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India Black and the Widow of Windsor (Madam of Espionage Mysteries #2)

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3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  873 ratings  ·  108 reviews
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-
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Paperback, 309 pages
Published October 4th 2011 by Berkley Prime Crime
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Sapphire Blue by Kerstin GierThe Pleasure Palace by Kate EmersonSomewhere in France by Jennifer RobsonThe Selection by Kiera CassIndia Black and the Widow of Windsor by Carol K. Carr
Sapphire from the Deepest Ocean
5th out of 217 books — 74 voters
Silent in the Grave by Deanna RaybournWhat Angels Fear by C.S. HarrisAnd Only to Deceive by Tasha AlexanderCrocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth PetersThe Cater Street Hangman by Anne Perry
Regency and Victorian Mysteries
60th out of 269 books — 210 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,690)
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Holly
Jan 31, 2015 Holly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2015
*4.5 stars

First off: I WANT the dress on the cover of this book!! I love it!! And second: I love India! Love her snarky, dry wit. Several times I found myself laughing or smirking from what India does or says. Also, I want to know French better. So glad I stumbled upon this series.
Elysium
When Queen Victoria suddenly decides to spend her Christmas in Scotland, the prime minister gets worried that nationalists try to assassinate the queen. He enlists the help of India and French to prevent that from happening. India will play the part of housemaid to an old marchioness who spends most of her waking hours snuffing anything possible.

Finally I got to read the second book! And it didn’t disappoint me! Can’t believe it took me so long.

It was fun seeing India trying play the servant par
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Audra (Unabridged Chick)
I've been waiting for this book pretty much from the minute I finished the first one, and I'm thrilled to say it's a happy reunion. Everything I loved from the first book -- the humor, the banter, the historical detail, the action scenes, India -- was in this book and I gobbled it up.

Again reprising her role as a Victorian Bond Girl, India is enlisted to go undercover to Balmoral, where Queen Victoria is spending Christmas (rather unusually). Prime Minister Disraeli (another returning character
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Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
Read This Review & More Like It On My Blog!

4.25 out of 5

India Black returns for a second outing - true to form, and full of the same humor and wit that made her so memorable and damned fun in the first novel. While I found this second in the series to be just slightly below the level of the first, India Black and the Widow of Windsor is still a highly entertaining, genuinely fun, and interesting new historical mystery. Here in round number two as a madam of espionage, India must once again g
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Tim Hicks
Disappointing.

Book 1 showed us a clever character who can run a business, deal with people, and face danger.
Book 2 gives us a snobbish ditherer who spends half the book admiring muscular calves. She seems less intelligent, shallower, and much more judgmental.

This Berkley Prime Crime edition was badly in need of a copy editor; when I got to 16 major corrections I stopped counting, and I wasn't halfway.

Speaking of halfway, the first 170 pages or so were downright boring. Nothing much has happe
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Gail
India Black finds herself drafted again to assist Prime Minister Disraeli in foiling a plots against the Crown and the government. This time, it is a radical Scots independence group threatening to assisinate Queen Victoria. Both French, the mysterious and attractive government agent and the odiferous imp, Vincent, are there as well. They travel to Balmoral castle as a ne'er do well fop, a ladies maid and a stable boy to uncover the plot.

Another great narrative with a strong minded heroine with
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Veronica
The second installment in the India Black series didn't quite live up to its predecessor but it was still a good read. As the events all took place at Balmoral Castle, as India, French, and Vincent try to ferret out a nationalist plot to assassinate the Queen, it lacked some of the sense of adventure that the first novel had. India remains an entertaining, smart heroine however and her interactions with French continue to intrigue. Speaking of French, I think the story could've benefited from a ...more
Kathleen
I still love India Black. She's still tons of fun, still unapologetically a whore (or, well, a madam really), still extremely funny, and still does not give a fuck what anyone thinks of her. Also, the marchioness in this book is AMAZING, full stop. An elderly woman who knows all and attempts to hint to her dumb-as-bricks co-collaborators? And sprays snuff on the Queen of England? YES PLEASE.

Seriously, this is funny, apparently historically accurate (not my period, but it seems good to me) and a
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LiteraryLover
I loved this just as much as the first book, my only complaint is that at times India can be a bit snobbish and judgmental.
Blodeuedd Finland
I do think I liked this even better than book 1. It might have been the downstairs/upstairs things ;)

Right, so our favorite brothel owner has been sent to Scotland. There she will play the part of a servant. Being a former whore, India does know how to act and get information. Sure she is not the best all the time, but who would be that when put in a situation like this without any schooling. So I like her.

French is there too playing the bored aristocrat who does what he wants. And there was som
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Kristen
Well, book two in the India Black series was just as enjoyable as the first!

I'm always excited when I discover a series I love, especially when there are a bunch of books still to read. India Black is an absolutely smashing character! She's smart, sassy, irreverent and has a hilarious lack of respect for anyone but herself. Luckily, that comes across as just downright funny.

The author of these books must be a bunch of fun to know, because nobody without a healthy sense of humour themselves could
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Renee
This is a fun, witty series that reminds me a bit of Deanna Raybourn's Lady Julia Gray books. I love the mild sexual tension between India and French as well as the mystery and I will admit I couldn't quite figure out who the potential assassin was. All in all in spite of some coarse language, this series is very entertaining and great to read if you don't have a lot of time to devote to reading. This was definitely and improvement on book one.
Susie
This book was so much better than the first one! India, French and Vincent get sent to Balmoral to try and stop a plot to kill the queen. This time around, India and French have some sexual tension building up - and maybe more on his part than on hers. The mystery was good - I didn't see it coming until the end and I enjoyed the new characters introduced. Looking forward to reading more and finding out about India's mother.
Ladiibbug
#2 Madam of Espionage

Queen Victoria attends a séance to visit with her deceased beloved, Prince Albert. His spirit implores the Queen to spend Christmas at their Scottish home in Balmoral.

India is summoned by the Prime Minister to again go undercover to protect the Queen from a suspected assassination plot. The handsome British Spy, French, is also called to duty at Balmoral.

Instead of operating her high class brothel in London over Christmas, India plays lady's maid to a cantankerous, high mai
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Aimee
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 el ...more
Laura Lee
Loads of fun! India pretends to be a ladies maid for a guest at Christmas at Balmoral. The Scots are rebelling and want the Queen dead. Poor Vicky! India and French save the day and India finds out a little something about her deceased mother.
Amy
3.5 stars.

Once again I enjoyed spending time with an India Black book. India Black and the Widow of Windsor sported some colorful characters, in particular the Dowager Marchioness of Tullibardine, who really brought life to this book.

While this India Black installment was still fun, it desperately suffered from repetitiveness. The plot was slowed down by a considerable amount of filler, which usually consisted of the Marchioness supplying some form of comic relief. The filler was entertaining, b
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Dawn
I cannot explain why I enjoy this series so much. The espionage/mystery is not overly compelling and the sleuthing seems elementary but given the time period I should not expect India or French to have skills akin to James Bond movies. I was amused by the bumbling around. I hope as the series progresses India's skills will grow as well. Regardless, India is daring, pragmatic and resourceful. The qualities I highly value. The historical content is interesting. Truthfully I should pay more attenti ...more
Fred
This is the second book in the A Madam Of Espionage series. The series is set around the 1860's at the time Benjamin Disraeli was serving as Prime Minister of England.

Once again French, a British spy and India Black, the madam of Lotus House, a gentleman's house of pleasure are off on a secret mission to help P.M. Disraeli keep Queen Victoria safe over the Christmas holidays.

Queen Victoria was convinced at a phony seance that her dead husband wanted her to spend the Holiday in Scotland. This so
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Page (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
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A.

The story opens with a rigged seance for Queen Victoria in which the spirit of her departed husband, Prince Albert, literally insists that she spend Christmas in their Scottish castle Balmoral. Balmoral was purchased for Queen Victoria by Prince Albert in 1852 (twenty four years before this story) and they would regularly spend the holidays there. But there is growing discontent among Scottish loyalists who resent the British rule. Prime Minister Disraeli is suspicious that Scottish nationalists
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LORI CASWELL
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
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Naberius
Overall, I thought the story was a lot of fun. Ms. Carr mixes in enough accurate historical detail to make the settings and people seem realistic, without it being overwrought. She also gives us interesting characters -- not only India, but French (who still remains a bit of a mystery in this second book), and in this story, the Marchioness, an elderly woman who enjoys partaking in snuff as often as she can (which is, by the way, completely disgusting, but manages to come off as pretty funny mos ...more
Bree T
In the second volume of the Madam of Espionage series, India Black is back. This time she’s summoned to a meeting with Benjamin Disraeli, the Prime Minister of England. Queen Victoria, who has been consulting mediums to try and keep in touch with her dead husband Albert, has been isntructed that Albert wishes her to spend Christmas at Balmoral, their Scottish pile. Disraeli has received intelligence that the Scots, who are seeking independence, are possibly planning an attack on the Queen’s life ...more
Michelle
(3.5 stars) The second book in the Madam of Espionage series has India recruited for another mission by Mr. French. Queen Victoria has been prompted by a seance with her dearly departed husband to spend her Christmas holiday in Balmoral. Mr. French and others suspect a set-up to get the queen assassinated by Scottish separatists. Mr. French goes undercover as a secretary to the prime minister, Vincent as a stable hand, and India as a lady's maid to the Dowager Marchioness. India digs behind the ...more
Althea Ann
Picked this up because I saw it described as a fun, light read. I wasn't feeling well, and thought it might be nice to read while lying in bed. Unfortunately, I found reading it to be a tedious chore, interspersed with moments of serious aggravation.
Our heroine, India Black is supposed to be the proprietress of a brothel. It's nothing more than a gimmick, because we never see her acting as such. She makes a few callous remarks regarding her "sluts," but that's it. The problem is that India isn'
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Bg
Back again from another adventure with my new favorite Madam of Espionage. India Black, a business woman/whore(yup, she's a whore), has been spirited away on another adventure with the handsome and mysterious Mr. French and London's dirtiest orphan Vincent to the Highlands a.k.a Scotland! And this time around instead of looking for evil Russians now they are looking for a Scottish Nationalist with a taste for Royal blood, if you get my drift.

So far I've been enjoying this Madam of Espionage seri
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Misfit
3.5 stars

"And so my life as a lady's maid began."

India Black is back in book two, and she's just as feisty and irreverent as ever. Queen Victoria is convinced that Albert's ghost wants her to join him in Scotland at Balmoral castle, but there's a slight hitch as it seems there's a plot afoot to off the Queen and free Scotland. Disraeli (Dizzy) calls in French and India to go under cover and stop the evil doers and they're soon on their way to Scotland to join the festivities - India gets the job
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Jerelyn
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 ...more
Anachronist

What I liked:

The whole book was more a comedy than a sleuth or adventure novel. I loved the beginning but I regretted we didn’t see that false psychic (is there a true psychic out there?) and her daughter again. Like the first part of this series, reviewed by me not so long ago, the story is told once again from India’s point of view so of course it is snarky and entertaining. India suffers greatly helping the old Marchioness survive the royal festivities without killing herself during the meals
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 05, 2015 09:53AM  
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After a career as a lawyer and corporate executive, Carol K. Carr turned to writing. India Black is her first book. She lives in the Missouri Ozarks with her husband and two German Shepherds.
More about Carol K. Carr...

Other Books in the Series

Madam of Espionage Mysteries (5 books)
  • India Black (Madam of Espionage, #1)
  • India Black and the Shadows of Anarchy (Madam of Espionage Mystery #3)
  • India Black in the City of Light (Madam of Espionage, #3.5)
  • India Black and the Gentleman Thief (Madame of Espionage, #4)
India Black (Madam of Espionage, #1) India Black and the Shadows of Anarchy (Madam of Espionage Mystery #3) India Black and the Gentleman Thief (Madame of Espionage, #4) India Black and the Rajah's Ruby (Madam of Espionage, #0.5) India Black in the City of Light (Madam of Espionage, #3.5)

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