Wednesday, March 19, 2014

India Black & the Gentleman Thief: Review

If one must chase villains, one should do so in style. (p. 247)

India Black is at it again in India Black & the Gentleman Thief...rounding up the bad guys with style and flair. She and French have barely recovered from their latest adventure--saving London from bomb-happy anarchists--when danger comes knocking. Literally. Just as India is trying to worm information out of French about her ancestry, a messenger arrives at the door with an envelope from one of her customers. Colonel Francis Mayhew wants her to hold the missive until he comes to collect it. Opening other people's mail is by no means taboo when one hasn't volunteered for the job of postmistress and India promptly slits the envelope open--only to find an ordinary shipping bill. As she and French ponder the meaning behind it, another knock brings a different sort of messenger--in the guise of three burly thugs who beat up our intrepid heroes and make off with the bill of lading.

Of course, our Madam of Espionage isn't about to take that lying down...well at least not once she's recovered from the trouncing...and she and French head out to track down Mayhew and find out why he deposited such a dangerous document at Lotus House. Unfortunately, the Colonel is in no condition to explain anything. Someone has reached him first and sent him out of this world in the most horrible way possible. India and French will follow a trail that leads from the dockyards of London to the War Office and armaments supply to a lonely farmhouse in the countryside where an arms trafficker lurks. Along the way, India discovers that she has an acquaintance with one of the chief acquaintanceship she'd rather not confess to French.

As if India's life is not complicated enough, the Dowager Marchioness of Tullibardine shows up with enough boxes and trunks to stay for months and creates general havoc in Lotus House--from running off anti-Scottish customers to allowing her dogs the run of the house (and have puppies while they're at it). The only redeeming factor is that the Marchioness is finally willing to tell India what she knows about her background. But what is India to do with the information? If she can just find time between hunting down blood-thirsty killers, escaping a nasty death at the bottom of the ocean, and tracking down arms dealers, then she might give it some thought.

This is a whirlwind of a book. The story moves at full throttle and keeps the reader on the edge of her seat waiting to see what will happen next--whether it's the next step in the mystery plot or where the relationship between India and French is headed or what India plans to do about the hereditary information she gets from the Marchioness. There is a lot going on and Carol K. Carr handles it all superbly. The India Black series is wonderful and just keeps getting better. If you love a good adventure mystery set in Victorian times with a bit of romance for flavor and haven't started reading these yet, then what's keeping you? Five stars!


jmisgro said...

Oh darn my library does not have this one....have to remember to put it on my buy list!!

fredamans said...

I love India! I'm kinda surprised I didn't get approached for review. Oh well, I'll still read it eventually anyways...

Kimberlee said...

Glad that you loved this one as much as I did. I adore this series.