Book Review: The Agency for Scandal by Laura Wood

I took a bit of a break from my blog with the end of the year being so busy, but now we’re into January and have a new year of books ahead! I’m happy to start the year off with a post on a book I was so excited to read. I requested an ARC of this from Scholastic, but I didn’t think I’d be getting a copy. However, I was lucky enough to be sent an early finished copy after all, and this book is stunning. The cover art is pretty, and the spine?! I love it so much. It looks so cute sitting on my shelves.

I should probably stop gushing about the design now and actually tell you about the book! But wait until you see it~

This is actually my second time talking about this book on my blog. This was the first book I did a mini review on in my series Will I Like This Book? I was intrigued by the small sample, and I just knew I had to read on. We all know I’m not the biggest fan of historical fiction, but this is one that sparked my curiosity.

The Agency for Scandal follows eighteen-year-old Isobel, a young woman trying hard to hide from society that her family is penniless. She works with a women’s detective agency to right wrongs and digs up scandals about the powerful men who deserve to be bought down. What she doesn’t expect is that one day a case will tangle her up with the Duke she’s been nursing a crush on, who doesn’t seem to know she exists. 

One of the things I was excited about in this book was the romance, and it certainly gave me everything I’d hoped for. Max had seemed quite sweet, and since Izzy has things tough, I wanted a bright spot for her there. And we certainly got one. Seeing them get to know each other, and how accepting Max was of Izzy? Even after he found out her truth in a society that would have usually shunned her for it? Precious. Plus, I didn’t realise that this book utilises the fake dating, or in this case, fake marriage trope! I loved that little section of the book, and it definitely added to the fun feeling of this story. On top of that, there’s also a sapphic romance between two of the side characters which I enjoyed.

How much I enjoyed this book added to how easy it was to read. It was a little chunkier than I expected, but I still devoured it, despite the fact I was just coming out of a reading slump. The chapters were of a decent length, and the font is on the larger side, but that makes it very easy on the eyes. This is definitely a YA book that I could see being marketed at a younger teen audience and them enjoying it. But people older than that, like me, will definitely find something in this story too.

If you like mysteries, no matter how old you are, I think you’ll enjoy how those elements are employed in this book. With the Victorian setting, the way the spy element is portrayed is interesting. We have a scientist side character, but her inventions and ploys are mostly pretty believable. I enjoyed the way the girls in this book use their womanhood to hide what they’re doing, and get what they need. Though what they need from the villain is fairly obvious from early on, there’s a good mystery in their trying to work out how to get the information back. There are sneaky elements to enjoy for sure.

Overall, I had a good time with this book. It’s definitely a young YA, but I think that’s a great thing. If you’re after a fun historical novel with equal amounts of mystery and romance, The Agency for Scandal is the book for you.

4/5 Stars

Title: The Agency for Scandal

Author: Laura Wood

Genre: Historical

Age Range:  Young Adult

Publisher:  Scholastic

Release Date: 5/1/23


Amazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones | Bookshop Org

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