From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
To support his family, Benjamin January, musician and trained surgeon, agrees to travel from New Orleans to Washington City with Henri and Chloe Viellard to search for Mr. Singletary, who has disappeared. The three are accompanied by Dominique, who is January's half-sister and Henri Viellard's mistress. In 1838 Washington City, January, a former slave, and the wealthy Viellards, along with Edgar Poe, work to trace the missing man. Their investigation leads them to grave robbers, spies, and men who kidnap freedmen to sell them into slavery. After a newly freed slave is murdered, and members of their group are kidnapped, they unravel the clues, uncovering an unlikely culprit. Detailed descriptions of Washington City and its inhabitants and the precarious lives of freedmen in the South are woven throughout a complex mystery, vividly immersing the reader in a different time and culture. Well-drawn characters, from January to government officials to tradesmen to wealthy planters, populate this fascinating entry in the long-running series.--O'Brien, Sue Copyright 2010 Booklist
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When money becomes tight, January takes on an unusual assignment that requires him to leave New Orleans for Washington. Needless to say, 1838 wasn't the safest of times for a free man of color. This is the 12th installment in a memorable historical series (after Ran Away). (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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Historical horrors abound in Hambly's excellent 12th Benjamin January novel (after 2011's Ran Away). By showing compassion for a dying fighting slave, January-a free black man and surgeon-turned-piano player in antebellum New Orleans-loses his musician job. To support his family, he agrees to help wealthy planter Henri Viellard (whose mistress is January's sister Minou) locate a missing friend-elderly English mathematician Selwyn Singletary. Along with Veillard, Minou, and Viellard's chilly wife, Chloe, he travels to a decadent Washington, D.C., inhabited by slave stealers, grave robbers, spies, and venal legislators. Hambly's brilliantly conceived cast includes a young Edgar Allan Poe, a sinister British spymaster, a New England abolitionist promoting an early form of baseball, and a courageous and loyal slave named Ganymede Tyler, the eponymous "Man Friday." Hambly brings back to life a world where Congressmen obliviously pass chained men without a glance, forcing her readers to wonder painfully with January, "Jesus, where are you now?" Agent: Frances Collin Literary Agency. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.