Mary Quinn (not her real last name) is an orphan and former thief who was civilized by a girls academy that is a front for a secret spy ring. The academy taught Mary to be a lady, but it's her street skills that make her valuable to The Agency. Mary has a secret of her own, which is perhaps the most interesting part of the first installment of Y.S. Lee's 19th century London series. Lee doesn't give us much, though, so you'll have to read The Body at the Tower to find out more. I probably won't. The story and characters didn't grab me, but there are some cute/dry observations, like
She must learn to avoid stereotypes: there was no reason on earth why a ruthless merchant who evaded taxation and smuggled Hindu artifacts could not also be a jolly paterfamilias.
I thought this was particularly funny
...and you look like someone's just stolen your accordion. What's wrong with you?"
until it became clear that it wasn't just a saying, that George was hurt because the girl he liked laughed when he played his accordion.
At least there was some token misandry
"Ah. The male mind, sluggish and inadequate as it is, finally begins its labored process."