Rescued from the gallows, Mary Quinn is determined to make a better life for herself at Miss Scrimshaw's Academy for Girls. By the time she's seventeen, Mary is educated and teaching but dissatisfied. Her teachers offer her a unique opportunity. The Academy is a cover for the Agency--a secret group of female investigators. Mary joins the Agency and collects information for them disguised as a lady's companion. Many secrets exist in the Thorold household. Some of which affect Mary and her past. Can Mary complete her first assignment for the Agency? Will she be a good agent?
What I thought: Brilliant book! I do love a Victorian setting. Mary Quinn is an intriguing character. Loved how her past was revealed bit by bit and left you guessing. The story progresses quickly and held my interest. Mary's uneasy alliance with James Easton was perfectly done. They don't quite trust each other, but circumstances force them yo rely on one another. Their verbal sparring reminded me a bit of Laurie R. King's Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes. A thoroughly enjoyable book. I do like a good mystery. I can't wait to read book 2, The Body at the Tower, set to release next month.
(The Agency Book 1. Somerville, MA: Candlewick, March 2010. ARC provided by Publisher.)