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India Black and the Widow of Windsor

(Madam of Espionage #2)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  1,576 ratings  ·  160 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-
Paperback, 309 pages
Published October 4th 2011 by Berkley Prime Crime
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Asteropê After this series? Doesn't seem so. Her website wasn't loading for me. And her Facebook was last posted by her (presumably) in 2014 - https://www.face…moreAfter this series? Doesn't seem so. Her website wasn't loading for me. And her Facebook was last posted by her (presumably) in 2014 -

Perhaps she isn't writing anymore. Or all she had to tell was this series. Or something in real life is an obstacle for her not writing. Who knows. (less)

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Average rating 3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,576 ratings  ·  160 reviews

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Jan 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
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.
Jun 13, 2016 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. I actually love the premise of this series and I love India Black as a character. I would give her alone 5 stars.

I simply found this second book to be a bit too detailed, too much blah - blah that slowed the story down. It causes me to feel bored, my attention to wander, etc.

I did overall enjoy the story and I will continue with the series. It would just help, in my humble opinion, to make the storyline more A to B.
Tim Hicks
Aug 10, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, historical

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 happ
Nov 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
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 charact
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 go un
Althea Ann
Sep 21, 2011 rated it did not like it
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'
Laura Lee
Nov 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: historical, mysteries
Ok so...what was with the author's obsession with describing the marchioness' sneezing? It was always so detailed and gross! Not a chapter went by that it wasn't brought up at least twice. This would have been a much better book if the plot didn't have to take a back seat to an old lady's addiction to snuff. I usually try to say at least a few good things about every book, but less than halfway in I couldn't wait for it to end so I wouldn't have to read those descriptions anymore. Please let the ...more
Barbara Russell
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved the plot of this second book more than the one of the first. Maybe because there’s more sneaking around, more spying rather than sheer action. India Black is awesome. I like her strength, her sarcasm, and her wit. Victor and French are great as usual.
Maybe there were a bit too many references to the marchioness’s snuff and the consequent sneezes. (The descriptions became kind of gross after a while), but other than that, great book.
Still no romance though. There’s no chemistry between In
Mar 08, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Ambrosia Sullivan
Jun 28, 2020 rated it liked it
Posted firs on my Blog The Purple Booker

Time for another adventure with India Black and this time not only is she working for Queen and country, but she is staying in the same residence as her Majesty. As I found in the first book India herself is very entertaining, she gets up to a great deal and her commentary is always spot on. Poor India having to run away from Bertie so much!

However, the plot of this one was not nearly as good as the first one so I found at points I almost wanted to give u
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
Jul 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries
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
Aug 31, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Apr 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
Apr 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.
May 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
A very entertaining read, at times laugh out loud funny. No joke, my family gave me odd looks when I would suddenly start cackling at something in the book which incidentally happened a lot with these characters, loved the Marchioness and her penchant for snuff. I think that I have found a new favourite author.
Sep 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2016
India's gone to Scotland with Queen Victoria to spend Christmas at Balmoral. Disraeli suspects someone is out to kill the old girl, so India and French are sent to look after her. If you like a good historical mystery with a cheeky heroine, this one may be for you! Recommend!
Sep 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Loved this book. It had some really funny moments and the Marchioness was such a hoot. India Black working as an agent for the British Government might be just the perfect ingredient for trying to solve a crime. I use the word trying as sometimes the results aren't quite what you expect.
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.
Ruby Bibi
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
-A very enjoyable adventure in late 19th Century England of the additional adventures of India Black, a proprietress of an upscale house of ill repute, accompanied by a government agent, known only as French. As in the first book, the heroine retains her wit and sarcasm, and the author has done an even better job with the story line than the first book in the series, which introduced us to the main characters.
-In the first book, India was brought in to help the government recover certain very se
Jun 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
with exquisite historical details which i truly appreciate, the characters and plots continue to be above par. Pairing India with French and Vincent is a delectable confederation. The snuff lady is pretty disgusting and gets tiring, but her ancient wiles are essential to a continuing story of India's antecedents. The descriptions of the queen in perpetual mourning with a trencherman's appetite, and her 'companion' John Brown is handled well enough to incite curiosity to explore the actual rumors ...more
The last book I read before this was a painfully self-important piece of literary fiction, and this was the perfect antidote: just a good fun read. Carol Carr names George MacDonald Fraser as one of her influences, and I see a lot of Harry Flashman in India Black's irreverence and opportunism. But I like India better because she runs towards trouble while Flashman tends to run away, and she is (somewhat) more principled. This book had a few holes in the plot that were a bit too big to ignore, an ...more
Sep 29, 2018 rated it liked it
I find thus series frustrating. On one hand I enjoy the ambience of the setting and the thriller type espionage but I find India herself to be incredibly annoying.

She has this weird blinkered view on life and is whiny with very few redeeming features and is generally an idiot.

Also I find the writing of the book to be mildly irritating too, the accents ring false (but I rarely get on with accents transcribed that way) and the slang word choice was jarring, bint and cove in particular. I also feel
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have had this sitting on my shelf for too long. I had bought it almost immediately after reading the first book in the series because I enjoyed it so very much. This second book is as good and absorbing as I remember the first one being. This time India and Co. are off to Balmoral in Scotland to celebrate Christmas with Queen Victoria. OF COURSE there is a plot to assassinate the Queen by Scottish nationalists that India and French must foil. There's not much Christmas and not much celebrating ...more
Jo Anne
Sep 13, 2017 rated it liked it
This is Book 2 of the India Black series. The story takes place at Balmoral castle. There is a plot to murder Queen Victoria so India, French and Vincent travel to Scotland to protect the queen and find out who wants her dead.
I didn't enjoy this book as much as I liked Book #1. India is the same smart-mouth which I enjoy but there was just something missing. Most of the plot was of India pretending to be a maid to an ancient Scottish aristocrat.
It was an easy, quick read, and some of India's co
Bree T
Mar 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Melita Sheppard
Jul 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed is second outing of India Black. Queen Victoria is convinced that Prince Albert wants her to go to Scotland for Christmas. Disraeli, PM at the time heard rumours of an assasination and asked her to help him and his private secretary French to prevent it.
All in it was a really good read. Kept a better plot than book one, the characters are being defined better. Had to quickly order next one in series from Amazon!
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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.

Other books in the series

Madam of Espionage (4 books)
  • 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)

News & Interviews

Karen M. McManus, the bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying, Two Can Keep a Secret, and One of Us Is Next, doesn’t shy away from secrets and...
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