Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Review: The Agency – The Traitor in the Tunnel by Y. S. Lee

Title:  The Agency – The Traitor in the Tunnel
Author:  Y. S. Lee
Genre:  YA, Historical
Pages:  373
Published:  February 2012
Publisher:  Candlewick Press
Source:  NetGalley
Where to buy:  Amazon


Get steeped in suspense, romance, and high Victorian intrigue as Mary goes undercover at Buckingham Palace - and learns a startling secret at the Tower of London.

Queen Victoria has a little problem: there's a petty thief at work in Buckingham Palace. Charged with discretion, the Agency puts quick-witted Mary Quinn on the case, where she must pose as a domestic while fending off the attentions of a feckless Prince of Wales. But when the prince witnesses the murder of one of his friends in an opium den, the potential for scandal looms large. And Mary faces an even more unsettling possibility: the accused killer, a Chinese sailor imprisoned in the Tower of London, shares a name with her long-lost father.

Meanwhile, engineer James Easton, Mary's onetime paramour, is at work shoring up the sewers beneath the palace, where an unexpected tunnel seems to be very much in use. Can Mary and James trust each other (and put their simmering feelings aside) long enough to solve the mystery and protect the Royal Family? Hoist on your waders for Mary's most personal case yet, where the stakes couldn't be higher - and she has everything to lose.

Young, feisty, and extremely good at her job, Mary has some pretty high profile clients – for one the Queen of England.  She has taken on the guise of a house maid to solve a mystery at the palace.  Several trinkets have disappeared from the family collection, nothing major; but enough to bother her Majesty.  Can she keep her identity hidden and solve the mystery before the thief strikes again?

In the midst of all this, a murder happens.  A young friend to the Prince of Wales is caught up in fight, and is stabbed to death.  The accused man shares the same name as her father, presumed dead.  Can she help him and find out who he really is and what his connection to her might be?  On top of that, James is back.  Could he complicate things?  Can she solve both cases without completely blowing her cover at the palace and protect her heart at the same time?

When I first picked up “The Traitor in the Tunnel” I had no idea this was part of a series.  I was intrigued by the cover and the synopsis, so I took the chance and gave it a go.  I’m so glad I did, the story was a lot of fun!  I really loved Mary, she’s probably one of my favorite YA heroines; she’s spunky, is amazing at what she does, and isn’t afraid to do what needs to be done.  I’ll definitely be going back to read the first two in the series to see what other antics Mary has been up to!

Will I recommend this to anyone?  Yes, this is a fun read.  For those who love YA historicals this is definitely a book (& series you should check out).  Will I read more by this author in the future?  Oh yes, I loved this book and I really want to get the other two for my collection, and I’m looking forward to future stories of Mary (and maybe James!)

Also by Y. S. Lee:


  1. Great review.

    BTW I loooooove how you do your images. The corners and tilt! Precious.

    LOVE the header too.
    So cutie and original.

  2. This sounds like a great new series - hadn't really heard a lot about it until today. :)


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