[Read] ➼ A Spy in the House ➹ Y.S. Lee – Pdfr25.co

A Spy in the House 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 AssignmentRescued From The Gallows In S 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

10 thoughts on “A Spy in the House

  1. says:

    I really, really wanted to like this book I m a fan of novels set during the Victorian era, as I ve always been very interested in how thinking, reasoning people especially women manage to survive in such a repressive society It s the same reason I like Jane Austen novels, because the yearning for connection with other human beings is so often at odds with the strict customs of the day.There s a tendency now in books for authors to just ignore those rules and just barrel forward with whatever story or agenda they may want to promote I know that it s difficult from a modern standpoint to write about a spirited heroine without bending some rules here and there, but it s annoying that so many authors go ahead and just plain break them Don t get me wrong the author clearly has done a lot of research into the time period, and I believe it was also her educational specialty But I find it tiresome that girls in historical novels keep getting put into breeches or constantly talk back at their superiors or go out and linger unattended on the streets I know, I know, Mary is supposed to be a detective and whatnot, but girls of this time and in her position would never dream of behaving in this way Showing courage and spirit and passion when extraordinary circumstances call for it is one thing, but to blithely move about everyday life as if expressing your wishes and opinions is commonplace is just plain wrong for this time period If this is something an author wants to do, he she is better off writing a steampunk novel or a story set in an alternate universe I would argue that there must be a way for a gifted writer to make the book true to the period of the time while keeping the spirit of adventure alive.The writing itself is something that bothered me, too The language of the time is fairly formal and specific, with a distinct wording and rhythm of its own I just didn t feel convinced by the tone that was struck here, nor were the plotting or the mystery or the characters particularly unique I happened to have the follow up book from the library and I skimmed through that one as well to see if it was any engaging, but for me, unfortunately, these books just don t work.Readers who want a great Victorian mystery that holds true to the customs of the time would do better to try out The Poisoned House, The Case of the Baker Street Irregular young readers or The Cater Street Hangman.

  2. says:

    Having accidentally read book three in this series first I went back and read this one book one It s always better to begin at the beginning.It was nice to see how Mary began her career and how and when James came into the story Now I understand that later book much better I always enjoy a good historical mystery especially those set in Victorian London There s something very special about the history of that city and the spookiness of the docks, the fogs and the streets at night.I thoroughly enjoyed this story and I am looking forward to reading Mary s future adventures in order

  3. says:

    Dude, this book rocked my world in all sorts of ways Asian American Woops sorry, she s Asian Canadian actually author Bingo Asian ish character Double bingo Feisty main character with an even crackalicious chemistry between the two leads JACKPOT.My favorite part of the book has to be the interactions between James and Mary I must ve cracked up tons of times from their hilarious banter They just sizzle in their scenes together After all, if she meets him in a closet there is bound to be some sparkage going on there You just want them to have some hot make out scenes to, you know, seal the deal Ahahaha Don t mind me, that s just my dirty mind talking.The plot was fast paced and the mystery yanked me along without letting me take a breather I just could not stop reading I loved how she carefully built up aspects of Victorian Era society, because that time period is so intriguing with its inner contradictions and hypocrisy There s a bit of a feminist pro attitude tone in the book and it might throw off some people but not me I ve read a lot, lot of essays, stories, and plays written from famous authors advocates from that time period which is filled with dense language and vocabulary that forced me to grab the dictionary quite a few times, heinously long and complex sentences, and opinions and beliefs forcibly stated and shoved down my throat, so I didn t really have any problem with it whatsoever.There s a bit of suspending belief circumstances such as there being a secret spy society of females set out to correct the wrongs and bring justice to the underprivileged, and the fact that Mary gets away with things a bit too easily, but I think it just gives the book a lot character Real Victorian society is gritty, depressing, and downright bleak at times, though it was a monumental time of changes and had a huge effect on the conflict of belief Don t get me wrong, a lot of good things happened at this time too I think by doing these things the author is able to introduce us to Victorian society while also trying to give us the hope that not everything is so horrible, that there s a certain light at the edge of things Mostly because in a lot of ways, Victorian society is almost a near reflection of our current society where we can find a lot of common aspects in both, but anyway, the main point is THIS BOOK ROCKS I love it Totally recommended.

  4. says:

    Mary Quinn displays plenty of charm and wit while working as A Spy In The House Sadly, tiresome cliches and one dimensional supporting characters prevent this good read from becoming a great one It s 1853 in London, England, and 12 year old Mary Quinn has just been sentenced to die Convicted for thievery, Mary is saved from the gallows pole at the last moment by a mysterious stranger and brought to Miss Scrimshaw s Academy for Girls But much like Mary herself, the Academy is full of secrets Mary soon joins a secret agency which trains young women to become detectives and spies so that they can work within a society that foolishly underestimates them Now Mary has been given her first case, infiltrate a rich merchant s home and learn why his cargo ships keep disappearing But when Mary s investigation earns her a dangerous new enemy, will she be able to cheat death a second time This book s premise sounds amazing, right Unfortunately, the execution suffers right from the very beginning While some authors make the mistake of taking too long to get to the point, Y.S Lee has the opposite problemshe barrels through so quickly, it s hard to make a connection with any of the characters After a brief prologue in which Mary s execution is interrupted by Anne Treleaven from the Academy, Chapter 1 immediately jumps ahead 5 years In the first chapter, teachers Anne and Felicity reveal to 17 year old Mary that her performance at the school and her interactions with the other girls has convinced them she is a perfect candidate to be trained for espionage We have to take their word for it, since we never see any of these events ourselves Than Lee manages to make the same exact mistake a second time, when Chapter 2 skips past all of Mary s training and jumps right into her first case All the experiences that have made Mary who she is are completely glossed over Imagine if the second chapter of Harry Potter s first novel featured him graduating from Hogwarts, and you now understand exactly what reading this book is like While Lee thankfully stops skipping past long periods of time in between chapters, narrative problems still persist once Mary begins her first case In order to infiltrate the home of shipping magnate and chief suspect Henry Thorold, Mary gets a job working as a companion for Henry s teen age daughter Angelica It doesn t take long for all of the people Mary encounters to fall into their one note roles For example, since the stereotype of the spoiled, bratty heiress has been done to death, it would have been nice if Angelica had been given a bit depth upon her introductioninstead, she immediately proceeds to carry on like thisThe other characters don t fare much better, all of them are pretty much shallow and one dimensional Even Anne Felicity seemed hollow in the beginning, but I had chalked that up to how quickly Lee had moved past their segment But as the story moves on, Mary is the only character that displays any real depth at all, and even that isn t handled very well In fact, most of Mary s traits aren t evident from her actions, but merely from what other people tell us about her Early on, Mary encounters James Easton, the younger brother of one of Henry Thorold s potential investors By Chapter 4, spoiler insta love alert James is already infatuated with Maryand from then on, many of the chapters are told from his point of view silly me, when the banner on the book s cover said A Mary Quinn Mystery , I just assumed that meant Mary would get to be the star of her own book Because of this second narrative voice, we constantly have James telling us about who Mary is, instead of Mary showing us for herself James so often comments about how feisty and independent Mary is, it sure would have been nice to see of her in action However, despite these problems, I did find myself enjoying much of this book once I got past the really clunky ramp up portion While Mary and James quickly fall into cliched rom com roles, I can t deny that I often laughed at the witty banter between them And when Mary was finally given a chance to shine, she did so brilliantly In the book s best moments, Mary is revealed to be a very sympathetic and endearing character Also, the overall mystery was a nice change of pace from the usual whodunit style While the characters themselves could be boring, I can t say the same for the mystery itself, as Lee throw in enough twists and turns to keep things interesting Although the mystery is sometimes hampered by Lee s tendency to fall back on tired old clichesone evildoer even launches into a monologue so hackneyed, it would make even the corniest of James Bond villains blush If you ve just read something really heavy and want your next book to be light and fluffy, then you might have fun with A Spy in the House But if you want a deeper reading experience that invokes any kind of real emotion, I m afraid you ll have to look elsewhere Disappointing, since so much could have been done with such a promising concept.

  5. says:

    Not bad but not great either the old classic good idea but not great execution The premise itself sounded interesting but I couldn t get invested in it We move too quickly from one event to the next in some cases and some of the connections seem too convenient or not quite believable.I would have loved to learn about Mary s school years and the skills her benefactors thought she displayed that they thought were good qualities for an Agent Mental red flags popped up from the beginning but I decided to keep going and hope we would get to know Mary better later on Mary s background and past life was very interesting wish time had been spent on it The only characters given some depth were Mary and James, everyone else wasn t really fleshed out Even the villain failed to rouse any strong feelings in me, when they revealed their master plan the only thing I thought was this is it It felt far too short for what was proposed on the back cover when I reached the last page, I had to double check I wasn t missing anything else.It s one of those books that isn t too dark and an easy read I wouldn t say I had fun reading it but I wasn t completely bored either Not a bad read for a rainy day I suppose.I m interested enough to give the second book a chance but this is one I won t be re reading in the future This is David s fabulous review he had many of the same issues with the book I did Give him some love.

  6. says:

    I like the basic concept of The Agency A group of female spies in Victorian England It sounds fabulous A woman posing as a servant, a governess, for example, or a lady s maid or companion, could overhear and quietly collect a lot of things So I came in ready to love this series.Unfortunately, Mary Quinn goes directly from being informed that the Agency exists to arriving at her first job She is apparently given intensive training in between, but we don t see even a moment of it And I don t remember Mary thinking about her training much It s a shame, because it s a huge missed opportunity I would have very much liked to have seen that training And since Mary does spend quite a bit of time screwing up in her first assignment, I m left to believe that the Agency s training and selection procedures aren t quite as strict as they should be.I don t doubt that Lee does know a fair bit about and has done some research into Victorian England And times, it shows But Mary herself reads like a modern girl than a Victorian girl in a delicate situation Her behavior including arguing politics with a guest of her employer just didn t ring true for the period This won t bother some readers, but it did sometimes take me out of the story But I think those two things might not have bothered me as much if I liked Mary It s not that I disliked her I was sympathetic towards her and her circumstances, but not attached to her She just didn t stop to think quite as much as I like to see in my heroines A shame, because I really did want to like this series.

  7. says:

    This read like a dream Yes, I said it Now if you are anything like me and your bibliophilic life started with raunchy mills and boons Australian and Kiwi editions and then widened to include historical romance which were just as raunchy but did teach me a lot about Bonaparte you will have some level of familiarity with historical novels boasting of a strong heroine and an intriguing hero This, I hasten to add, is not to imply that The Agency is a romance novel Oh no, far from it Or that there are heaving bosoms involved well, there might be but they re certainly not the heroine s Anyway, what I m trying to say, albeit not very well, is that first book in the trilogy asserts its position not just as a YA Historical fiction rare in its genre but as, dare I say it, brilliant YA Historical fiction.Let me count the reasons I say this.There is a fluidity in Ms Lee s writing that, quite frankly, grips you by the collar and jerks you into the novel and holds you captive and enthralled until you are unaware of the time that has passed and the work that you have left undone Her writing is on par with authors that have several novels under their belt and there is no sense of awkwardness in her prose that is so common with debuting authors You have to love smooth writing, you guys.Her characterizations are bloody awesome Mary Quinn is by no means perfect and it is her imperfections that, ironically, make her perfect The beginning grips you with the bleakness of her fortune, with the depths of despair that have led her to that point and the ending leaves you bemused by the distance she has traveled within the scope of the book alone I like the fact that Mary is human enough to be relatable to me That she can give in to human vanity and despite having had to grow up so fast, still retain that sense of childishness, that intrinsic immaturity that is so common to people of her age Not that I mean anything negative by that It s just that she reads like the teenager she is despite being put in a situation where she could have been written like a woman in her twenties I like that.James Easton is delicious as the unwilling hero of the tale Not that he takes over the tale entirely No We see glimpses of the story through his eyes and what this does is deepen our appreciation of Mary and the entire novel James is not as fleshed out as Mary is but that s okay He is defined enough that you can, through his unwilling fascination with Mary Quinn, structure the hierarchy in the story and place the social status of the various characters He also spices up the narrative because the romantic tension between him and Mary Quinn is enough to make a girl swoon.The other characters are also interestingly hewed I love it when the author spends enough time to create original characters no matter how small their part in the narrative is instead of using stereotyped, stock characters This shows that the author has imagined the world she has created down to the last detail And further, that she respects the intelligence of her readers.The narrative brings up some very interesting points The role of women in the society at the time the novel is set in is one of the things discussed Their limited freedom and the stereotypes they lived under And what breaking away from these stereotypes and expectations would mean to a woman What interested me than that, however, is Mary s internal conflict about her mixed heritage In fact, this is one of the most interesting things about the novel How she addresses these issues and whether they will influence the manner in which she lives her life and the decisions she makes for the future is one of the reasons I m looking forward to the next two books in the trilogy.So the verdict Read the book It has everything a good book needs and is everything a wonderful book should be I recommend it to everyone who likes good literature.

  8. says:

    Oh, the Agency I read you in hopes of reading a version of the Gallagher Girls spy school in the Victorian period petticoats , but alas Here are the ways in which you disappointed me 1 You play Victorian dress up, but really, you re a modern girl at heart who likes to swear and call boys by their first names Also, being a lady I do not think it means what you think it means 2 I was teased completely by Mary being half Chinese, but then Lee spoke very little to that experience That s one of my main problems with books set during this time When I look for diversity, I either get a completely sanitized version of it, or nothing at all 3 The book seemed to be a collection of scenes, with the solution to the mystery all infodumped in a few paragraphs There are way elegant ways to write mysteries Honestly, this book was fluff Probably satisfying fluff when one s in the mood, but I ve read better developed stuff Nothing really managed to pack an emotional punch betrayal, anger, remorse, etc all felt quite superficial There re some nice shades of depth to Angelica and Mrs Thorold, but the only thing that could have saved this book would be kissing James is definitely my type a tad too charming, shows disdain for social niceties, incisive, brooding and actually man of trade as he is an architect but there wasn t enough of it Sigh.This will sound like I m jumping ahead a year, but I would recommend Gail Carriger s upcoming novels, Etiquette and Espionage over this for a similar flavour it is a tongue in cheek, b not professed to be historical fiction, and c way funnier.

  9. says:

    I like it It was interesting I love the spying and espionage aspect Also, I have never seen a heroine with a Chinese heritage she s mixed in a Victoria era novel before The love interest, James, is cool too I like the bantering.I don t really have much to say I like it, but also I can t say that it knocked my socks off I did get bored at some parts I am hoping to see great developments in the later books 3 starsThings that you might want to know WARNING Spoilers below Happy satisfying ending view spoiler Cliffhanger, not the last book hide spoiler

  10. says:

    Quick paced, fun, and yes, a cute mystery read Ah, YA, you are my comfort zone Initial Thoughts 1 Great female protagonist Mary Quinn is strong, independent, determined, and a smart character She really breaks through society s expectations of hollow housewife , and takes risks in finding the necessary information for the case.2 Ah, sweet romantic tension This novel is not overly romantic, but the tense relationship between Mary and James is just cute Seriously, how they meet made me grin from ear to ear.3 Loved the setting and time period Issues of gender roles are challenged, and expectations are shattered.4 Although the pacing was quite quick, the actual story line mystery was okay It didn t capture me, and became secondary to other aspects of the story, like characters and side stories.5 Identity, and race are addressed, and it was very refreshing to read about I haven t come across a book that deals with racial identity.You can check out my video review here