Rescued from the gallows in 1850s London, young orphan (and thief) Mary Quinn is surprised to be offered a singular education, instruction in fine manners — and an unusual vocation. Miss Scrimshaw’s Academy for Girls is a cover for an all-female investigative unit called The Agency, and at seventeen, Mary is about to put her training to the test. Assuming the guise of a lady’s companion, she must infiltrate a rich merchant’s home in hopes of tracing his missing cargo ships. But the household is full of dangerous deceptions, and there is no one to trust — or is there? Packed with action and suspense, banter and romance, and evoking the gritty backstreets of Victorian London, this breezy mystery debuts a daring young detective who lives by her wits while uncovering secrets — including those of her own past. – Goodreads
Helloooo, new favorite book! A Spy in the House was absolutely brilliant. It executed a great mystery, was never slow or boring, and had leads that were both complex and captivating. Mary easily joined the ranks as one of my favorite characters. She was clever, had spirit, and was not afraid to stand her ground. Then there was James Easton who was very much Mary’s equal. The two could bring out the best and worst of each other, but it was a good balance and they made quite the team together.
The mystery was very well written, neither too convoluted nor too obvious. All of the characters involved had evidence against them, making them equal suspects, and yet the conclusion still managed to surprise me. Details of Mary’s past were also revealed and it was very easy to empathize with her. I’m looking forward to seeing more information surface in the future installments and for Mary to fully accept her identity.
Then there was the romance… James and Mary easily have some of the best chemistry I’ve come across. From their first encounter in the wardrobe, I knew they would be a pair I would love and that proved to be true. If you’re looking for declarations of love, and all that goes with the usual YA novel, you won’t find it here, but you will find a compatible match with these two. Their banter and sexual tension was fantastic and it can only get better from here.
Despite my early wake up call for this morning, and my body demanding sleep, I stayed up past 2AM to finish up the story. As the end approached, I ran to my computer to order the next book in the trilogy, The Body at the Tower. It won’t be here until Friday and I’m already anxiously waiting to get my hands on it. A big thank you to Cialina at Muggle-Born.net for bringing this series to my attention. Without her glowing review, which you can read here, I would have never picked it up on my own and that would be absolutely sad. I can’t recommend it enough, so definitely give it a chance if you can!