India Black is back and just a few weeks after her first dalliance in espionage with Russian spies (see India Black review for more details) she is off on another espionage mission in Scotland.
Queen Victoria is instructed at a séance to break from tradition and spend Christmas in Balmoral. The instruction comes from her departed husband Prince Albert and with a clandestine group known as the Sons of Arbroath making threats on her Majesty’s life the prime minister takes no risks with the suspicious command.
He enlists the help of London brothel owner India and his British agent named French (first name unknown). If you haven’t read the first book, all you need to know is that India Black is a ballsy and hilarious woman who finds herself helping the government, despite her sins and less than reputable profession.
She is sent off to Scotland under the guise of housemaid to a crone of a marchioness who loves nothing more than to snort her body weight in snuff and proceed to sneeze over the nearest person without a care in the world. Installed in the grand castle for her Highness’s holidays, French and India try to ferret out possible members of the sons of Arbroath and any would-be assassins who might carry out the dastardly threats of the disgruntled Scots.
Her sarcastic and witty personality alongside French’s intelligent and quick character makes for great reading as they get closer with each mission and yet seemingly hate each other’s guts. As well as the sharp characters, the history of the time and the descriptions of Scotland come through wonderfully in the snappy prose and the whole story is a pleasure to read.
I recently got back from a trip to Scotland and love the place, so having India’s next adventure set there was great for me. I’m a huge India Black fan and I seriously urge anyone who’s yet to read of her to pick up any of her tales and give her a try. The India Black series is fast paced, flirtatious fun and entertaining as hell!