Review: ‘Rivals in the City’ by Y.S. Lee

I have been meaning to finish this series for ages, but as we all know, I get distracted by shiny new books all the time and have a habit of forgetting the ones I just bought yesterday. Anyway, Rivals in the City by Y.S. Lee has been sitting in my Kobo queue for a long time, and it fit in with my historical mystery reading phase, so it was the perfect follow-up read to The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder by Rachel McMillan (you can read that review here).

Synopsis: Convicted fraudster Henry Thorold is dying in prison, and the Agency asks Mary to take on one last case: to watch for the return of his estranged wife. Mrs Thorold is an accomplished criminal and will surely want to settle scores with Mary’s fiancé, James. With the additional complications of family and conflicting loyalties, the stakes for all involved are higher than ever.

Coming back to this series was super easy. Even though it has been years since I read the third book, I felt like I had read it just days before. I didn’t remember everything, but Lee does a great job of creating memorable characters and moments in her books. For someone like me who rarely remembers anything about a book, other than if I liked it or not, that is a significant recommendation. Reading this was basically like meeting a friend from highschool that you had some great times with but haven’t seen in years.

In this book Mary Quinn’s story is brought back full circle to her first assignment for The Agency. Although she has become an independent woman, her previous cover story is still intact so she is hired by one of her former mentors to close this case once and for all. This story seems to have it all, from boxing matches to bank robberies. It’s a whirlwind of a read, and was a great ending to a great series. It’s also really great to see YA that isn’t another dystopia, or paranormal fantasy, or John Green wannabe. It’s a good fit for fans of cozy mysteries, or other YA spy stories like Ally Carter’s Gallager Girls series.

LC rating: 4-stars (great ending to a great series)


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