Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Agency: The Body at the Tower

Mary Quinn, newest member of The Agency, a women's spy organization in Victorian London, is ready for her second case. There have been suspicious deaths occurring at the clock tower of the Houses of Parliament and Mary is assigned the job of spying on members of the construction crew that has been working on the tower. This means she must play the role of a boy, cutting off her hair, disguising her voice and way of speaking, and attempting to take on boyish mannerisms.

Working on the crew, even just as an errand boy, is difficult and exhausting work. As Mary labors, she tries to listen for information regarding the deaths and continues to collect clues to report back to her bosses at the Agency. A familiar face from the first book, James (can we say literary hottie??) is also trying to find out information, forcing the pair to clash (and heavily flirt) once again. A little romance never hurt anything right?

Y.S. Lee has a great way of forming deep and rich characters and weaving them into a descriptive and addictive plot. The mystery portion of the story is intricate and easy to lose yourself in, as we are given different perspectives, lots of clues, and interesting tidbits of info, all while witnessing Mary have the opportunity to attach herself to a case as many women could never do. She was able to say things and act in ways that women could not, allowing her the ultimate access crime chatter.

Adults could easily read this and not know it was marketed to young adults, another added bonus. I was really impressed with the language and details and would have no problem adding it to a list of recommendations for adults.

I'm ready for book 3 please!

The Agency: The Body at the Tower
Y.S. Lee
352 pages
Young Adult
August 2010
Review copy provided by publisher


Peaceful Reader said...

This little mystery sounds really good. I love a good character-driven story. I'll have to seek out book one first.

Amanda said...

In this case, I would definitely read book 1 first. I think I even liked it a tad better than this one, however, they're both excellent!