Publication Date: August, 2010
Of Note: YA Historical Fiction Challenge Book #3
Mary Quinn is back, now a trusted member of the Agency, the all-female 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.
I'm such a sucker for any story that takes place in Victorian London. I don't think I've read one book that takes place in that time period/place that I haven't liked! I read the first book in this series a few months back and I enjoyed it, so when I saw that my library had the sequel in stock, I quickly snapped it up.
This book is quite different from the first, which I liked. Mary is working on the building site at the Houses of Parliament, and she's posing as a boy! This brings up past pains for Mary, as she'd once had to pass as a boy to survive on the streets once her parents passed away. She deals with it as best she can, but this job wears on her. I was thrilled to see that Mary and James were reunited in this book, as they're one of my favorite young adult couples. I love their feisty natures and how they tend to bring out passion in each other. I just wish they had more scenes together. Every scene would do just fine.
Ultimately the mystery wasn't that much of a surprise to me, but I still enjoyed The Body at the Tower very much. I think this series is a must read for any historical fiction fan!