this series, installment after installment and then I suddenly fund myself too busy to read the last installment. Years later, here I am, a satisfied reader the last book of the Agency Quartet.

I don't remember much of the previous three books. So how I judged the last book? Well I based it off the fact that I knew I wa
Ms. Yingling
Mary Quinn is back, enjoying the small nest egg given to her for saving Queen Victoria’s life, and basing in her relationship with James Easton, to whom she is engaged, and with whom she has started a detective business. When she is approached by her former employer at the Agency, Anne Treleaven, to help intercept the infamous Maria Thorold when she comes into the country to be with her dying husband, Mary agrees reluctantly. She has fond feelings for Anne and the Agency, but wants to sever her ...more
This is the fourth and final book (I think) of this series. Each book can be read as stand alone but would work best if read in order, especially with the small romance element that carries over from book to book and doesn't get resolved until the end of this book. The series is a really unique and intriguing premise. It's a YA historical suspense book that also points out the plight of women, bi-racial and non white people and lower socioeconomic classes in England at that time. It is very eye ...more
I am so sad that this is the end of Mary Quinn. I absolutely loved this series, and wish it could continue.

This final book brings us back to the first book- A Spy in the House. Angelica and Mrs. Thorold are back and Mary suspects that they are out for revenge and money. The Agency enlists Mary's help one last time to bring Mrs. Thorold to justice before she can extract her revenge on Mary...or worse James!

This book was packed with the usual suspense and plot twists and turns. It had me guessin
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 16, 2015 11:44AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Courting Magic
  • The Education of Bet
  • India Black and the Gentleman Thief (Madame of Espionage, #4)
  • The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan (Enola Holmes, #4)
  • The Traitor's Smile (Pimpernelles, #2)
  • The Secret Fiend (The Boy Sherlock Holmes, #4)
  • The FitzOsbornes at War
  • The Betrayal (At the House of the Magician, #3)
  • Jinx (Lady Grace Mysteries, #10)
  • Secret Letters
  • Dark Passage (Dark Mirror, #2)
  • Banquet of Lies (Regency London, #2)
  • Plague in the Mirror
  • Wrapped (Wrapped, #1)
  • Chasing Orion
  • The Doomsday Machine: A Further Astonishing Adventure of Horatio Lyle (Horatio Lyle, #3)
  • In the Shadow of the Lamp
  • Ladies in Waiting
See similar books…
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)
  • The Traitor in the Tunnel (The Agency, #3)
“Are you quite certain you don't want to come up to my flat for tea and toast and scandal?” 6 likes
“Mr. Ching claims the superiority of Chinese hand-and-foot fighting, and promises ocular proof of such.” 1 likes
More quotes…