Thursday, February 11, 2016

Rivals in the City by Y.S. Lee

Summary from Goodreads:
In a tale steeped in action, romance, and the gaslit intrigue of Victorian London, Mary Quinn’s detective skills are pitted against a cunning and desperate opponent.

Mary Quinn has a lot on her mind. James Easton, her longtime love interest, wants to marry her; but despite her feelings, independent-minded Mary hesitates. Meanwhile, the Agency has asked Mary to take on a dangerous case: convicted fraudster Henry Thorold is dying in prison, and Mary must watch for the return of his estranged wife, an accomplished criminal herself who has a potentially deadly grudge against James. Finally, a Chinese prizefighter has arrived in town, and Mary can’t shake a feeling that he is somehow familiar. With the stakes higher than ever, can Mary balance family secrets, conflicting loyalties, and professional expertise to bring a criminal to justice and find her own happiness?
These books are so amazing! It took me too long to get to this one. Seriously, every time I read them I’m just in love. I don’t consider myself much of a mystery reader. Occasionally, one will suck me in. But, for the most part, they don’t appeal to me. These Victorian London ones get me every time!
This installment did not disappoint. The mystery actually brought back the first mystery from book 1. I loved the return of a certain awful character. I needed to know what she was up to as much as Mary did. Also, it was so interesting and fun to see the much more humbled Angelica. Seeing the stuck up, snobby daughter of book 1 return as a much poorer and scandalized music student of book 4 was a dream.
Also a dream was the much more developed romance between Mary and James. I 100% understand why Mary is hesitant to get married and become any man’s “possession.” However, I love James. He sees Mary as his equal and I’m so in love with all the positive changes I’ve grown to notice in his character. He defends people of other races to his snobby dinner party. He trusts people Mary tells him he can. He trusts Mary enough to not mind her going away on dangerous jobs or to not care that she wants to dress as man to see a fighting match. They have such chemistry and witty dialog together too. They are a true team.
Also behind the reunions of old characters, the big job, and the romance, is the mystery of Mary’s past and heritage. So much is answered in this book. And I loved finally getting to learn a few things. I also loved that James was finally able to learn a few things too.
This book was great. The setting, the characters, the mystery, the action, the romance, the history, and the feminism all roll up nicely into one charming package. I wish these books had a little more hype. And I wish there were more of them. I recommend them all the time. This one gets a 9/10.

1 comment:

  1. I know a lot of people recommend this series and I'm happy to see that you are one of them :) I'm not a huge mystery reader myself, but I find myself craving them from time to time. I definitely hope to take on this series for myself sometime soon!