India Black and the Widow of Windsor

( 15 )

Overview

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, ...

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India Black and the Widow of Windsor

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Overview

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...

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
When Queen Victoria hears via a medium that her late husband, Prince Albert, wants her to travel to Balmoral Castle in Scotland, the monarch decides to accede to his wish in Carr’s engaging follow-up to 2011’s India Black. Since the prime minister, Benjamin Disraeli, has learned that Scottish nationalists are plotting against the queen’s life, Disraeli recruits India Black, a feisty brothel owner with spy experience, to go undercover as a maid in the royal party, assigned to a cranky and quirky marchioness with a penchant for inhaling any powder within reach that’s not actually snuff. The irreverent Black, who refers to her sovereign as “a podgy neurotic,” has her hands full with her ostensible employer as well as fending off the lecherous prince of Wales while trying to identify the main conspirator. Fans of Rhys Bowen’s Royal Spyness series will be pleased. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Great Scot! Queen Victoria is spending the Christmas holidays in Scotland at Balmoral, which puts her in mortal danger from a rumored Scots-nationalists assassination plot. Who better to go undercover to smoke out the traitors and prevent a murder than the unlikely trio of government spy French, London madam India Black, and street urchin Victor? India poses as a lady's maid to a crazy-like-a-fox old marchioness who's feeding her clues as often as she's inhaling her beloved snuff. When a couple of shady incidents come suspiciously close to the Queen, we know our trio is getting warm. Plenty of behind-the-scenes escapades and a bit of parry and thrust round out this immensely satisfying castle intrigue. VERDICT Following a strong debut (India Black), Carr's Victorian series just gets better. Featuring historical authenticity, sharp vocabulary, and plenty of parenthetical asides, this romantic suspense romp delivers both action and guffaws.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425243190
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/4/2011
  • Series: Madam of Espionage Series, #2
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 517,982
  • Product dimensions: 5.06 (w) x 8.02 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

Carol K. Carr is a former attorney and corporate executive. She lives in Missouri.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 15 )
Rating Distribution

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(6)

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Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 19, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    India, French, and Vincent are back in the service of the govern

    India, French, and Vincent are back in the service of the government, this time to try to prevent the assassination of Queen Victoria herself. They have to ferret out a Scottish nationalist plot while keeping the Queen safe. There are any number of suspicious characters in attendance on the Queen, so they have to divide their attention. While masquerading as a lady's maid to an elderly marchioness with quite a fondness for snuff, India must keep an eye on all of the servants while French rubs elbows with the nobility and Vincent shadows the outdoor staff. Not everything is as it seems, however, and perfidy comes from the least-suspected source.

    I enjoyed this second novel in the series even more than the first. I have to admit that my eyes glazed over on several occasions during the first novel amidst all the political talk. While there is talk of Scottish/English politics, it never once reached eye-glazing level. The marchioness was a wily old crone, and I do hope we see more of her in future volumes, especially given the end of the book. There seem to be some interesting developments between India and French, but you still can't tell if anything can ever really come of it because the author has revealed so little about both characters. Again, I'm left wondering who India Black really is.

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  • Posted October 4, 2013

    Good for a transatlantic flight read

    I like Deanna Raybourn and Tasha Alexander's books and thought I would check this one out. It was an easy read, kept me occupied during a transatlantic flight, but I can't say I found the characters interesting enough to read another in the series. Story was a bit lightweight, I had it figured out more or less about 3/4 through.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2013

    India rocks!

    Love this character and the humor in how she sees the world

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  • Posted January 28, 2012

    Just as good as the first!

    An amazing story, which if anything might even be better than the first one, I think it was slightly longer too, which was great!

    The Marchioness is a character of the first degree and I do hope to see more of her, my only gripe is French took second-stage to her when she became India's sparring partner, and I'd like to see more of India and French's sparring both verbal and with foils....

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  • Posted January 16, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Just keeps getting better.

    India Black and the Widow of Windsor. India out of London in the highland is just what you expect. I love India's saltiness, but one of the minor characters really stole the show. The Marchioness is a hoot. Not enough of French in this one but that is my biggest beef, but the Marchioness takes over as sparing partner for India. I had a pretty good idea by about half way through that they were chasing red herrings and kind of thought I knew who they were looking for. But the mystery is secondary in these books, the fun is in the hunt. India is being groomed to be a valuable asset to the crown, whether she knows it or not. Vincent isn't left behind he goes along as French's groom. Really if you want a light read after a heavy book this is your book. You don't even have to have read the first book, but you should. India explains it very well and very quickly; and mercifully only once. Ms. Carr understands the political climate of the period and imparts the info without sounding like a text book. This book is what it is, a lighthearted laugh out loud, fun read, that has the facts straight

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  • Posted December 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Review courtesy of One Book At A Time

    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!

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  • Posted December 6, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    Second book in the series - very enjoyable - Good mix of humor and suspense - Can't wait until the 3rd book in the series comes out!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2011

    fun!

    It was wonderful and fun to read. I don't want to have to wait for the next one to come out.

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  • Posted September 29, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A wonderful story from an amazing storyteller

    India Black is back and on a new mission with her friend French in Scotland.

    Queen Victoria attended a séance where she is contacted by her dearly departed husband, Prince Albert, where he insists she break tradition and spend the Christmas holiday at Balmoral, their Scottish castle. The Prime Minister believes that Scottish nationalists are planing to assassinate the Queen and calls on his friend and British spy, French, who invites India to join him undercover at the castle. French poses as one of the guests, while India's assignment is to be the maid to the eccentric Dowanger Marchioness of Tullibardine.


    It doesn't take long for India to realize the Prime Minister was exactly right in his assessment of the situation. For the next few days India and French will be running themselves ragged to find the Queen's enemies and assure her safety.


    My Thoughts
    Like the first book in this series, India Black, I loved this story. I adore where the author took this character on this adventure. Balmoral is a fascinating setting and I don't know how true the author's descriptions are of the castle, but I felt like I was right there sneaking through the hallways with India.

    The story also contains a wonderful mystery with plenty of twists but what really captured by heart in this story was the humor. India has a quick wit and keen intelligence and while not at all happy with her job in this adventure she continues to entertain us with her observations and quips. The Lady India serves sets up several instances that had me laughing out loud.

    Carol K. Carr is an amazing storyteller. I love her writing style. In her case, her words are worth a thousand beautiful pictures. I have absolutely no problem "escaping" far into her books and don't want to leave after the last words are read. I want to follow India on her next adventure. Please Carol don't make me want too long for my next trip abroad.


    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Berkley Prime Crime. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  • Posted September 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The second India Black Victorian Era mystery is a fast-paced exciting tale

    Evangeline LeBlanc only recently was known as Elsie Gootch of Catahoula Parrish by those residents and employees of the New Orleans municipal jail. Now Else as Mrs. LeBlanc hosts a séance attended by that old pu*sy Queen Victoria. The medium insists the monarch's late husband Prince Albert needs her to journey to Balmoral Castle. The ruler consents to doing her Albert's request from beyond.

    Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli becomes concerned with the Queen traveling to Scotland when he learns Scottish nationalists seeking independence plan to assassinate Her Highness. He directs brothel owner and veteran espionage agent India Black to join the royal retinue as an undercover maid to cantankerous powder sniffing Dowager Marchioness of Tullibardine. Also assigned to the monarch's entourage is another agent Mr. Black. As India deals with a hemorrhoid making aristocrat and a literally pain in the butt hands on Prince of Wales, she seeks the head of the Scottish independence movement.

    The second India Black Victorian Era mystery is a fast-paced exciting tale that uses the belief by many in spiritualism including Victoria's relationship with her Albert as a means to set up the assassination of the "podgy neurotic". The plot contains plenty of humor mostly by disrespectful Mr. Black who finds nothing sacred and the sniffing Dowager who has not found a powder except snuff that her nose disliked. Although some escapes seem unlikely, readers who enjoy an entertaining breezy late nineteenth century mystery will appreciate the antics of India Black trying to protect the Widow of Windsor.

    Harriet Klausner

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    Posted December 12, 2011

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    Posted February 9, 2012

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    Posted December 18, 2011

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    Posted January 14, 2012

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    Posted January 26, 2013

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