Y.S. Lee has written an intriguing, delightful novel about an all female investigative agency in Victorian London of the 1850s that selects only the most intelligent, independent girls. The girls, as exemplified by Mary Quinn in this first installment of the series, are found in the most desperately poor parts of London. Quinn was not only poor, 12 years old, and an orphan when found, she also had been sentenced to hang for the crime of house breaking. After five years of intensive education at Miss Scrimshaw's Academy for Girls, Quinn is invited to join the agency and placed in a wealthy home as companion to the daughter of the house so that she could investigate the shady dealings of the father. Her spirit and intelligence are tested as she confronts not only the corrupt undercurrent of the father's business, but also her own past. This was an excellent read and I look forward to reading the other books in the series.
Series: The Agency (Book 1)
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Candlewick; 1 edition (March 9, 2010)