A Spy in the House

A Spy in the House

Book - 2009
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Rescued from the gallows in 1850s London, young orphan and thief Mary Quinn is offered a place at Miss Scrimshaw's Academy for Girls where she is trained to be part of an all-female investigative unit called The Agency and, at age seventeen, she infiltrates a rich merchant's home in hopes of tracing his missing cargo ships.
Publisher: Somerville, Mass. : Candlewick Press, c2009.
Edition: 1st U.S. ed.
Series:
ISBN: 9780763640675
0763640670
Call Number: LEE
Characteristics: 335 p. ; 22 cm.
Subjects: Historical fiction.
Mystery fiction.
Great Britain -- History -- Victoria, 1837-1901 -- Fiction.
London (England) -- History -- 19th century -- Fiction.
Smuggling -- Fiction.
Orphans -- Fiction.
Sex role -- Fiction.
Household employees -- Fiction.
Swindlers and swindling -- Fiction.
Quinn, Mary (Fictitious character) -- Fiction.

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kathleen_DCL Oct 02, 2017

The first book in The Agency series about a young orphan girl named Mary Quinn living in Victorian England. Life was very hard for poor young women then and Mary has had to be very strong to survive. After being saved from the gallows, Mary is lucky to go to school and eventually become a spy for an all woman agency then the excitement really begins! A great book! Looking forward to more.

LPL_KimberlyL Jul 02, 2016

A fast-paced mystery set in 1850's London, with clever dialogue, a sassy heroine, and plenty of intrigue. The author flips most gender conventions of the day on their heads to bring us an all-female spy agency, so there is plenty of a feminist undercurrent running through this book for those who enjoy a bit of a twist to their historical fiction. One of my favorites of the year, by far!

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cocoachick16
Feb 16, 2016

This book was very good. I enjoyed the story very much. Can't wait to read the next three books in the series!

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nidofito
Dec 25, 2015

A good start to a light, historical mystery. Hopefully we have a couple years difference in the next book to allow character personality development and to develop a more mature romance.

s
Sharonzy
May 29, 2015

I love this series!!

m
marthabwaters
May 23, 2015

I thought this was a pretty enjoyable (series-opening) YA Victorian mystery. The fact that the mystery itself isn't the absolute MOST compelling lowered my rating a bit, but I thought that Mary was a really interesting heroine, there's a good (veeeery subtle/slow-burning) romantic subplot that I'm assuming will get more play in later volumes, and there was a lot of really interesting historical detail woven in without feeling forced or like it got in the way of the plot. It also offers an interesting (and refreshing, for a historical mystery) bit of a glimpse of racial politics in the 1850s, another theme which I look forward to seeing more of in the rest of the books. The world Lee has constructed here is a really promising one; I'm just hoping the other mysteries in the series are a tiny bit more exciting.

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cinnamonkitty14
Jun 06, 2014

Very similar to Secret Letters by Leah Scheier. You might want to check it out if you liked this book... I'm looking forward to the rest of the series (I believe there are 3 books so far and a 4th coming soon). The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron is also a somewhat similar book, although you wouldn't think so at the beginning of the book. ...I seem to keep finding books that remind me of this series. The latest is Murphy's Law by Rhys Bowen; Molly and Daniel remind me of Mary and James.

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bookworm767
May 03, 2014

This is such a great mystery series. I love the storyline, the time period, the romance! The author has a really nice writing style and the story is easy to devour in a day. I cannot wait for her last book! I highly recommend her series.

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sax_player22
Dec 21, 2013

I loved it so much if you like spy books this is definitely for you.

bwortman Aug 04, 2013

An excellent Victorian YA mystery novel. Mary is a complex and well-drawn character with an history almost as intriguing as the central mystery itself. Happily, Mary is surrounded by supporting characters who are equally interesting and a romantic interest who is lovely. Also quite well done is the evocation of the Victorian period. The novel is full of small but accurate details and set during the Great Stink in London, which adds a rich texture to the background of the narrative. A fun mystery that I race through, I’ll be picking up the next two books in the trilogy very soon.

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Directioner44127
Jul 21, 2012

Directioner44127 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

green_panda_282 Jun 19, 2012

green_panda_282 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 11 and 14

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ForeverLeandraa Aug 10, 2012

Mary is an orphan and a thief. Stealing to survive is all she knows but at 12 years old she gets caught and sent to the gallows. She is rescued moments before her death sentence by a woman who takes her to Miss Scrimshaw’s Academy for Girls. After 4 years of a proper education for a girl in Victorian London, she learns the Academy for Girls is really just a cover-up for The Agency. A select group of women that work as spies, Being a previous thief, Mary jumps at the opportunity to start her first mission and use her covert skills again. Posing as a companion for a young girl, Mary is thrown into the home and business of a rich merchant. Looking for clues to any illegal activity proves to be dangerous.

Mary is an orphan and a thief. Stealing to survive is all she knows, but at 12 years old she gets caught and sent to the gallows. She is rescued moments before her death sentence by a woman who takes her to Miss Scrimshaw’s Academy for Girls. After 4 years of a proper education for a girl in Victorian London, she learns the Academy for Girls is really just a cover-up for The Agency, a select group of women that work as spies. Being a previous thief, Mary jumps at the opportunity to start her first mission and use her covert skills again. Posing as a companion for a young girl, Mary is thrown into the home and business of a rich merchant. Looking for clues to any illegal activity proves to be dangerous, and once she meets James it becomes harder to keep her cover. Can she keep her background a secret? Will everything be exposed before she can safely return to the Agency? What about James, is it even possible for Mary to have a romantic relationship? Join Mary in this Historical adventure that promises to leave you wanting more from this soon to be trilogy.

Grades 9-12, 355 pages

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IHeartReading247 Jun 11, 2013

Agency,crazy,realistic

chrisgotstacks Jul 29, 2012

agency , crazy

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