The agency for scandal

The agency for scandal by Laura Wood

The agency for scandal cover

Eighteen-year-old Isobel Stanhope is keeping a lot of secrets. There’s the fact that she’s head over heels in love with a Duke who doesn’t know she exists; there’s the fact that her family is penniless but nobody in society knows about it; and then there’s her job at the Aviary, an investigative agency run by women that specializes in digging up scandal on powerful men.

When Izzy finds herself pulled into a case that involves gaslighting, blackmail, and missing jewels, as well as the Duke who holds her heart, can she and her friends untangle the web of secrets and lies to uncover the truth and protect the innocent? And when the stakes are so high, what happens when the crush she’s been hiding begins to turn into so much more?


Lizzy, Cavendish

1st December 2023 at 5:17 pm

Simply super

Mouna J, Ardingly College

25th November 2023 at 10:41 am

The agency for scandal. An agency of women. An agency of Justice.
This mystery romance book focuses on an agency made up of women, fighting to help other helpless women who are ruled by men. It is called Aviery.
Izzy Stanhope was an average daughter to a noble, but everything goes wrong when her father dies, and his dark secret comes out. It then becomes Izzy’s job to keep the family from crumbling into pieces and Aviery becomes her only way to glue them back together.
Max Vane is the rich duke of Roxton, and he’s more like Izzy than she thinks.
When they meet at a ball, Izzy falls in love but knows that it was not meant to be…
I enjoyed this book, and unlike many reviews which I have read, thought that the length of this book wasn’t too bad although I sometimes felt slightly lost whilst reading and had to look over a few chapters. I would rate it a solid 8/10 and would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed Enola Holmes.

Isobel, Seaford Head

24th November 2023 at 10:05 pm

The Agency for Scandal was a great book that had me gripped from the very first page. It focuses on the story of young Isobel Stanhope who is trying to juggle making a living for herself, her family and making her way in Victorian society.​

When Izzy and Max Vane, the Duke of Roxton, find themselves thrown together they find it hard to admit their feelings for each other. As they grow closer the stakes get higher and they have to uncover a sinister plot involving blackmail and murder.​

A thoroughly enjoyable book that had romance, adventure and mystery.


20th November 2023 at 3:29 pm

The Agency for Scandal is a 3.5 star read for me. I adored the idea behind the Aviary, but the writing, in my opinion, was mediocre and there was no real plot. I found it difficult to connect with any character as they were all so bland with no real personality. However, it was enjoyable enough and I truly loved the idea behind it. I do recommend this book if you would like an easy read, especially to get you out of a reading slump, but if you are looking to be more engrossed with characters and detailed plot, I do not recommend this for you. Max is basically a combination of Aaron Warner and Zeus, so if you like Aaron, this book is perfect for you. A lot of things are similar to scenes in other books, and I found the events rather predictable. I also believe it lacked drama and page-turning action. However, I loved James, and he was probably my favourite character along with Sylla. Overall, not bad, but not amazing.


17th November 2023 at 9:17 am

I found this book amazing! I like how it included two genres including romance and detective mystery.
At the start of the book Isobel got a job at The Aviary and whilst working in The Aviary she is also having to cope with her father’s tragic death. Overall I personally loved this book and would definitely recommend it to other readers.


17th November 2023 at 8:01 am

I thought the idea of The Aviary and their work was really interesting, especially considering it’s run by women. I loved Isobel’s double life, especially how easily she slips into the role of Kes. The side characters in the Charm were realistic and fit all the scenes with their multiple characteristics. I especially like Sylla, because she is independent and wilful, but is also unendingly loyal to The Aviary and their mission. I thought the scenes where Isobel and her charm were subtly stealing information or objects were written excellently and added to the female independence that this book projects. However, I thought that the character of Max Vane slightly overshadowed Isobel’s independence and her work. Especially seeing as she is such a strong character, seen in the scenes where she can take down fully grown male opponents.


14th November 2023 at 10:56 am

This is quite a long book that I found very exciting; the main things I really liked in this book were as a start I loved the way it highlights the different sides of societies, secondly I liked how the book educated me on the disappointing sexism and laws of the time, thirdly the thing I absolutely loved about this book was the build ups and the romance with mystery. These really made the book hard to put down as I always wanted to know what happens next.
Great book in my opinion 4/5 stars

Penny yr8

13th November 2023 at 11:26 am

I personally loved this book. It was very long but in the end it was worth it. The plot to it was brilliant because she had combined romance, history and action all together which is so clever! My favourite part in the book is when Izzy and her friend uncover the secrets of the mystery. I would definitely recommend this book to someone who likes romance with a twist of mystery.


13th November 2023 at 11:24 am

I personally loved this book. It was very long but in the end it was worth it. The plot to it was brilliant because she had combined romance, history and action all together which is so clever! My favourite part in the book is when Izzy and her friend uncover the secrets of the mystery. I would definitely recommend this book to someone who likes romance with a twist of mystery.

Louisa year 8 Ardingly

12th November 2023 at 10:54 am

I really enjoyed The Agency for Scandal although I found it was quite a slow read and took a while for the story to develop however once the plot started to get more interesting, I couldn’t stop reading it. This book is the perfect combination of romance, action and spy. This book is set in the 19th century, with the main character being Isobel Stanhope an 18-year-old girl who has recently lost her dad. She is offered a job at the Avery an all-female detective agency that she must accept to keep her family’s reputation.
I recommend this book and will be reading more of Laura Woods books

Heather, Year 9, Ardingly

8th November 2023 at 6:44 pm

The Agency for Scandal was a fun read. Following Isobel on her journey to destroy the power that a man holds, you are transported on a rollercoaster of emotions. Isobel tries to keep her two lives separate but struggles as new factors come into play in her latest case. It showed the struggles of women in 1800s. I loved this book and will look out for other books by this author.

James, yr8, Ardingly

8th November 2023 at 12:02 pm

The Agency for Scandal was quite like James Bond in a lot of ways with an agency, lots of exciting events and some romance as well. Personally I do not like romance stories but it really added to an already very well thought out book. Almost every touch of it drew me in and had me wondering which way it was going to go. If you like the suspense, excitement, disguises, heists and secrecy in your books then this is the one for you. I definitely recommend this book for anyone who enjoys romance or spy books.

Ayla (Year 9)

6th November 2023 at 6:37 pm

I really liked this book! The title is alluring and really showcases the plot which, at first, was a bit long to get into but once I did I thought it was great. I liked the fact that the love story aspect of it was entertaining but not overpowering to the main story and that the characters were really well written and went well with each other. I loved that it was set in the 19th century and I enjoyed the whole plot and idea of the book! I rate this a 4/5!


4th November 2023 at 5:14 pm

A must read book that’s almost impossible to put down – both captivating and thrilling. A 19th century London plot of society and mystery all entangled in the life of the wallflower Isobel Stanhope a young women with many secrets.

Since her father passed away, she has had the responsibility of the family, however with her mother ill and her brother very young and oblivious to the struggle for money she has to find her way into society and despite her mother wanting her to get married she’s not interested.
Although, as the story progresses she finds her self hopelessly in love with the Duke of Roxton; her life comes crashing to a halt and everything depends on her work.

Celia (Seaford Head)

4th November 2023 at 1:14 pm

The Agency for Scandal was a thrilling read; it was the perfect blend of mystery, adventure and empowerment, enough to keep any reader on their toes. Set in the late eighteenth century, the book’s protagonist Isobel Stanhope represents all of the problems which women in her world face, and throughout the book we follow Isobel on her journey to forge a place for herself and other women in a world that was not designed for them. Intriguing characters, powerful messages and edge-of-seat-action gives readers all they could want in a book, keeping you gripped until the very end. A wonderful read, worth every word.

Ava, Seaford Head

3rd November 2023 at 4:34 pm

I found that this book was a wonderful rollercoaster of emotions as the reader is guided through the ups and downs of Izzy’s complex life. It shows how difficult it was for women in the 20th century whilst adding modern themes. Overall I loved this book and would definitely recommend.

Florence ,Seaford Head

3rd November 2023 at 4:30 pm

This was an exemplary example of how books from the past can be modified to fit the 21st century. The links to Jane Austen were subtle enough to allow appropriate context.The authorial intent was used in such a way that the main character, Isobel, is relatable and provided morals without boring the reader.In conclusion this book is perfect for those aged 12 to 16, who are looking for a well rounded book.


3rd November 2023 at 3:56 pm

This book in my opinion is incredible. I loved all of the twists and turns and the unexpected ending was my favourite part – to finding out something you wouldn’t think could be possible. I would definitely read it again which I find is rather surprising for me because I’m not particularly a fan of romance however I did get engrossed with it and I absolutely recommend it to other readers.

Rose, Zoe and Georgina – Downlands

1st November 2023 at 5:20 pm

We loved Agency for Scandal because it was a really fun read and contained lots of views and prejudice from the time period but with a creative spin on it. It had a very unique way of showing the differences in society and the impacts of its sexist views and laws. We loved how the romance and tension builds up over the book and ends in a big finale. This was also a really interesting book and it uncovered lots of matters that we had never come across before and that had been hidden over time. This book also showed that lots of the views that society has today aren’t new and have existed for a long time. Although this book comes across as lightweight and silly it shows that our views need to change.

We also like that there are lots of characters with interesting backstories and that the book shows the time period as it was and not as many history books show it. We also liked the way that Izzy simply changed clothes and became an entirely different person, as this shows that men had so much more power then women.

Ivan, Ardingly

29th October 2023 at 7:09 am


This is a loooong book. And in a long book lots of things happen. I like the fact that Isobel also plays kes and that she 1st interacts with the duke of roxton with a different character , not herself. The next thing I like is that she was turned down many, many jobs and then somehow she breaks into the unbreakable safe??? My favourite thing is how mrs finch who knows everything actually doesn’t know some things. I don’t like the fact that the dog is only talked about in the moment when Isobel 1st saw the duke the 1st time and never again after that. So its only 4.5 stars. If we saw the dog again it would be 5.

Lucy, Ardingly

18th October 2023 at 5:20 pm

Isobel Stanhope is, as she would describe it, a wallflower. But wallflowers have petals that can hide something. In love with one of the most eligible bachelors in the country yet working for a spy agency that gives women power and helps save the women mistreated in broken marriages.

The aviary is an agency that uses scandals to blackmail powerful men into giving their wives rights. Essential, but illegal, work and she is technically a criminal and a spy.

She is also running out of money and trying to support her failing household. Yet, as she peels back the layers with her love, the layers of the flower that makes up her are also sifted through. It sends a clear message – share a problem to deal with it. With skill, luck and a hint of romance, she undermines one of the most powerful man, who is set to be prime minister. But will she get through the case unscathed and can she do so without causing a scandal?

Personally, I think agency for scandal is a true modern masterpiece. The way Laura Wood has combined spies, romance and set it in a historical era in one book is pure genius. One of my favourite things about this book is how it is split up into different sections depending on location. A book you can’t put down, I would recommend this book to anyone who likes romance, adventure and a few twists along the way. I will look for other books by this author.

Bertie, SRWA

18th October 2023 at 12:58 pm

Extremely good. That’s all I have to say.

Isabelle (Seaford Head)

13th October 2023 at 4:21 pm

This is a book I found hard to put down. It is the perfect mix of romance and mystery. This book follows the life of Isobel Stanhope a who is hopelessly in love with Max Vane. But Isobel is not what she seems, she is in-fact a female spy working for a group of woman who’s aim is to help woman from their husbands clutches.
This is a great book in which I highly recommend!

Emily, Yr 9

9th October 2023 at 5:19 pm

The Agency For Scandal was so good! It was intriguing from the start, and I love how it was set at the very end of the 1900’s.
It was also extremely well-written.
I would definitely recommend this book – 5/5 stars!!

Zach (Y8 Ardingly)

9th October 2023 at 9:56 am

This book is a mystery book based about a girl called Isobel Stanhope who’s in love with a Duke called Max.
She is part of a spy organisation called The Agency, in the disguise of a scruffy boy and when she realises Max fits in to her case she tries to work out who is part of this case.
What do they want? Can she crack the code or will the time run out?
Personally I rate this book a 5/5


9th October 2023 at 9:34 am

I really enjoyed this book, Laura Wood is my favourite author so when I saw that this book was on the list I was ecstatic. I was sceptical at first, but when I got into it, I couldn’t put it down, I loved how Iris Grey and Nick Wynter were in the book, I found it a great crossover, all in all, a great book!


4th October 2023 at 8:50 pm

The book is a spy novel set in the 19th century about a female spy. I found it took a bit long to get into but once it did I couldn’t stop reading until the last word. I found the description of the characters was very good and the way that Laura Wood put spy and romance into one was truly wonderful. As I read this book I was transported into the world of 19th century London and what it was like. There was one character called Max Vane who I particularly enjoyed reading about. I found he was almost three-dimensional because he didn’t have just one side to him but multiple.
If you like the combination of action and romance in a historical setting then I think this is the book for you. Happy Reading!

Jauhara, Year 8 Ardingly College

29th September 2023 at 9:27 am

A women is a man’s property, a woman is like a doll, she has to be gorgeous to be loved and wedded. But not all marriages are meant to be, that’s where the Avery -a spy company- comes in, to get ladies away from harm’s tentacles. Men’s tentacles. The protagonist, Izzy is a skilled lock-picker, you’d never expect a noble lady like her to be a spy. But why is she a spy?


24th September 2023 at 11:19 am

This book was amazing, now I’m not usually a person who likes romance but Laura Wood’s way of entwining it into the detective side of the story is extraordinary, this book had me gripping onto to it till the very end. The ending was unguessable and the journey of the characters is very interesting. I especially like theme period that the book was set in, the late Victorian age with ballrooms and opera in the prime makes it even more exciting.

YP Year 8 Ardingly College

22nd September 2023 at 9:23 am

This is a fantastic book and one really hard to put down. Every time I read it, I kept telling myself ‘Just 1 more minute,’ until it was too late to be reading! One thing I would like is if Laura Wood makes this book into a series. I would enjoy hearing about Izzy’s next missions. Overall, I love the book and I would definitely recommend it to other readers! 🙂

Lizzie, Year 9 Ardingly College

21st September 2023 at 9:03 pm

This book is brilliant. The title is amazingly worded, and really showcases the plot of the book. Which, incidentally, is fabulous as well. There are so many brilliant events, and each of them is better than the one before. The underlying tones of romance are just enough to intrigue, but don’t overshadow the main storyline. The characters are excellently thought out, and complement each other wonderfully. If I had to choose, I think my favourite character would have to be Sylla Banaji, because she is witty and graceful and supportive, but not overbearing. She does exactly what is needed for the Aviary, and for Isobel.

Leave a Review