graveyardgremlin (formerly faeriemyst)'s Reviews > India Black

India Black by Carol K. Carr
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Mar 08, 2011

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bookshelves: historical-fiction, historical-fiction-19th-century, historical-fiction-england, library-loan
Read from March 05 to 08, 2011 , read count: 1

3.5 stars

India Black is a well-written and entertaining read, featuring a no-nonsense, street-wise, and book-smart whore-turned-madam who is the namesake of the book. While I do like India and her voice, there was something about her that felt off, and after thinking about it I've come to realize that I really don't know her that well. I find that odd because the book is told first-person. Even though this is the first in the series and some authors may not want to divulge everything about a character, I think there needed to be more tidbits about India. What's her history? How did she grow up? Was she groomed to be a whore? Etc., etc., etc. Besides, French is the secretive one, we don't need two mysterious characters in one book. As for the attraction between India and French promised on the back of the book, well, it wasn't there. Now there's the promise for that in the future, but there weren't enough scenes with the two of them together for anything to actually happen except some minor discussions about the issue(s) at hand, some bantering, and a decent amount of bickering -- though luckily not too much of the latter to annoy.

The plot is fine, but there's really nothing new to distinguish it from others in Victorian mysteries. Actually, the book doesn't feature any mystery what-so-ever and it's more of a chase to retrieve top secret government documents; I've heard the term caper thrown around and that sounds about right for this book. After a while I felt like I was in Groundhog Day -- same scenarios popped up under different circumstances, but all with the same outcome, which became tiring. The historical facts would have been better served had they been more smoothly incorporated into the story rather than dropped in big chunky lumps that often bored me (and I like history). The atmosphere of the book was fairly well-done, though it seemed a bit too polished and clean, so a little more grit would have given it some needed realism. The main character is a madam who can't possibly live in best neighborhood, and no matter how well-mannered, groomed, or intelligent she may be, she has to live in a tough place.

While I do have those minor issues about the book, the question is, "Would I read the next book in the series?" Yes, I believe so, because overall, I did enjoy this foray into India Black's world and it has the makings of a very interesting series.
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Misfit The author's really been hitting the blogs hard this week. Perhaps she addresses India's back story that you mentioned. I do want to see more of her and French.


graveyardgremlin (formerly faeriemyst) Hopefully more of India's background will be divulged in the next installment. It'd be weird to have to read blogs to find that out.


Misfit I'll wait for the book as well. I rather dislike these big blog pushes, the same author keeps popping up on all of them with guest posts pretty much saying the same thing. I end up skimming a lot.


graveyardgremlin (formerly faeriemyst) Yeah, me too. I don't really follow blogs, so authors going on 'tour' don't work for me. If I'm that interested in their book, I'll be on the look-out already and don't need the push to pre-order, buy it when it comes out, or in my case, request it from the library.


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