Author: Carol K Carr
Series: 2nd (India Black)
Published: October 4, 2011 by Berkley Prime Crime
Source: Author arranged for review copy
Description: Black is back! Her Majesty's favorite spy is off to Scotland in this new adventure to ensure the Queen doesn't end up getting killed.When Queen Victoria attends a séance, the spirit of her departed husband, Prince Albert, insists she spend Christmas at their Scottish home in Balmoral. Prime Minister Disraeli suspects the Scottish nationalists plan to assassinate the Queen-and sends the ever resourceful India and the handsome British spy, French, to the Scottish highlands. French will take the high road, looking for a traitor among the guests-and India will take the low road, disguised as a servant in case an assassin is hiding among the household staff. India is certain that someone at Balmoral is determined to make this Her Majesty's last Christmas...
I Give This ...
I was more than happy to dive back into the world of India Black. I love her tell it like it is attitude and the fact that her occupation isn't glossed over. She's the madam of a brothel and proud of it. While this book has a slightly different feel to it, I loved it non the less!
The British government must have liked that way India handled the last case, because they've wasted no time in involving her in another one. I think it was expected all around because we open with French schooling India in the art of fencing. I think she can handle her own when faced with any situation and she certainly proves it in this book.
I loved how India tries to pretend she is a ladies maid. I don't think she was fooling anyway. Her employer, the Marchioness, is a down right hilarious elderly lady. She liked to partake in snuff, with some interesting consequences (what do you think happens when one snorts sugar instead). I also enjoyed her interactions with the princes. As a madam of a brothel she can hold her own, but he definitely puts her in some interesting positions. I enjoyed her interactions with French the most. We get a glimpse of a different side of him and he shows some interest in India. But, there's a story there that I'm not sure about just yet.
I like watching India run around and try to figure out who is after the Queen. It seems like that are quite a few suspects with very little evidence as to who is actually behind all the "accidents". India is quite good and getting people to talk to her. But she spends so much time questioning everyone else when the person with the most amount of information is right under her nose. Thankfully the person behind everything has extremely bad luck and India and French on their tales!
I love the humor and romantic tension. There's also a hint about things to come. All around makes me excited to read the next in the series!