The Agency: Rivals in the City by Y.S. Lee

  • ASIN: B00P2U18F4
  • Publisher: Candlewick (March 10, 2015)
  • E-Book $9.99, Print $16.99

I’m sad to say Rivals in the City is the 4th and final installment of The Agency series by Y. S. Lee. If you’ve not read this delightful YA Mystery series you might want to start since you will now have access to all four books which will keep you turning pages until the sun comes up and then some. If you have children, especially girls, this series will feed any interested in history, espionage and women’s rights as Ms. Lee weaves a colorful and insightful look to women’s roles in the Victorian age.

Book 3, A Traitor in the Tunnel, had me feeling on edge with the mounting tension of Mary’s undercover role in Queen Victoria’s home and an uneasiness between Anne and Felicity, the leaders of The Agency. I say uneasiness as I’d grown found of the Agency duo. Ms. Lee is a crafty wordsmith and invoked Mary’s feelings of confusion and disheartment with the rift crated between her mentors within myself. It was like seeing your best friends break up and you didn’t know if you’d even have any friends left as you couldn’t take one friend’s point of view over the other.

Happily, this final installment brings the reader full circle by interweaving the 1st book, A Spy in the House, as Mary takes on her first large case and is reintroduced to the Thorold family. Mary finds closure for her father and begins a new chapter with James whose character has a slightly smaller role than previous books, but is no less vital to the reader as his story line creates tension and a nice twist.  As for Anne and Felicity, their roles are the undercurrent throughout the book, popping in to both Mary and James’ lives, feeding the reader small amounts of information, but nothing vital that would overstep the story line.

Rivals in the City is a wonderful conclusion with ties up the loose ends and my beloved characters find a presumed “happily ever after’ once the last page is read.


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