- Virginia Johnson
They call her Mary Quinn now. The judge would have happily have called her hanged. That’s what happens to unrepentant thieves, which is what Mary was. Orphaned and growing up on the streets of Queen Victoria’s London, an eight-year-old gets by as best she can. If that means dressing like a boy and picking pockets or even breaking into houses, that’s what she’ll do. Did. For four years until she was caught.
Mary was resigned to an end to her short and brutal life. She wouldn’t give the judge, or anyone, really, the satisfaction of tears or an apology. Even so, it was a harsh situation. Condemned to execution within days. So why was the lady in the courtroom’s gallery smiling at her—as if it was all going to be fine?
When she awoke from the chloroform the woman jailer shoved under her nose, Mary found out. She had been smuggled off to a special charity school for poor girls with strong characters who would otherwise be lost to the cruelty of city life. Under her new name, Mary trained until she was 17 for a better profession than thievery.
For a special few pupils, such as Mary, advanced studies are possible, leading to a job that would require all of her wits and courage. If she so desired, Mary could work for female-run, female-staffed investigation firm simply called The Agency.
Her very first case will put her in the home of a wealthy and eccentric family, whose beautiful, though foul-tempered, daughter is in need of a companion—and whose business affairs seem suspicious. So, Mary, saved from the gallows, finds herself pouring tea at a society party and attracting the attention of several good-looking young men.
A Spy in the House is the first book of The Agency series, by Y.S. Lee. Lee creates intriguing characters in dangerous and detailed settings, while always keeping the story moving along at a rapid pace. You’ll enjoy getting to know Mary, a young woman with rare talents and her own secrets that she won’t share with anyone, not even The Agency.