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.
Okay, this is going to be short because really there are only a few things I want to say about this novel.
- I loved it. Really, really loved it.
- Mary confronts the skeletons in her closet . The book takes a somber look at the people who sire us and how their mortality and morality affect us. This gives Mary new depths and she evolves much more as a character.
- The kisses are smoking hot. My toes curled multiple times. It’s quite a feat since I wasn’t even the one being kissed.
- Lee’s portrayal of Victorian (I believe it is Victorian, I could be totally wrong) is so spot on. Her wordsmithery remains impressive and I believe her plotting has actually improved.
- James is awesomesauce and that’s all I am going to say about it. Actually no, as hot as he is, it is his humanity and his flaws that make him irresistible. His vulnerability where Mary is concerned is also endearing.
- You need to read this series because if you don’t, you are losing out. I don’t want you to lose out.
And that is all.