The Body at the Tower

It’s now 3 months before the release of the second Agency novel, The Body at the Tower, and that means I’m finally allowed to show you the cover! Without further ado:

This cover, like the first, was designed by Caroline Lawrence at Candlewick. When she commissioned a photo shoot for Spy‘s cover, she photographed a second outfit for this novel, too. Caroline read both novels carefully and based both cover scenes – and the model’s outfits – on scenes from the books.

There’s been some discussion in the YA blogosphere about the way MQ looks – whether or not the model is an accurate choice. Without getting too spoiler-ish, I want to confirm that the model, Amber Ahlquist, definitely could be Mary Quinn. (Those of you who’ve read Spy know what I mean, right? If you want more info, email me!) Candlewick’s attention to detail here is amazing: they got MQ right and their stylist is an expert in Victorian costume. They went all out, friends, and I love them for  it.

Here are some shots from the second half of the cover shoot. I’ve been sitting on these for MONTHS (8, to be precise) and am so excited finally to share them with you!

As before, the talent in New York consisted of:

Crystal Thompson, wardrobe stylist (and I’ll say it again: she works on 30 Rock and Gossip Girl!)

Souraya Hamdi, makeup artist (also of 30 Rock)

Scott Nobles, photographer

David Gardiner, photographer’s assistant

I still find it strange that all these people I’ve never met have worked so hard on my books. It’s a humbling and glorious feeling, and I’m so grateful to them all.

This week in reviews:

Librarian Jennifer Hendzlik had low expectations but concludes, “Mary is a strong female lead that could stand head to head with any of Tamora Pierce’s fierce woman characters and the twists, turns and yes, even a love interest will keep readers engaged on many levels. I was expecting ok and I got wow instead.”

Reviewing for the Guelph Mercury, YA novelist Jean Mills says, “readers will love the intrigue and hints of romance in this mystery set in nineteenth-century London, where privileged young ladies wore lace and poured tea, while their less-fortunate counterparts struggled to survive. Marriage proposals, pickpockets, tea parties and pirates — A Spy in the House delivers a rollicking read.”

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19 Responses to “The Body at the Tower”

  1. Steph Burgis says:

    Ooh, this is GORGEOUS! I love it even more than the first. Delicious! :)

  2. 8D I love this even more than the first one! The colour contrast is GREAT. ♥ I can’t wait for this book, ahhhhhh, the suspense, tis killing me!

  3. Colleen says:

    Great cover!

    Also, am I the only one who wishes she could wear clothes like this, including the silly bonnet?

  4. MelodyJ says:

    I love this cover. I love the background and the fabric of the dress. Those disscusions you are talking about got my attention. I always thought that the model was the perfect choice for this character. . I’ll email you as to why I feel that way. When will we get to read the excerpt?

  5. Admin says:

    Thank you, everyone! Colleen, I think you could definitely pull off the look on a daily basis. Melody, I’ll put up an excerpt will be up next week – thanks for the prompt.

  6. Steph Su says:

    How rare is it these days that a cover designer will take the time to carefully read your book and make sure that the cover is actually something that comes out of the book? This is AMAZING! Also, that dress looks ridiculous(ly fun, that is!). Your covers (from every country) just make me smile so much. I can’t wait for this!

  7. Violet says:

    Holy stunning cover, Batman! That is even more beautiful than the first, which I also thought was lovely! It is so wonderful that you have a cover designer who makes such an effort to be true to the book. :)

  8. Gorgeous cover, I gasped when I saw this! Stunning! The cover designer did a marvelous job.

  9. Tina says:

    I’m loving this cover just as much as the first one! These books are so great and so, so fun!! Can’t wait till this comes to Chapters!

  10. Colleen says:

    Oh, and yes, the cover model fits Mary Quinn perfectly.

  11. Christine DeBlase says:

    If you are coming to London for a launch or promotion? Let me know if you are and we can hook up. It is a gorgous cover. Congratulations.

  12. Admin says:

    Thank you very much, SS & V & K & T! Caroline Lawrence is a goddess amongst mortals.
    Colleen, no real person will ever look like the MQ in my brain, but I do like this model very much.
    And Christine, we’re hoping to be in the YooKay in July – dates still up in the air, but I’d love to catch up! Thought you were in Oxford, though?

  13. lizzy says:

    ooh, very pretty! I agree with Kate, the cover designer did a great job. I also think that this cover shows more of the model’s face, so now I see that she’s definitely a good choice for MQ

  14. Ari says:

    I LOVE this cover! You are so lucky to have a cover design done where the book has actually been read. I love that it all seems so authentic and that it has pretty clothes and a mystery element to it. And Amber could definitely be Mary Quinn.

    I know it’s silly ,but even though those clothes seem constraining and uncomfortable, they are so gorgeous that I would want to at least try them on for a day!

    Is August here yet? :)

  15. Admin says:

    Thank you, Lizzy & Ari! Yes, I definitely count myself lucky on all fronts. And Ari, I would love to try out the clothes, too – it’d be interesting trying to run up & down stairs in a tightly laced corset.

  16. Mimi says:

    its gorgeous! What I would do to wear that one day~ Can’t wait to read it!

  17. LOVE the cover and adore the behind the scenes photos of the cover shoot

  18. Admin says:

    Thanks, Mimi & Jennifer! I really wish I’d been at the photo shoot.

  19. Guneet says:

    Wow! I never knew that there are SO many layers for a fancy dress like that! Poor lady! Anyways, the dress is gorgeous! Your book was great! reading it for the 8th time now!

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