Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Book Review: India Black and the Shadows of Anarchy

India Black and the Shadows of Anarchy (Madam of Espionage Mystery #3)Author: Carol K. Carr
Publication Date: February 5, 2013
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Series: Madam of Espionage Mysteries # 3

In Victorian London, India Black has all the attributes a high-class madam needs to run a successful brothel--wit, beauty, and an ability to lie with a smile. Luckily for Her Majesty's Government, all these talents also make her a first-rate spy...

India Black, full-time madam and occasional secret agent, is feeling restless, when one of Disraeli's men calls on her to meet the prime minister--alone. Even though all her previous meetings have been organized by the rakishly handsome spy French, it's been decided this is a mission India must attempt on her own.

Revolt has spread across Europe and reached the shores of England--anarchists have begun assassinating lords and earls, one by one. Now India must infiltrate the ranks of the underground group responsible for those attacks, the sinister Dark Legion. To stop their dread plot, India will go from the murkiest slums of London to the highest levels of society, uncovering secrets that threaten her very existence...

“Whenever French is around, I complain loudly about the experience, but the truth is that I found the whole scenario a good bit more thrilling than umpiring spats between whores and paying the butcher. I’ve always had a taste for adventure (who’d run a brothel if they didn’t?), and careening around England, trailing Russian spies and shooting Cossack guards turns out to be my cup of tea. And there’s the added bonus of consorting with the most powerful men of the land, who are prepared to grovel charmingly when they ask for my help. What more could a woman want?” – Paperback Copy pg. 10

“I set a sharpish pace to the prime minister’s suite, and my chum just managed to maneuver around me to knock on the door and announce our presence before I burst into the room like a schoolmaster smelling smoke in the dormitory.” – Paperback Copy pg. 16

“Seven Dials was no place for a woman of quality traveling alone, but I didn’t hesitate to venture there with the revolver in hand. Anyone who trifled with me would end up with powder burns on his bollocks.” – Paperback Copy pg. 30 & 31

“Gad, I hoped she wasn’t becoming sentimental. That could make things deuced awkward when I handed her over to the police.” – Paperback Copy pg. 84 & 85

India Black has my vote as lady of the year. Don’t let the fact that she owns a brothel intimidate or repulse you because let me be the first to tell you that she is a kick butt heroine. As the owner of The Lotus House, a high end brothel, she is used to dealing with rather shady and somewhat promiscuous people, but nothing could have prepared her more for this than being a spy. Yes, I said it; she is one awesome spy. This is the third installment in this series and it just keeps getting better and better. In this book we find India without her trustee partner, French, and on the tail of some radical anarchists who have been going around assassinating lords and earls faster than lightening strikes. It is up to India to infiltrate a league of anarchists known as The Dark Legion and shut down their conspiracy before it is too late.

India is the type of woman that men are intimidated by, and to be honest I absolutely love that about her. She asserts herself directly into a man’s world and doesn’t care who opposes her or stands for her; she is the same either way. Let me just say that it is better to remain on her good side. I wish that more authors could write exceptional heroines like India Black and write them with as much depth and flair as she is written. Especially the scenes where we see India involved with The Dark Legion and confrontations with them. The action scenes are the best and held my attention the entire time. I was constantly hanging on India’s every word and move.

When I say action let me tell you that I do mean action! This book has secret meetings, one on one gunfire, bombings, and lots of shady characters. I really loved scenes that including India and Vincent, mainly because they had to do with the anarchists that they were both trying to stop but also because they usually talked about the next step of the plan they were trying to execute. I felt like Carr allows us as her readers to join right in on the action and fight anarchists alongside India. India also impressed me when it came to dealing with the girls that work and live inside her brothel. At first I thought that I would hate those parts the most, but India made it look and feel like any other average day job. She had her hands full but still came out on top, with the help of her Bulldog of course. She only had to use it a few times!

***A copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Berkley Trade in exchange for my honest and unbiased review***


  1. This sounds incredible. I love the time and setting and I adore the element of mystery. Thanks for your great review.

  2. Great review!I love the cover and that green dress is very appealing.

  3. I was surfing the web in that pathetic way that authors do to see if anyone is talking about their work and stumbled across your review. It made my day! Thanks for the kind remarks.