Thursday, July 1, 2010
Title- A Spy in the House
Author- Y.S. Lee
I sometimes find that novels with historical settings can be a bit dry, but Y.S. Lee has rekindled my love affair with Victorian England. A SPY IN THE HOUSE is a fantastic novel, bursting with mystery, lies, greed, secret alliances, and, of course, romance.
With her quick wit and adventuresome spirit, Mary Quinn has quickly become one of my favorite heroines! A SPY IN THE HOUSE is set in Victorian London, where Mary’s secret life as a spy is one of the many traits that sets her apart from her peers. Even with her schooling and fine manners, she doesn’t fit the mold of a typical Victorian woman. Her history is a bit blurry, her origins are unknown, and she’s bursting with opinions. Mary definitely stands out in Victorian London, but her character is so vibrant that I believe she’s stand out in any setting.
I admire Lee’s ability to use just the right amount of foreshadowing. Too much and a novel will lose much of its mysteriousness, too little and the reader will become frustrated and completely confused. There were enough clues present that I could determine some of the lies and secrets, but the biggest aspect of the mystery remained a riddle for most of the novel. I was impressed with Lee’s ability to weave seemingly independent plot lines into a complex and compelling mystery, while still keeping the mystery intact.
I was thrilled to discover that there was a romantic plot line in A SPY IN THE HOUSE. Mary is forced to hide in a wardrobe when she is nearly discovered poking through an off-limits office, only to find the wardrobe is already occupied. One can assume that if you meet a man in a wardrobe, he probably isn’t the boring sort. Mary has met her match in James Easton, who, against his better judgment, is intrigued by “Miss Closet.” The conversations between James and Mary were humorous and tension-filled; the chemistry between the two is evident from the moment they tumble out of the wardrobe.
A fast paced read, narrated by a feisty heroine, I highly recommend A SPY IN THE HOUSE! Be sure to look for A BODY AT THE TOWER, the next Mary Quinn Mystery, which hits shelves in August 2010
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Royal Reviewer Angela Renee at 10:31 AM