Monday, February 25, 2013

Review - India Black and the Shadows of Anarchy by Carol Carr

Summary (courtesy of Goodreads):  In Victorian London, India Black has all the attributes a high-class madam needs to run a successful brothel--wit, beauty, and an ability to lie with a smile. Luckily for Her Majesty's Government, all these talents also make her a first-rate spy...

India Black, full-time madam and occasional secret agent, is feeling restless, when one of Disraeli's men calls on her to meet the prime minister--alone. Even though all her previous meetings have been organized by the rakishly handsome spy French, it's been decided this is a mission India must attempt on her own.

Revolt has spread across Europe and reached the shores of England--anarchists have begun assassinating lords and earls, one by one. Now India must infiltrate the ranks of the underground group responsible for those attacks, the sinister Dark Legion. To stop their dread plot, India will go from the murkiest slums of London to the highest levels of society, uncovering secrets that threaten her very existence..

And here's what I thought:    This is the third book in the India Black series, and I was happy to find that the author has not slowed down one bit.   As you can see from the above summary, India, herself, hasn't slowed a bit, either ---- she's primed and ready for more adventures in espionage.

Part of what I enjoy so much about Carol Carr's series is that she gives us a great main character with India Black.  India's smart, and she's got a sharp wit (and sharp tongue).  One might say she's a tart tart .... and I like that about her.    What I also like about Carr's books is that she works in a number of accurate historic details, with her setting and some of the characters.  London is clearly painted, and it's easy to immerse yourself in the time period.  During this particular time period, there was a lot of change happening with industrialization, and that meant not only change economically, but socially, as well.  While I don't know if in real life, Disraeli would have worked with a woman like India, the way that Carr writes things, it's actually somewhat believable.  While India's a bit on the headstrong side, and may be somewhat caught up in her own goals, I like that she's consistent.   I might want to shake her at times, but I never stop believing in her real-ness; she never does a complete turn-around and expect a man to come in and rescue her while she faints dead away.  I call this From Russia with Love syndrome: girl starts out strong, and then once James Bond enters the picture, turns into an annoying sop. 

This story had a great pace, intriguing and entertaining story, and wonderful characters.  I've come now to expect nothing less from Carol Carr, and am already looking forward to the next book in the series.  

First lines:  "It's a damned shame," proclaimed Lord Wickard, Earl of Ebbechester, and a power in the land, "when a feller can't feel safe in his own country."  He glared at his companions, who, having just finished an eight-course dinner by Francois, the Frog chef at the Albion Club, were now meditating upon the mellowness of the port and the age of the Stilton provided by the same establishment.  The earl drew vigorously on a Romeo y Julieta and breathed smoke on his fellows.

Note -- I read this on NetGalley, courtesy of an invitation from the publisher.  Because I read a galley, there may be changes upon final publication.


Jenni Elyse said...

I've wanted to read this series for a while. I just haven't had a chance to get to it yet. Someday.

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