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India Black by Carol K.Carr review

India Black by Carol K. Carr (Madam of Espionage Mysteries #1)


Synopsis from Goodreads

When Sir Archibald Latham of the War Office dies from a heart attack while visiting her brothel, Madam India Black is unexpectedly thrust into a deadly game between Russian and British agents who are seeking the military secrets Latham carried.

Blackmailed into recovering the missing documents by the British spy known as French, India finds herself dodging Russian agents-and the attraction she starts to feel for the handsome conspirator.

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* * *
Right. This is what my love of spy novels does to me. :)

India Black could have been a fantastic book. I loved the wry humour and typical British arrogance of it, I chuckled at Madam Black's observations and at her amusing associates, the descriptions were so vivid I could easily see what was happening.

However, the plot was silly. After reading Joanna Bourne's spy novels and admiring the brilliant minds of British spymasters, sadly I found French, the actual spy in this book, lacking. He doesn't think things through, he is clumsy and he continues to make silly mistakes. This is what his department reduced to? A brooding gentleman with a cane, a whore and and a dirty street urchin?

At some point the whole involvement of India in this affair became ridiculous. In the beginning she is blackmailed in helping Ministry of Foreign Affairs to extract some documents from the Russian Embassy in London. When the plan fails, the blackmail is lifted and she is free to go. Why would any normal woman want to chase some Russian spies just for the thrill of it?! Is she an adrenaline junkie? Does she value her life so little?

Frankly, I don't know what was more surprising, - her insisting on being involved or Disraeli and French caving into her demands.

My last pet-peeve is the amount f info dumps. Yes, Russians want to fight Turkey to protect Serbs and to gain a foot hole in the region. Yes, England needs to prevent them from doing it to protect their own interests. Do we need the detailed descriptions and bloody maps? No. Does India needs it? Hell, no. However, Disraeli and other two gentlemen patiently explain everything to her in the age when women were considered too feeble minded to understand politics.

Sorry for my long rant, peeps. The book is entertaining at least, and if you're able to put the aforementioned issues behind you, you'll enjoy it much more than me.

* * *
М-да, читайте на свой страх и риск. Насколько уж я люблю шпионские романы, я не нахожу вот в этом никакого смысла.

Во первых, куча информации, которая читателю совсем не нужна. Да, Россия пытается защитить сербов от турков и заодно расширить своё влияние. Да, Англия пытается это предотвратить, чтобы защитить свои интересы. Нужны ли нам карты и детальные разъяснения? Нет. Нужны ли они Индии, Мадам шикарного лондонского борделя, которую шантажируют Дизраэли и его шпион, Френч, чтобы она сооблазнила русского посла и стащила у него документы? Конечно нет!

Да я и представить не могу вышеупомянутых джентельменов, пытающихся ей всё это разъяснить в эпоху, когда женщин считали глупыми, а их мозги слишком слабыми, чтобы понять политику...

Мя вторая проблема это сама Индия. Да, она остроумна и умна. Повествование ведётся от её лица, и описания типично британские в своём высокомерии и очень жвописные. Но. Какая женщина в своём уме напросится гонятся за шпионами когда её услуги больше не нужны и её перестают шантажировать? Зачем она во всё это полезла? У неё что, скучная жизнь?

Третья проблема это Френч и его некомпетентность. Какой это шпион? Я вас умоляю. Он не продумывает свои действия, совершенно ни к чему не подготовлен и совершает дурацкие ошибки. Плохой шпион это мёртвый шпион. Я вообще не понимаю как он выживает? Плюс к тому, почему его департамент не способен выделить компетентных людей на такое важное дело, а помогаю ему шлюха и уличный малолетний разбойник?!

В общем, книга развлекательная, но бредовая. Если вы способны закрыть глаза на вышеупомянутые проблемы, вам она понравится больше, чем мне.



Michelle Greathouse said...

I haven't read a historical in ages - and never a historical mystery - but I love this cover. :)


Darmaris said...

Да, обложка классная))) Видимо - это самое большое достоинство этой книги ;)

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