Written by: Y.S. Lee
Released: March 9, 2010 by Candlewick
Summary: Introducing an exciting new series! Steeped in Victorian atmosphere and intrigue, this diverting mystery trails a feisty heroine as she takes on a precarious secret assignment.
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.
In short, this is a fantastic historical novel and I can’t wait to read the next two (which are sitting on my shelf) and any others that follow. The characters, setting, and plot really bond together flawlessly and this was an incredibly well-written novel.
I’m giving it an 8-8.5/10. I will be buying the first three novels in hard cover at The Strand when I’m there for BEA in June.
Let me know if you’re going to be at BEA too – and if you know about registering for the Book Blogger Convention online because it’s giving me problems.