Short synopsis (Goodreads): This is another colourful, action-packed Victorian detective novel about the exploits of agent Mary Quinn. At a young age, Mary Quinn is rescued from the gallows and taken to Miss Scrimshaw's Academy for Girls. The school turns out to be a front for a private detective agency. At age 17, Mary takes on her first case (A Spy in the House). In this, the second book of the series, Mary Quinn sets out to uncover the truth behind a suspicious death at St. Stephen's Tower, better known as the clock tower of the Houses of Parliament. The accident occurred after hours in a highly public part of town and despite the presence of night watchmen. Mary, disguised as Mark Quinn, becomes a builder's assistant to find out the truth about the body at the tower.
My Review: I actually checked this book out quite a while ago but didn’t end up reading more than a few pages because it didn’t seem like James was coming back (the love interest from the first book). A couple of weeks later I had the bright idea to quickly page through the book and look for his name. I’m pleased to say that I found it at least once and that was good enough news for me that he would be back and so I commenced reading.
Mary is a likable character. I’m able to relate to her, not as well as some characters, but well enough to want to continue reading. This story didn’t give enough away to truly be compelling in the mystery department. It was trying to be clever and complex, but wasn’t. I could pretty much guess what was going to happen but it took until the last 10 pages to get to it specifically.
I'll admit that there are some issues that Mary needs to deal with, especially concerning her ancestry, but also in respect to coming to terms with how to deal with her relationship with James and working for the agency. She did not end it well. Actually, I’m a littler perturbed that she keeps trying to push James away after they are BOTH obviously attracted to each other. Yes, her confession of some things towards the end threw him for a loop, but he better be back again in the next book. Without him the book lacks depth (plus, I kind of get bored with books that don’t have a least a small element of a love story in them....am I the one lacking depth?...).
Overall, decent enough, but not my most favorite book in the world. I am willing to continue the series though.