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India Black

by Carol K. Carr

Series: Madam of Espionage (1)

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3403558,336 (3.5)7
Madam India Black is thrust into a deadly game of intrigue and blackmail between Russian and British agents after Sir Archibald Latham of the War Office has a heart attack and dies while visiting her Victorian London brothel.
  1. 00
    The Iron Wyrm Affair by Lilith Saintcrow (4leschats)
    4leschats: The heroine-hero banter and government protection aspects create a similar tone.
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English (34)  Piratical (1)  All languages (35)
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
The premise was good, but it was poorly executed. I really wanted to like it but it read more like bad fan-fiction. I mean really, if it's set in the Victorian era, there were words chosen that would not have been used. ( )
  AnnaHernandez | Oct 17, 2019 |
Amusing and an easy read. ( )
  bookhookgeek | Sep 7, 2018 |
Well written but implausible plot. India is a likable heroine but I have little interest in reading next in series. ( )
  JudieLM | Oct 28, 2017 |
INDIA BLACK was an entertaining historical mystery/espionage novel. India is the madam of Lotus House. Her problems begins when one of her clients dies in her house. The gentleman is a regular Sunday afternoon client. India's first plan is to move his body so that she and her house don't attract the attention of the law. She enlists a street urchin named Vincent and plans are going well until French interferes.

French is an agent for the Prime Minister and agrees to help move the body and arrange for it to be discovered if India will turn over to him the briefcase of government papers he had with him when he arrived at the house. This sound like a wonderful deal to India who just wants all of this to go away so that she can get back to her business.

Unfortunately, the briefcase and the girl who was with the client have both disappeared. The adventures of India and French as they try to recover the missing briefcase are all told by India in an irreverent and cheeky style and takes them to the Russian Embassy and on a break-neck trip across England in a blizzard.

The action is non-stop and laced with humor. A madam's take on the politics of the day make this an informative story as well especially when filtered through India's point of view. I liked the relationship between French and India. I liked that they both had secrets. I was especially curious about India's since she seems to have more education than the usual woman who grows up on the streets in a poor part of London.

I am eager to continue this series to find out more about India and French. ( )
  kmartin802 | Oct 10, 2017 |
India Black is a historical mystery set in Victorian London featuring the madam of Lotus House. She's recruited to perform an espionage task for the government after a client dies in her establishment. A mysterious man named French is going to be her partner as she attempts to steal back an important set of papers from a Russian diplomat. The author has researched the period and weaves in a lot of historical figures along with the fictional.

The storyline is pretty implausible but that didn't stop my enjoyment of the book. India tells her story in a witty first-person narrative, so if you like India you'll probably enjoy the book. Her repartee had me laughing several times. The secondary characters are vividly drawn, especially a street urchin named Vincent. There is an awful lot of action and it might be too nonstop for some readers. This is the first book of the series and I won't hesitate to pick up another the next time I'm in the mood for a romp through Victorian England. ( )
  Olivermagnus | Jun 16, 2016 |
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PREFACE: My name is India Black. I am a whore.
CHAPTER ONE: The day that Bowser kicked it was a bleak winter Sunday in the year of our Lord, eighteen hundred and seventy-six.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Madam India Black is thrust into a deadly game of intrigue and blackmail between Russian and British agents after Sir Archibald Latham of the War Office has a heart attack and dies while visiting her Victorian London brothel.

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Book description
Set in 1876, Carr's breezy, fast-paced debut introduces feisty India Black, who runs a London brothel catering to gentlemen, many of whom recognize the reference to the Tennyson poem in the brothel's name, Lotus House. When a patron turns up dead at Lotus House, India plots to dump the corpse elsewhere to preserve her business's reputation, but her efforts are interrupted by the shadowy Mr. French, who assumes responsibility for disposal of the body. In exchange, India agrees to go undercover at the behest of the prime minister himself, Benjamin Disraeli, to prevent highly sensitive documents that the victim was carrying from falling into the wrong hands. The dead man proves to have been Sir Archibald Latham, of the War Office, and the missing documents regard England's readiness to fight the Russians in the Balkans. Readers should be prepared for formulaic plot twists involving numerous escapes and gunfights.
Haiku summary
Spunky young madam
London underworld no match
But Russians got theirs
(Lizbeth978)

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