The Traitor in the Tunnel by YS Lee: Book Review

Series: The Agency, #3
Publication Date: February 28th 2012 by Candlewick Press
Rating: |

Book Summary: Get steeped in suspense, romance, and high Victorian intrigue as Mary goes undercover at Buckingham Palace – and learns a startling secret at the Tower of London.

Queen Victoria has a little problem: there’s a petty thief at work in Buckingham Palace. Charged with discretion, the Agency puts quickwitted Mary Quinn on the case, where she must pose as a domestic while fending off the attentions of a feckless Prince of Wales. But when the prince witnesses the murder of one of his friends in an opium den, the potential for scandal looms large. And Mary faces an even more unsettling possibility: the accused killer, a Chinese sailor imprisoned in the Tower of London, shares a name with her long-lost father. Meanwhile, engineer James Easton, Mary’s onetime paramour, is at work shoring up the sewers beneath the palace, where an unexpected tunnel seems to be very much in use. Can Mary and James trust each other (and put their simmering feelings aside) long enough to solve the mystery and protect the Royal Family? Hoist on your waders for Mary’s most personal case yet, where the stakes couldn’t be higher – and she has everything to lose.

Book Review Overview:

  • A mystery that will keep you guessing at the edge of your seat
  • Mary/James chemistry is as great as ever
  • Fantastic third installment in the Agency series; I want more

Disclaimer: You probably don’t want to read this review of THE TRAITOR IN THE TUNNEL by YS Lee if you have not read the two previous books. I highly recommend them.

Mary Quinn is back undercover – this time as a parlor maid in the Buckingham Palace – investigating a string of petty thefts. Y.S. Lee is a fantastic mystery writer that will leave you at the edge of your seat. She will keep you guessing, only to leave your jaw hanging wide open at the climax of the novel. THE TRAITOR IN THE TUNNEL by YS Lee has an ending you’ll never see coming.

One of the reasons that I love the Agency series by YS Lee is the fact that Mary is half Chinese. It’s rare that you ever see that in a Victorian novel, but Lee makes it work. There’s so much depth to Mary because of her backstory. Not only is she half-Chinese, but she’s also an orphan and a criminal. Mary has so many things going against her that you can’t help but cheer for her character. She continues to be a headstrong character in THE TRAITOR IN THE TUNNEL by YS Lee. I love that we are finally given more insight to her Chinese ancestry and questions about her background are finally answered. (Yep, no spoilers – that’s all your getting from me.)

Okay, I admit that I had to slow myself down at times. I mentally chastised myself for reading way too quickly just so I can get to the next Mary/James encounter. But then again, who can blame me? One of the reasons why I love this series is for the fantastic sexual tension between Mary and James. THE TRAITOR IN THE TUNNEL by YS Lee is no exception. Lots of banter, teasing, and romantic moments that will be sure to please fans. James and Mary continue to be one of my favorite couples in YA.

Like any historical novel that I read, I did question the historical accuracy of some parts of THE TRAITOR IN THE TUNNEL by YS Lee. It’s only right that I do. But whatever questions that popped up in my head were soon squashed, once I remembered Lee’s background. She has a PhD in Victorian literature and culture! I love that I can put my trust in an author’s writing to be historically accurate.

Fans of the Agency series by YS Lee will be satisfied with the third installment without a doubt. And of course, I definitely did my fan girl dance when I found out that there is a fourth book in the works.

Why I’m Biased: I’m in love with this series. Y.S. Lee can do no wrong.

Other Book Reviews:
Baggins’s Book Blabber

About the Author

Y. S. Lee was born in Singapore but brought up in Canada. She also lived briefly in the United Kingdom. An academic with a PhD in Victorian literature and culture, she wrote MASCULINITY AND THE ENGLISH WORKING CLASS IN VICTORIAN AUTOBIOGRAPHY AND FICTION. She lives in Ontario, Canada.

Find the Author

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  1. I’m the same lol! I totally find myself reading way too fast just to get to more scenes between James and Mary!

    (Did you like that first scene between them when they meet again in this one?!! :D *fans self*)

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