The Story is About + Y.S. Lee

The Body at the Tower by Y.S. Lee

The Body at the Tower by Y.S. Lee

Release Date: August 10, 2010
Publisher: Candlewick
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 352
Source: Publisher/Book Tour: Traveling to Teens
Interest: series
Other Titles in the Series: A Spy in the House
Challenge: None
Buy the Book: Amazon

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Mary’s second adventure as an undercover agent forces her to relive some harrowing childhood experiences as she seeks the identity of a murderer.

Mary Quinn is back, now a trusted member of the Agency, the allfemale detective unit operating out of Miss Scrimshaw’s Academy for Girls. Her new assignment sends her into the grimy underbelly of Victorian London dressed as a poor boy, evoking her own childhood memories of fear, hunger, and constant want. As she insinuates herself into the confidence of several persons of interest, she encounters others in desperate situations and struggles to make a difference without exposing —or losing —her identity. Mary’s adventure, which takes place on the building site of the clock tower of the Houses of Parliament, offers a fictional window into a fascinating historical time and place.

This series is fantastic! I don't read much historical fiction, let alone historical fictions that are mysteries, but I will continue to pick up this series, no doubt about it.

I think the thing that makes this novel so awesome is Mary. She has an excellent voice! You want to read her story, you care what happens to her and you want to help her solve the mystery. I felt a lot more empathy towards Mary this time around...because of having to face her past as a child growing up on the street... not to mention with this being the second novel, you feel as though you know the character this time around. I think it's easier to care almost instantly. I also loved that we got to see Mary addressing her Chinese heritage and how detached she feels from it... I'm looking forward to it being address even further in upcoming novels. It's so sad to see her struggling with her identity and her feeling as though it's something she has to hide.

Besides the excellence that is Mary, the plot is also rockin'! I honestly had no idea what was going on... who was doing what and why. I mean I didn't figure it out until it was spelled out for the reader. Usually I can figure something out, but everything was a surprise. Kudos to Lee for keeping me and Mary on out toes!

My favorite character from book one was back, James! And I think I enjoyed watching Mary and James' relationship evolving... although from those last few pages... who knows what might happen. I'm glad that Mary did what she did... but wow! I can't wait to see what happens next between those too... they just HAVE to meet up again!

And the setting is fantastic. I loved the descriptive elements from the first novel and the second was no exception... I just want to go there... to the time and place. Something about it is incredibly alluring. Am I alone in this revelation?

Anyway... This series is fantastic. Spectacular characters... superb writing... awesome storyline. It's easy to read, fun and just plain ole' entertaining. I can't wait for another adventure with Mary in book three!

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The Body at the Tower by Y.S. Lee + Y.S. Lee