Book Review: A Spy in the House – Y.S. Lee

Happy Friday!!

To start off my weekend I wanted to share a book review that I have had completed for quite some time now and just haven’t posted. I haven’t posted it mostly because I forgot about it and became so preoccupied with other books, starting this blog, and also remembering to post on my Bookstagram everyday.

So. Much. To. Do.

Anyways, when I got the whole Agency series, I burnt through them all so quickly. I read them all back to back and probably in less than a month (this is when I was going to college full time AND working…). Its safe to say that I enjoyed the books quite a bit. So much that I read them every waking minute. I have seen mixed reviews online about this book and the whole series. I don’t fully agree with some of the negative reviews mostly because the story kept me so captivated and I found it easy to read. There were no overwhelmingly long descriptions that made it hard to focus or so many details that you find yourself constantly trying to piece together information.

I find my personal preference with books and especially series is detailed with background information but spread throughout. I get so bored when everything is laid out right at the beginning or the end. I like to organically learn about the characters and the plot. This obviously is not what everyone likes, but I find I get distracted easily, so having a constant flowing and entertaining story keeps me engaged.

Anyways, onto my review now 🙂

A Spy in the House (Agency #1) – Y.S. Lee


Rescued from the gallows in 1850s 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.

My Thoughts

This book exceeded my expectations! I don’t really know what I was expecting to be honest… but really, it went above and beyond. There was mystery, twists, romance, history, SPIES! I really enjoyed it. The book felt different than others I have read. I enjoyed the Victorian setting. I loved the history of the main character, Mary Quinn. She had a traumatic past and I felt that her history tied well into the story and also bits and pieces were brought up later in the story for a smooth understanding of Mary. I didn’t feel like I was missing anything or that too much information was given to make the story dry.  

I read this book FAST! I found I couldn’t put it down once I started. I had to make myself stop a few times. It was easy to follow and kept me on my toes.

I enjoyed Mary’s love interest, James Easton. The bantering back and forth between Mary and James was humorous. They had a bit of a hot and cold relationship at times. However, Mary’s personality was very independent and strong so it fit well in the story.

Overall, the idea of female spies who get sent out to do undercover missions in a male dominated world really interested me. It felt sneaky and little bit “against the rules” which I loved. I had no idea that Mary was going to be such a badass which made the book so much better. I would definitely recommend reading this book (and the rest of the series) because it was so fun and was a nice snapshot into a different time.

My Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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