Saturday, September 17, 2011

India Black and the Widow of Windsor-Carol K. Carr

India Black and the Widow of Windsor

Carol K. Carr

Berkley, Oct 4 2011, $14.00

ISBN: 9780425243190

Evangeline LeBlanc only recently was known as Elsie Gootch of Catahoula Parrish by those residents and employees of the New Orleans municipal jail. Now Else as Mrs. LeBlanc hosts a séance attended by that old pussy Queen Victoria. The medium insists the monarch’s late husband Prince Albert needs her to journey to Balmoral Castle. The ruler consents to doing her Albert’s request from beyond.

Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli becomes concerned with the Queen traveling to Scotland when he learns Scottish nationalists seeking independence plan to assassinate Her Highness. He directs brothel owner and veteran espionage agent India Black to join the royal retinue as an undercover maid to cantankerous powder sniffing Dowager Marchioness of Tullibardine. Also assigned to the monarch’s entourage is another agent Mr. Black. As India deals with a hemorrhoid making aristocrat and a literally pain in the butt hands on Prince of Wales, she seeks the head of the Scottish independence movement.

The second India Black Victorian Era mystery is a fast-paced exciting tale that uses the belief by many in spiritualism including Victoria’s relationship with her Albert as a means to set up the assassination of the “podgy neurotic”. The plot contains plenty of humor mostly by disrespectful Mr. Black who finds nothing sacred and the sniffing Dowager who has not found a powder except snuff that her nose disliked. Although some escapes seem unlikely, readers who enjoy an entertaining breezy late nineteenth century mystery will appreciate the antics of India Black trying to protect the Widow of Windsor.

Harriet Klausner

No comments: