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India Black and the Widow of Windsor
A Madam of Espionage Mystery, No 2
Carol K. Carr

Berkley Prime Crime Trade
October 2011 / ISBN: 0425243192
Historical Mystery

Reviewed 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.

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