Now nearly a full-fledged member of the Agency, the all-female detective unit operating out of Miss Scrimshaw’s Academy for Girls, Mary Quinn is back for another action-packed adventure. Disguised as a poor apprentice builder and a boy, she must brave the grimy underbelly of Victorian London - as well as childhood memories of fear, hunger, and constant want - to unmask the identity of a murderer.
Assigned to monitor a building site on the clock tower of the Houses of Parliament, Mary earns the confidence of the work crew, inching ever nearer her suspect. But if an irresistible desire to help the city’s needy doesn’t distract her and jeopardize her cover, unexpectedly meeting up with an old friend - or flame - just might.
A suspenseful and evocative window into a fascinating moment in history, The Body at the Tower is the much-anticipated second outing with a daring young detective.
©2010 Y.S. Lee (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
This is the second book in "The Agency" series (the first is "A Spy in the House") and it as one of the most entertaining listens I've found yet. It tells the continued story of 17-year old Mary Quinn, and adventurous and progressive young woman living in Victorian London. On the surface, Mary appears to be a respectable young teacher at Miss Scrimshaw's Academy for Girls, but she really is a secret agent employed by an all-female detective agency. Mary takes an assignment which requires her to go undercover as a 12 year old boy to investigate a suspicious death at a London building site. Mary has to hold her own in this rough and tumble environment, and although she manages with skill, wit, and toughness, she is forced to relive some of her difficult past. Also, she finds herself once again crossing paths with James Easton, an old flame who she thought was safely away in India. The descriptions of Victorian London and the often brutal life of an unskilled laborer are fascinating, and the complex unfolding of the details of the mystery will keep you on your toes. But what makes this book so wonderful is the evolving relationship of Mary and James. James is fascinated by Mary's untraditional attitudes and lifestyle, and Mary tumbles head over heals for him. She struggles with her intensifying feelings for James, and the knowledge that her work as a secret agent makes romance impossible. The flirty banter between James and Mary is absolutely irresistible -- sexy and delicious while at the same time being perfectly "clean." Mary is a refreshing change from the typical female character who gives up everything for the guy. With Mary as it's feisty, complex and endearing main character, this book is great for teens, but as an adult, I also found it wonderfully entertaining.
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