INDIA BLACK by Carol K. Carr

This post originally appeared at Dollycas’s Thoughts December 21, 2010.

A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
A Division of Penguin Publishing
A Madam of Espionage Mystery
Release Date : January 4, 2011 
ISBN-10: 0425238660 
ISBN-13: 978-0425238660

Set in 1876, we are introduced to India Black, the madam of Lotus House, a London brothel, where gentleman of of very high rank in government and military are welcomed daily.  Unfortunately one of the clients dies while with one of the “bints” and India needs to dispose of the body so that the reputation of Lotus House is not besmirched.

But this client is extremely well connected and had in his possession some information many people wanted and it disappeared while India was making plans to dump the body. As did the lady he was with when he died.  This makes India Black the interest of many people both from the British government but also the Russian government as well.  She agrees to go undercover for the “Brits” to try to recover the information and insure it does not fall into the wrong hands.

I truly enjoyed this tale.  I am not usually a fan of historical stories, but this one grabbed my interest and didn’t let go.  India Black is a formidable woman with a quick wit and stubborn streak a mile long.  She is definitely an unusual protagonist and the rest of the characters are equally fascinating.  
It is hard to believe this is a debut novel from this author.  Her writing style is very advanced and captivating.  The entire story is written from the first person point of view with India telling us her story.  Several times she states “I will not bore you with the details…” or “I digress”, making you feel as if she is sitting in your living room telling you this harrowing story for your enjoyment.  At points she is very serious and in others she is downright funny in her narration of events.

I am interested in where the author plans to take this character as I assume this is just the beginning of a series featuring this character, but am also interested in anything else this author may write.  She has made a great debut and I hope she is hard at work on her next adventure, may it be with India or a new heroine.  This is definitely a new author to watch.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received these books free from Berkley Prime Crime,  a Division of Penguin Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”