Thursday, August 19, 2010

Review: The Body at the Tower by Y. S Lee (The Agency #2)

Title: The Body at the Tower
Author: Y. S Lee
Series: The Agency Book #2
Available: Now
Publisher: Candlewick
Number of Pages:
Reading Level: Young Adult

5+ out of 5 Stars

*Spoilers for the first book below*

Description from Y. S Lee’s website:

July 1859. A bricklayer falls to his death from the Clock Tower of the Houses of Parliament – the most recent horror in a string of scandals that plagues the building site. With the British people eagerly watching the installation of Big Ben, Mary Quinn disguises herself as a 12-year-old boy laborer to uncover the grim truth. Her fellow workers are suspicious. Mary’s secret past distracts her. And then James Easton returns…

My thoughts:

In The Body at the Tower, we meet up with the lovely Mary Quinn again. About a year has passed since we last saw her in A Spy in the House. She is offered an assignment at a local building site where a suspicious death has occurred. Mary will have to play the part of a young boy. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Mary accepts even though she knows this assignment will most likely stir up memories from her life before Miss Scrimshaw's Academy for Girls saved her from execution. While working incognito, James Easton comes back into her life. Worried about blowing her cover, Mary continues to behave as a young boy named Mark Quinn, while wondering if James suspects who she might really be.

I was so excited to spend time with Mary again. She continues to struggle with the mixed heritage she is afraid to claim, but also ashamed to deny. We catch a glimpse of a more emotional side of Mary in this novel, as she reflects on the course her life has taken. I love the growth her character experiences during this installment.  I was ecstatic to see James return. I think a fist pump might have occurred along with a "Yippee it’s James!”. I was convinced his leaving for India was the end for him and Mary. Things continue to be on the complicated side for these two, but I absolutely love the chemistry they create. The ending was a little disheartening, and is bound to make the wait for the next book feel like forever. 

I don’t hide my love for The Agency novels, and recommend them to others every chance I get. I gave The Spy in the House 5 Stars. I loved the newest addition even more, and felt it deserved my first 5+ rating. I can’t say enough about these books. Intriguing mysteries, fascinating characters, an interesting setting, and enough romance to satisfy without overshadowing the plot. Even those who aren’t fans of historical books should check these out. Mary Quinn might just change your mind. I’m so sad this is just a trilogy, and not a series I can enjoy for years to come.

Y. S Lee on the web:

Books in this series:

*Received from publisher for review.


  1. Great review! I need need need to read this soon :)

  2. Hi, blog buddy!!! I always enjoy reading your reviews, and decided to nominate this one for the Book Review of the Week award over at the End of Story, Next Book blog. SHe asks that we let those we nominate know about their nomination and invite them to stop by and visit her blog and possibly become a follower, so that is what I am doing! Here's a link to her BROW post:

    Crazy Cat Lady