Tuesday, January 29, 2013

India Black & the Shadows of Anarchy: Review

Chalk up another winner for Carol K. Carr and her fabulous Madame of Espionage, India Black!  In India Black & the Shadows of Anarchy Carol has once again provided an excellent Victorian-era adventure--this time taking us among the spies and anarchists intent on over-throwing (if not eradicating) the privileged establishment. 

India's partner in the spying business, French, has disappeared on a top-secret mission for Dizzy, Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, and it's up to India to find a way to infiltrate the Dark Legion--the latest anarchist cell to spring up in London's underbelly of spies, malcontents, and Russian/French/German ex-patriots who are seeking a way to vent their spleen on the heartless rich who keep the common man under their boot heels.  It's time for the workers and the poor to throw off their shackles, blow up a few government buildings, assassinate one or two peers of the realm, and generally create chaos & make mayhem. Dizzy and Inspector Stoke recruit India to make contact with the Dark Legion and to find a way to capture the elusive leader, Grigori.  Her first order of business is to steal a strumpet from Mother Edding's establishment...for rumor has it that Martine, the "lady" in question has connections to the anarchists.

Soon India finds herself committed to blowing up a bandstand full of London dignitaries and making preparations for an even more daring scheme.  Before the dust settles, she and French will face an old enemy and death--all in the name of queen and country.  Along the way, India takes time to follow up clues that will tell her more about her past and her mother and she continues her quest to find out French's first name and any other tidbits about his life beyond the world of espionage.

India is her usual sharp-witted, cheeky, brazen self.  She easily matches wits with foreign spies, home-grown anarchists, and hired ruffians out to end her career.  She holds her own in a fight, shows she can handle her Bulldog, and takes care of the wayward girls in her house that get out of line.  But then she can also charm the secrets out of an unsuspecting engineer and dazzle a few guards along the way.  

This story has everything from explosions and roughhouse fighting to clandestine meetings and hidden bombs.  There are assassination attempts and near-drownings.   We learn some of India's secrets and also a few of French's....and there's even a hint of romance in the air.  And it's all told with Carr's marvelous gift for witty dialogue and incredible characters.  Four and a half stars!

[My thanks to Carol K. Carr for sending me this copy before India hits the shelves.  As always, I have received no payment of any kind for my review--and this post represents my honest review of the book.]

1 comment:

Kimberlee said...

I am so jealous!! I want to read this book now! I love this series..Glad to see you liked it and it is good! Can't wait to get my hands on it.