India Black, Carol K. Carr
Picked this one up for a bit of light fun, which it provided. I’m not sure about the comparisons to Gail Carriger’s books — sure, the period is roughly the same and the covers have some commonalities, but Alexia is a lady and India is a mercenary whore (and I mean that literally, not pejoratively). The kind of humour is different — sharper, less light, often relying on India’s bitter attitude toward, well, almost everyone. Carriger does have Alexia being more intelligent than a lot of people, but she also has more interaction with other intelligent characters (including other women). The emphasis on romance is entirely lacking in India Black, too.
Still, as a quick romp with a bit of spy/thriller/mystery stuff going on, it’s quite fun. It’s in first person from the point of view of India herself, and she’s pretty sharp and cutting about the world, and knowing about the way things are. That gives her a pretty fun voice.
In terms of the plot… it’s not too tight, with a fair amount of coincidence and people just being stupid. It’s not bad for a light bit of fun, though.