Hardcover: 335 pages
Publisher: Candlewick 8/10/10
I absolutely adore this series. Mary Quinn (Lang) is a compelling character and the situations she gets into are fascinating for the time the story takes place (late 1800s Victorian Era). This could definitely be an opened-ended series, but as we know, those tend to get tired and tiring.
It's been nearly a year since Mary was asked to work for the Agency and her training has been ongoing. When Mary is asked to dress as a young boy for her next assignment, she takes it one step further. She cuts off her hair, dresses in boy's clothes and tries to impress herself to Felicity Frame and Anne Treleaven. Which for all intents and purposes works. However, Anne thinks the new case is a bit out of the Agency's league and doesn't feel that it is safe for Mary to mask herself as 'Mark Quinn' boy apprentice on a building site (House of Commons, Parliament and Big Ben!) where a bricklayer has died from falling from what is to be Big Ben.
As Mary gets deeper involved in mystery, new dangers appear and her identity may not be as secret as everyone thinks. Especially when a newly invalid James Easton appears at the site.
This is an extremely well-told story. The plot with this one had me guessing and I'm generally good with picking out scenarios, but not this one. I was completely enthralled with this story. Of course when James Easton enters, I'm all a-swooning! The banter between Mary and James is pure romance and heaven. They are the Darcy/Elizabeth of the Aughts! (well I think so!).
I was lucky enough to receive and arc of this from Candlewick through Traveling to Teens. I promised to have this review up on Thursday of last week and I failed. I cannot say enough about this series, but just buy the book and read it. Curl up on the couch, have some tea (you'll want LOTS of tea or rum:)) and just be transported to Victorian London, England!