The India Black: Madam of Espionage historical mystery series is officially the best thing since sliced bread.
I've spent the last week devouring the latest installment from Carol K. Carr, India Black and the Gentleman Thief. It's glorious. Truly.
Let it be known that Miss India Black, the fabulously flawed madam of Lotus House, wastes no time when there's trouble afoot.
Fresh off a stint as a faux-anarchist, this lovely London spy has has become embroiled in yet another dangerous affair.
India, assisted by the dashing Major French (that poncy bastard!), is hot on the coattails of an international arms-smuggling ring assisting rebels in Ganpur, India.
One would think that managing a house full of high-class wenches whilst performing espionage work for the crown would keep her busy. In addition to the unending trials and tribulations of India's work life, she has suddenly found her home overrun with an army of street urchins, a pack of rather coddled dogs and a long-lost aunt who quite happily turns India's life upside-down.
Carr has outdone herself in this newest novel. Her grasp of the era shines through her writing, and makes the reader feel as though they're standing alongside India on the foul-smelling docks of the Thames. Carr teases the reader as a practiced Lotus House employee would, with tasty tidbits of romance and some rather macabre scenes, mixed with plenty of humor and suspense.
The character development in this novel is superb. Though India's self-confidence can be irksome at times, ultimately, she is charming. I was equally pleased by Vincent the street urchin, whose own self-importance is certainly deserved.
French, however, is as stodgy as ever, though I cannot fathom how a man so handsome as he can have such little fun. I look forward to the development of India and French's relationship in the next installment!
This latest addition to the India Black series is the best, yet.
I've been fortunate enough to receive advance copies of each India Black mystery,
through work. My coverage of Carr's entertaining novels can be found here: