Carol sent me India Black and the Shadow of Anarchy some time ago and must be wondering why I have not reviewed it before now, The reason for this is simple. I was saving this up as a treat. I simply loved having it on my shelf knowing it was there and that when I wanted to I could pull it down and off I go. Well, this got a bit silly in the end so I took it on holiday with me and one afternoon, when it was a bit cloudy and cool, I sat in my apartment and read it straight through.
I loved it. I knew I would having loved the previous two reviewed here. The narrative, the wit, the humour, the turn of phrase are sheer delight from beginning to end and India is such a great character.
India is a high class madam and runs a highly successful brothel. As well as being a full time madam she is also an occasional secret agent and is intrigued and attracted to the handsome enigmatic spy, French. Some time has passsed since her last adventures and she is feeling bored and fed up when she is called to a meeting with the Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli.
"The Prime Minister was pale and now and then a dry cough interrupted the flow of his conversation, but it would take more than a cold to stop Dizzy once he has got the bit between his teeth and so I listened to a lenghty diatribe about the perfidious Ruskies".
It seems anarchists are killing off the British aristocracy and India is asked to infiltrate the ranks of the undergroup group responsible, the Dark Legion. She has a very pragmatic view of the members of this group:
"Fleko produced a match and scraped it across the table with such vigour that it snapped. 'Esteemed leaders! Pah! tell us where to find the bastards and we'll kill them like dogs in the street'. Clearly Fleko was an enthusiast. I don't much care for enthusiasts as they tend to drag you into the barrel just as it's going over the falls. Steer clear of this one India, I thought to myself".
The group plan a major bomb plot at a meeting in Trafalgar Square and India must find a way to foil this plan without betraying that she is a spy and an informer. And it is while she is at one of these meetings that another new member turns up - French, also undercover.
The story has twists and turns on every page and, as I have said before, full of dry wih and humour with an ending that made me hoot with laughter, and I savoured every word. This is the third book and a story line relating to India's mother and her background also runs through it and more will be revealed, I hope, as each book is published.
Great stuff. Already looking forward to the next one.