- ISBN: 9780763640675
- ISBN: 0763640670
- ISBN: 9780763652890 (pbk.)
- ISBN: 076365289X (pbk.)
- Physical Description: 335 p. ; 22 cm.
- Edition: 1st U.S. ed.
- Publisher: Somerville, Mass. : Candlewick Press, 2010.
|Summary, etc.:||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.|
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|Genre:||Young adult fiction.
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A Spy in the House
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
She was sentenced to the gallows at age 12. Pickpocket Mary Quinn doesn't care. Her life, nasty and brutish, will also be blessedly short. Then, shockingly, she's rescued and ensconced at Miss Scrimshaw's Academy for Girls. When readers meet Mary after this prologue, she is 17 and bored with her teaching job at the Academy. Happily, there's more going on there than learning. Mary is recruited into the Agency, a secret band of women investigators. Her first job is ostensibly to be a lady's companion. Actually, she's at the Thorold home to observe and discover what she can about the mysterious sinking of Thorold's ships. But Mary's not much for observing and soon finds herself in the midst of murder. The new Agency series is what you'd expect, very well done, and a little more. Mary's feisty, the mystery is solid (if a little boring), and the romantic interest is reminiscent of Jane Austen's Darcy. The secret of Mary's parentage will make an interesting string to run through succeeding books. V for vivid Victoriana.--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2010 Booklist
School Library Journal Review
A Spy in the House
School Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Gr 7 Up-Mary Quinn, a scrappy 12-year-old orphan and accomplished thief in Victorian London, is saved from the gallows by a stranger and taken to Miss Scrimshaw's Academy for Girls, an institution dedicated to turning out strong, independent, educated young women. Though reluctant at first, she accepts the challenge and eventually becomes a teacher herself. At 17, she is recruited by the mistresses of the school to join a covert group of female spies known as The Agency. Her first assignment involves posing as a lady's companion to the daughter of a man suspected of fraud and smuggling. She carries out her investigation at night and during stolen moments, but soon finds that she is not the only one on the case. Is James Easton a friend or foe? A dramatic rescue from a burning building reveals the true villain but leaves other questions unanswered. Lee fills the story with classic elements of Victorian mystery and melodrama. Class differences, love gone awry, racial discrimination, London's growing pains in the 1850s, and the status of women in society are all addressed. Historical details are woven seamlessly into the plot, and descriptive writing allows readers to be part of each scene. Readers who liked Phillip Pullman's The Ruby in the Smoke (Knopf, 2008) will find similar elements in this new series starter.-Cheri Dobbs, Detroit Country Day Middle School, Beverly Hills, MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
A Spy in the House
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Set in the richly described underbelly of Victorian London, Lee's debut novel launching the Agency trilogy introduces feisty Mary Quinn. At the 11th hour, 12-year-old Mary is rescued from hanging (for thievery) and taken to Miss Scrimshaw's Academy for Girls, a school doubling as a secret training ground for female private detectives. When Mary turns 17, she is selected for a case requiring her to spy on a wealthy merchant by serving as a companion to his spoiled, petulant daughter, Angelica Thorold. Mr. Thorold is suspected of pirating valuable artifacts from India, and it turns out that James Easton, the younger brother of one of Angelica's suitors, is on Thorold's trail as well. Through the many and somewhat contrived plot twists, Mary's skills are tested; she prevails with Easton's help and attentions, partly belying the story's feminist tenor. A subplot revolves around a family secret Mary tries to keep buried. If cultural issues at times feel like they are being addressed with a modern sensibility, Mary's lively escapades, on the whole, will hold readers' attention and whet their interest for the next installment. Ages 12-up. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved