Tuesday, August 23, 2011

#BookReview: India Black by Carol K. Carr

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When Sir Archibald Latham of the War Office dies from a heart attack while visiting her brothel, Madam India Black is unexpectedly thrust into a deadly game between Russian and British agents who are seeking the military secrets Latham carried.

Blackmailed into recovering the missing documents by the British spy known as French, India finds herself dodging Russian agents-and the attraction she starts to feel for the handsome conspirator.

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Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆   |   Obtained from: Local Library    |   Read: Aug. 12, 2011
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I stumbled over India Black by accident. A librarian left it on a cart of returns while attending another patron. I’d heard good things about the title so I helped myself and hunkered down to read it as soon as I got home. I don’t know what I expected really, but for once I think the accolades deserved. Carr’s is a fabulous debut. A fun and fast-paced fiction beginning to end. 

I found India’s clever banter and internal dialogue wickedly entertaining. She’s a savvy business woman with genuine flare and should prove an entertaining heroine as the series moves on. Vincent also stands out in my mind. Not since Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist has a street urchin managed to work his way into my good graces and while I admit he’s a disgusting little blighter, but I found his personality charming and delightfully quirky. 

I felt the mystery itself simplistic, but well-executed just the same. There’s humor in it and the story kept my attention so I can’t really complain, but ideally I’d have liked to see a tad more complexity in the novel’s structure. 

I suppose my only real complaint is French. I wanted Tobias March, but there really is no comparison. French’s relationship with India is companionable, but lacked the chemistry one would expect between would-be lovers. He isn’t a bad character, but he is subtle and was easily overshadowed by his vivacious leading lady.

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There may be easier ways of earning a sou: I could allow some pedigreed ass to keep me in French perfume and silk gowns, tucked away in a cozy pied-à-terre in St. John's Wood, and driving a four-in-hand along Rotten Row. But I like my freedom. There is not enough money in this fair isle to entice me to flutter my lashes and drop my knickers for a pompous peer who smells of horses and hasn't got the brains God gave a goose. Owning Lotus House ensures that I am my own woman.
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Misfit said...

I thought this was a lot of fun. Looking forward to book two.

Anonymous said...

Likewise. :D

Miss Moppet said...

I love the new layout!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Moppet! I like it a lot more than the previous color scheme. Glad I'm not the only one it appeals to. :)

Daphne said...

I really liked India's attitude and Vincent was quite the little charmer!

Anonymous said...

I agree, India is a great character.

Holly (2 Kids and Tired) said...

Wow, great review. This is a new to me author and new to me book. I normally hate/abhor/detest novels written in the first person and I agree that very few authors can pull it off. If Carol Carr does, then it's even more reason for me to check into this one.

2 Kids and Tired Books

Anonymous said...

Thank You! I've just started blogging and I really appreciate the feedback.

I really enjoyed this book. It isn't a great historic piece but it is really entertaining.

Becca said...

Awesome! A friend just passed her copy along to me saying it was great and I really can't wait to read it.