Goodreads Book Giveaway

Back To Good by Laura McCarthy Benson

Back To Good

by Laura McCarthy Benson

Giveaway ends April 07, 2017.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

05 June 2010

The Agency: A Spy In the House

The Agency: A Spy in the House (The Agency Book #1)

Reading Level:             Young Adult
Hardcover:                     335 pages
Publisher:                       Candlewick, 3/9/10
Bookmarks:                   4.5

What a beautiful book!  I urge everyone one of my readers to put this HIGH on their list of to read!!!  I'm a sucker for good Victorian mysteries that are contemporary.  As a huge Austen fan (yes, she's regency) and big Bronte (Anne, Charlotte, not Emily!) fan.  Even though, they're not quite Victorian.  But I digress, Y.S. Lee writes as if she was born during this period.  Her research (and she actually has a PhD in Victorian Literature!) is absolutely spot on.  I could gush and gush about this book, but I need to actually review it! :)

Mary Lang is introduced to us as a 12 year old common pick pocket and thief in order to survive the streets of London.  When she is caught and scheduled to die by hanging, a lifesaver in the name of Anne Treleaven comes to her and shows her that their is a world that can use her.  So she is enrolled at Mrs. Scrimshaw's Academy for Girls.

After her schooling and working as a temporary teacher in training, Mary decides that this is not the life she was meant for.  So she goes to Ms. Treleaven and another teacher Mrs. Felicity Frame to explain what she has decided.  After taking in her account, they explain that she could still be useful to them, but it must be kept a secret.  Within the walls of the Academy is an all-female business called The Agency.  They send women out on assignments to 'spy' if you will on certain London upper class.  For whatever reason.

With a new name and a new job, Mary Quinn is born and takes a position as a paid companion to a family that is being investigated.  What Mary thinks is a routine assignment is quickly becoming more fraught with secrets and lies.  However throughout this escapade, Mary meets a very eligible suitor by the name of James Easton.  He is not actively seeking a female companion, but because they are both searching for the same answers, they become accomplices.

Mary is a strong female character and she shows that growth throughout the book.  The banter between her and James is reminiscent of Darcy and Elizabeth.  Especially when James brings up the Crimean war.  I could literally see the twinkle in his eye when she shot him down regarding his thoughts on female nurses on the front line.  I got that feeling that I did when I realized that Darcy was the right person for Elizabeth.  James is perfect for Mary, but they are too stubborn to see it.  I hope that we see more of James in future books and that Lee has laid the groundwork for a happily ever after.  (what can I say, I'm a sucker!).  

The storyline is plotted out beautifully and though it might be a bit predictable to die hard mystery readers, I was still swallowed up in the mystery.  Y.S. Lee is a writer to be reckoned with in the future and I really want to read more from her.

This is a library book.  That is how I obtained it.


  1. Great review! Sounds great, added it to my WL.

  2. Ooh, I just finished this and loved it too. I know exactly what you mean about the Darcy/Elizabeth comparison - I knew their banter seemed familiar! I read this one at an excellent time; just finished watching a couple Alias episodes (the whole spy theme) and was about to start reading an Enola Holmes mystery instead. Oh, how they both came together to bring me The Agency! Glad you enjoyed it too and can't wait for the next one in August. :)

  3. I want to read this book :D Now to look it up on goodreads

  4. Great review! I've heard good things about this book before. It's definitely on my to-read list!


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