Kirkus Reviews QR Code
THE BODY AT THE TOWER by Y.S. Lee

THE BODY AT THE TOWER

The Agency, Book 2

From the Agency series, volume 2

By Y.S. Lee

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-7636-4968-5
Publisher: Candlewick

In this second series installment, Mary Quinn begins another assignment with the all-female detective agency in Victorian London. This time she uses her skill at male disguise to gather information about issues impeding progress on building the clock tower of the Houses of Parliament. The mysterious death of a workman is the impetus, but there is speculation about widespread corruption. Mary’s disguise brings memories of her difficult childhood, and she battles those as she tries to understand an intricate web of theft that may have led to murder. Complicating things is the appearance of her old acquaintance James Easton, as a safety inspector for the building site. James has returned from India, weakened by a bout with malaria but still attracted to Mary. As in the first volume, the sights, smells and grim lives of London’s poor are richly detailed and surround the action. Mary is a reflective character, grappling with many issues, including her still hidden ethnicity. Occasionally said details and reflection slow the action,  but the storytelling and characters are interesting enough to reward patient readers. (Historical mystery. 12 & up)