Friday, July 27, 2012

Review: The Traitor in the Tunnel (The Agency #3) Y. S. Lee

Queen Victoria has a little problem: there's a petty thief at work in Buckingham Palace. Charged with discretion, the Agency puts quickwitted Mary Quinn on the case, where she must pose as a domestic while fending off the attentions of a feckless Prince of Wales. But when the prince witnesses the murder of one of his friends in an opium den, the potential for scandal looms large. And Mary faces an even more unsettling possibility: the accused killer, a Chinese sailor imprisoned in the Tower of London, shares a name with her long-lost father. Meanwhile, engineer James Easton, Mary's onetime paramour, is at work shoring up the sewers beneath the palace, where an unexpected tunnel seems to be very much in use. Can Mary and James trust each other (and put their simmering feelings aside) long enough to solve the mystery and protect the Royal Family? Hoist on your waders for Mary's most personal case yet, where the stakes couldn't be higher - and she has everything to lose. Goodreads.

I absolutely love The Agency. Mary, a female private eye in Victorian England is smart, funny, brave, and a little hot-headed. I especially love that she manages her own style of intelligent banter, without sounding like a repeat of every other "snarky" female lead. Lee's lighthearted mysteries are full of Victorian details that let the reader feel completely sucked in to a different time and place. It is some of my favorite historical fiction.

James Easton. *sigh* I really don't know where to begin with him. He is infuriating, and I love him. While I admire his high morals, courage, and stubbornness, the amount of time they keep him away from Mary is maddening. Which I suppose is the point. Well done, Ms. Lee, well done.

I do have to say I was disappointed in the treatment of Felicity and Anne, Mary's handlers. I felt like the issue there took place and was over a little too quickly. The Agency is listed as a trilogy, with The Traitor in the Tunnel being book three, but Goodreads has a fourth title listed, but not yet published. YAY! Maybe it will clear up a few lingering questions, like who is the girl in the blue dress??

Rating 4.5/5 stars
YA notes, mild language, mild suggestive content 

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