I loved this period mystery. An educated slave goes under cover, working for a man he loathes, to find out which slave(or is it family member?) trying to kill him. January is the spy and i did fall for him right away. He is presented as attractive, strong and smart, and he also will not betray his people, as he was once a slave there on this sugar cane field too. This takes place in New Orleans, and i love the language and the land. But the thrill of this read was worth, me getting nothing done today at home, as i could not put this book down.
A mystery set in 1830's New Orleans. Benjamin January, a free black man, must pose as a slave to uncover the culprits responsible for arson, murder, and sabotage on a plantation owned by his cruel ex-master. " The novel is filled with brilliant twists and Hambly writes with inspired magic..."
The Benjamin January series features an African American hero who was born in still-French Louisiana at the turn of the 19th century. His mother is the mistress of a plantation owner and his sister is following that path as well. Benjamin went to Paris to train as a doctor and returns to New Orleans only after the death of his beloved wife. January is a dark skinned man in a time and place where that alone is a risk: Unscrupulous men drifting in from American territory kidnap free blacks and sell them to plantation owners who don't ask questions. January is risking more than his livelihood in his effort to solve a mystery--he's risking his freedom and his life.
I'm reading this absolutely excellent series about New Orleans in the 1830's in order, and this is 4th in the series. Gritty, real, riveting - made all the more poignant by Katrina wiping out an area of such amazing history....
Fourth book in the Banjamin January series.