Author: Carol K. Carr
Genre: Fiction (Historical / early 20th Century / London / UK / Sex Worker / Victoriana / Mystery)
Publisher/Publication Date: Berkley (12/31/2012)
Did I finish?: In one night!
One-sentence summary: India Black, a foxy young courtesan, reflects on the circumstances that lead to her being able to afford her own brothel.
Reading Challenges: E-book, Historical Fiction
Do I like the cover?: I like it but I'm rather fond of the covers for all the India Black novels -- even though they commit the cardinal sin of slicing off half her face in this one. (In the other two novels, our model keeps her face!) The gown is so pretty, however, I forgive them...
First line: Having acquired a reputation as one of London's most successful madams, I'm frequently asked by young tarts for advice on plunging into the cutthroat world of brothel ownership.
Buy, Borrow, or Avoid?: Buy, buy, buy -- it's inexpensive and so delightfully fun.
Why did I get this book?: India Black is my literary girlfriend.
Review: It is no secret I adore Carol K. Carr's India Black series. The first book made my top ten of 2010 and the second book was a welcome return to a character I adored.
This is a prequel, of sorts, to the India Black books, set during her days as a prostitute (and not the madam she is in books one, two, and three). About 40 pages long, it details the incident that launched India into her madam-ship, so to speak, and as with the previous India books, has the cheeky humor, droll sexiness, and the brazen escapades I've come to associate with Carr's novels.
For those unfamiliar with this series, while India is a madam, this isn't historical erotica or even really historical romance. Carr intimates what India has done, what happens in India's brothel, without being gratuitous, gross, or clinically detailed. India's profession makes for a wonderfully unique heroine and her world an intriguing, unusual setting for a Victorian mystery series. While not a 'clean' novel technically, this isn't salacious in the slightest, and if you like Victorian settings, rowdy heroines, and snark married with action, give India a chance.
This e-short is an excellent introduction to India Black and Carr's wonderfully droll writing style if you're unfamiliar with this series; and if you're already a fan, you're going to love this naughty, wicked slice from India's past.
*** *** ***
I'm thrilled to offer a copy of India Black and the Rajah's Ruby! My gift to one lucky reader! As this is an e-special, it is only available as an e-book. To enter, fill out this brief form. Open to US/international readers, ends 2/1.