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India Black and The Shadows of Anarchy by Carol K. Carr

I’m always genuinely happy to see an India Black book on my TBR pile. I’m so in love with this series and when I feel like I’m a bit of a reading slump, I know a dalliance with India Black will cheer me right up! 

For any IB virgins, the series starts when Madam of Lotus House, India Black ends up helping agents of the British government in top secret state affairs. She is thrown together with dashing agent French, and with the help of her trusted street urchin Vincent, she becomes the self titled Madam of Espionage, using her womanly wiles and natural intelligence against enemies of Britain. 

After her successes, she finds herself called upon more often by the Prime Minister to assist in other such dangerous missions, so even if you haven’t read any of the novels before, they are perfect as standalone books. 

In this third escapade, India’s latest job is to infiltrate an anarchist cell, following the brutal assassinations of English aristocrats and politicians. It seems there is political unrest ongoing with Russian, but also unease amongst the foreign community living (not always legally) in London. Infiltrating the group is seemingly the easy part, as India must negotiate terrorist plots, personal attacks and her own secret identity in a mission that threatens her life of numerous occasions. 

This book, as well as the others, is so full of India’s sharp witted and charming personality. As well as her espionage, she is still very much a Madam and we are never too far from the day-to-day life at the popular Lotus House. Her love-hate relationship with French also heats up as she finds out more about his life; some things more than she probably bargained for. Their banter is brilliant and each retort is matched almost as well as their fencing! 

Set in the Victorian era (probably should have mentioned that before) the history of the time is well brought to life; from the descriptions of Victorian life, the splits in society between rich and poor, and the troubles of the time both politically and criminally. 

These books have all the things I enjoy in literature; a kick-ass heroine, intelligent prose, rich historical detail and oodles of action! If you have read any India Black novels, I want to hear your thoughts! If you have yet to pick up an India Black book and you like any of the aforementioned things, then you are seriously missing out!

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