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India Black : a Madam of Espionage Mystery / by Carol K. Carr

India Black - Carol K. Carr

How nice!  An action/adventure spy book that is likely to appeal strongly to women!  India Black is a tough-as-nails madam who is the proprietor of a whorehouse that serves gentlemen of position and quality in Victorian London.  Through some misadventure India finds herself enlisted in Her Majesty's Service to help retrieve some sensitive state documents lost by one of the public officials who frequented India's er, establishment.  Intrigue, action, adventure, and humor ensue.

India's profession takes a backseat in this story, but it does provide a plausible way in which a Victorian woman would find herself mixing with male politicians, which is a significant hurdle to overcome if you want to have a story about a woman spy set in that time.  I appreciated that the author chose this profession for India, but that she did not turn this book into erotica.  This was a spy novel.

The book was fairly repetitive in places, and there were several improbable devices used in the story.  At times the language and phraseology was too modern and rang as a little out of place.  But who cares?  The story was fun, India was a heroine to root for, and you know, not once did the author resort to having India and her male co-spy fall in love, or fall into bed.  This was just a fun adventure that didn't take itself too seriously.  It read quickly, and made me eager to read the next India Black story.  Hopefully the next book will be a little tighter without sacrificing any adventure or fun.