In the red-light district of London, India Black is in the business of selling passion her clientele will never forget. But when it comes to selling secrets, India's price cannot be paid by any man...
In the winter of 1876, the beautiful young madam India Black is occupied with her usual tasks - keeping her tarts in line, avoiding the police and tolerating the clergyman bent on converting her girls. But when Sir Archibald Latham of the War Office dies from a heart attack while visiting her brothel, India is unexpectedly thrust into a deadly game between Russian and British agents who are seeking the military secrets Latham carried.
French, the handsome British spy, discovers India disposing of Latham's body and blackmails her into recovering the missing documents. Their quest takes them from the Russian embassy to Claridge's Hotel, from London to the English coast, all the while dodging Russians intent to do them harm.
But it is their own tempestuous relatiosnhip they will have to weather as India and French attempt to resist the mutual attraction between them - an attraction that can prove as deadly as the conspiracy entangling them...
I first saw this book over at The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader. Marg has a wonderful review of the book and being a fan of Victorian mystery I couldn't resist picking this book up at the library.
I was hooked right from the beginning. I absolutely loved the first paragraph of the book. It is written the first person and it took a me little time to get used that but India's voice maintained my interest. And then the story truly began.
This book has a great deal of interesting characters. There's India, a young madam who is the proud proprietor of Lotus House, there's French a British spy who gets India involved in this whole scheme, Calthorp the clergyman that wants to help the ladies of the house, Rowena a Caribbean beauty who likes India a little too much, but Vincent was the scene stealer in this book. He kept on turning up in the most unusual places. Loved him!
The blurb mentioned the attraction between India and French. I didn't pick up on that...yet. There's a definite curiosity and I'm hoping to see that attraction spark in the next book...I hope.
India Black by Carol K. Carr (4/5) Historical Mystery; Published: Berkley Prime Crime (1/2011); Series: # 1, A Madam of Espionage Mystery; New Author; Source: Library; Books 2011 (40);