Another Review at MyShelf.Com

India Black
A Madam of Espionage Mystery, No 1
Carol K. Carr

Berkley Prime Crime Trade
2011 /ISBN: 0425238660
Historical Mystery / England / Late 1800s

Reviewed by Carmen Ferreiro

As the book starts, India Black, the madam of a discreet and successful London brothel, is quite content with her life. The income from her establishment allows her the freedom to be herself and not to have to answer to any man. A freedom that, this being 1876, is quite rare for a woman.

But her tranquil existence ends suddenly on a perfectly ordinary Sunday, when one of her clients, a lord and civil servant in the War Office, dies in her house and the case with secret papers he was carrying, mysteriously disappears.

Blackmailed by French, a handsome spy that works for the prime minister, India is forced to help him rescue the case from the hands of the evil Russian spies they suspect have taken it. Armed with her wits, her good looks and her trusted revolver, India follows French and the case taking the reader with her in a most thrilling adventure.

I loved this book. It brings alive again the streets of London that Dickens so well described in his books. We even meet one of the urchins, Vincent, an ugly boy of undetermined age, who provides India with valuable and illegal help.

India, herself, is a great character, strong and independent, and her attraction to French, evident from their first encounter, adds a layer of romance to an altogether enjoyable read.

Reviewer Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban is the author of a YA fantasy Two Moon Princess and four nonfiction titles.
Reviewed 2012
© MyShelf.Com