India Black and the Shadows of Anarchy

India Black and the Shadows of AnarchyIndia Black and the Shadows of Anarchy by Carol K. Carr

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Book #3 of Madam of Espionage Mysteries
Publisher:  Berkley
Category: Mystery, Romance
Setting: Victorian England
Author Website:

About this series:

Carol K. Carr is now my favorite author with her India Black series.  I appreciate a heroine who is smart enough to know when she needs help and independent enough to do her own thing; even when it goes against convention. These books are written as if India is writing her memoir. Hindsight is everything and India has a great power of observation as she looks back on her adventures.  

About this book:

If you have read the previous books in this series you know that India Black tells it like she sees it but she hides her soft heart believing no one will see it. You’ll find humor in this book as well as a good strong mystery.  In more than one scene I laughed out loud at India’s observations.

This is an intricate story that Carr has given us. It is a spy novel. It is a political novel. And it is a romance. Nothing satisfies like a cloak and dagger spy novel and this one hits the mark when we hear India repeatedly proclaiming she’ll just shoot someone. As is often found in historical novels of any genre, readers will learn about the time period and political views of the era. This does not slow down the pace of this at all, as no one can state the obvious as bluntly and colorfully as India; her profession gives her a unique prospective on the world. And India has no problem saying what most people would only dare to think. This book brings the attraction between India and her spying partner French into the light. There is no denying that there is passion between them. Yet, Carr manages to invoke that passion without tawdry romps in bed. Don’t get me wrong, India is a madam. There‘s plenty of talk about whores and bedding, but Carr doesn’t need to give you the details of what goes on behind closed doors to turn up the heat in her novels. You won’t miss the sex and you’ll appreciate the passion all the more for her delivery of it.

Learn about other books in this series:

Book #0.5 India Black and the Rajah’s Ruby

  • Published: December 31, 2012
  • Available in Kindle Edition only, this is more a novella than a full-length novel.
  • This prequel involves a background story with India’s lover Philip Barrett and helps to set the stage for the India we have seen in the rest of the series.

Book #1: India Black

  • Published: January 4, 2011
  • Madam India Black gets drawn into the world of intrigue when an employee of the War Office dies in her establishment.

Book #2: India Black and the Widow of Windsor

  • Published: October 4, 2011
  • Scottish nationalists are planning to assassinate the widow Queen Victoria. India and a British spy, French, are put on the case to help protect the Queen.
  • This novel travels to the Scottish highlands – a favorite setting for me – and involves some of the supernatural as the queen attempts to reach her beloved Prince Albert with a séance. 

Other book(s) of interest:

The Man Who Was Thursday

  • Published: 1908
  • Author: G. K. Chesterton
  • This book has been called a metaphysical thriller.  Carol K. Carr mentions it in the closing pages of India Black and the Shadows of Anarchy.