India Black and the Gentleman Thief (Madam of Espionage Mysteries 4) by Carol K. Carr
India Black’s double life operating a high-class brothel and running high-stakes espionage for Her Majesty’s government can take its toll. But there’s no rest for the weary—particularly when an international conspiracy comes knocking…
India Black is one of Victorian London’s most respected madams—not a bloody postmistress. So when Colonel Francis Mayhew forwards a seemingly innocuous shipping bill to her address, she’s puzzled. And when three thugs bust down her door, steal the envelope, and rough up both her and fellow agent French…well, that’s enough to make India Black see red.
The veteran spies soon discover that Mayhew has been butchered in his own bedroom. An impromptu investigation leads them to London’s docks, where India makes a startling discovery she can’t bear to tell the rakish French—she has a history with their chief suspect, the gentleman thief who once stole her heart… (back cover)
The books starts where the last one ended but before India can get her answers, they are interrupted by a fellow with an envelope from Colonel Mayhew. Right after India and French are attacked by three strangers and the envelope is stolen. While trying to discover the matter of the envelope and their attack, they stumble into someone from India’s past.
At last we learn something about India’s past! I can’t help but wonder how things will turn out since she’s quite independent for starters… But on the other hand it would be fun to see how she would cope with her new life.
We have some moments between India and French and I wish I could smack their heads together. Or make French lose his honor and sense of duty. I wonder if we will see a scene between her and French’s fiancée because that would be something.
The Dowager Marchioness of Tullibardine makes a visit to Lotus House and practically takes over it. For once we see India totally out of her depth and unable to stop it. Gotta love that old lady and I hope we see more of her.
Published: Berkley (2014)
Source: my own
India Black and the Shadows of Anarchy (Madam of Espionage Mysteries 3)
by Carol K. Carr
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… (back cover)
India finally gets a chance to show how she can deal on her own on a mission. She needs to get into a group of anarchist who has been playing with gunpowder. India must get one of the bints, who has connections with the anarchist, working in a lesser class brothel to start working for her. The Madam of the other brothel however doesn’t take this without a fight.
What an evil way to finish the book! We almost learn more about India’s past but then we don’t because the book ends. Evil!
India is very excited that she can finally show that she can handle mission on her own but of course she crosses path with French during the mission. There’s bunch of anarchists crying for freedom and are willing to kill people for it while India and French are trying to stay alive in the middle of it.
And we finally learn little bit of French’s past. I want to learn more but at least that was the start. I’m still waiting to learn more about India and we were oh so close!
Published: Berkley (2013)
Source: my own
India Black and the Widow of Windsor (Madam of Espionage Mysteries 2) by Carol K. Carr
When Queen Victoria attends a séance, the spirit of her departed husband, Prince Albert, insists she spend Christmas at their Scottish home in Balmoral, a deviation from her usual practice. The prime minister suspects Scottish nationalists are planning to assassinate the Queen-and sends the ever resourceful India and the handsome British spy French to the Scottish highlands undercover.
French will take the high road, looking for a traitor among the guests-and India will take the low road, disguised as a servant in case an assassin is hiding among the household staff. For her part, India doesn’t need a medium to predict that someone at Balmoral is determined that this Christmas will be Her Majesty’s last… (back cover)
When Queen Victoria suddenly decides to spend her Christmas in Scotland, the prime minister gets worried that nationalists try to assassinate the queen. He enlists the help of India and French to prevent that from happening. India will play the part of housemaid to an old marchioness who spends most of her waking hours snuffing anything possible.
Finally I got to read the second book! And it didn’t disappoint me! Can’t believe it took me so long.
It was fun seeing India trying play the servant part. She’s surely no servant material. The old marchioness was so much fun! I loved the interaction between India and the marchioness.
We see more flirting between India and French which started in the previous book. I’m curious to see how this will turn out but I hope we get to see them together at some point. I also want to know more about their past. There was some hints but I hope we will learn more at some point.
I think this was little tamer book than the first one and less snarky but not too much. But we don’t see India as a madam here so that may explain the tamer aspect.
Published: Berkley (2011)
Source: my own
India Black (Madam of Espionage Mysteries 1) by Carol K. Carr
When Sir Archibald Latham of the War Office dies from a heart attack while visiting her brothel, Madam India Black is unexpectedly thrust into a deadly game between Russian and British agents who are seeking the military secrets Latham carried.
Blackmailed into recovering the missing documents by the British spy known as French, India finds herself dodging Russian agents-and the attraction she starts to feel for the handsome conspirator. (Goodreads)
India Black is owner of a brothel named Lotus House and her life is disrupted when a regular customer is found dead in her establishment. Thinking that the death will be bad for business and she decides to dispose the body. She gets help from a street kid named Vincent but they are caught by an English spy named French. India learns that the dead was high-ranking government official and was carrying important papers. Goverment thinks she will be useful to getting the papers back so India and French starts hunting down the Russians.
This was so much fun and loved this so much! Despite the heroine being a brothel owner there is no sex scenes and very little time is spent in there anyway. I’m not usually huge fan of first person narrative but it worked well on here and loved seeing what she thinks. India is funny and strong woman who has blunt honesty, is down to earth and isn’t ashamed of who she is.
Some of the politics went over my head but since it doesn’t concern India that closely it didn’t really matter. There isn’t much background being told so both India and French stays a little mystery and I would have loved to learn more about French.
This was such amazing read and laughed out loud many times! Great debut from Carr!
Published: Berkley (2011)
Source: from author for review