A Madam of Espionage Mystery, No 2
Carol K. Carr
Berkley Prime Crime Trade
October 2011 / ISBN: 0425243192
by Carmen Ferreiro
In this her second adventure as a spy for the British
prime minister, India Black finds herself disguised as the maid
of a dotty marchioness in Balmoral, Queen Victoria's castle in Scotland.
A medium pretending to channel Prince Albert, the
queen's departed husband, has asked Her Majesty to spend Christmas
there. The prime minister believes the Scottish nationalists are
behind this suggestion and are planning to kill Victoria. To protect
the queen, he sends his trusted man, French, to spy on the upper
class and India to do so among the servants. Unknown to him, Vincent
joins the group as a stable boy.
Once more, India entertains us with her witticism,
her pluck and her near-miss brushes with death. Despite all her
claims to the contrary her attraction to French is growing, as is
the reader's suspicions that India is more than the madam of a London
brothel. But the resolution of those mysteries are left for another
volume, in this one we have enough learning about Queen Victoria
and her entourage, the marchioness and her antics and the long memory
of the Scots still intent on gaining their independence from the
English even if they have to kill a queen to do so.
History was never so much fun. I can't wait for
the next lesson.