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A Free Man of Color

Author : Barbara Hanbly

Genre : Fiction

Barbara Hambly has written numerous fantasy stories, so I was surprised to find her later in the mystery section with a new series. Set in 1833 in New Orleans, Benjamin January, a Creole physician and music teacher, is playing piano at the Salle d’Orleans when the evenings festivities are interrupted—by murder.

Ravishing Angelique Crozat, a notorious octoroon who travels in the city’s finest company, has been strangled to death. With the authorities reluctant to become involved, Ben begins his own inquiry, which will take him through the seamy haunts of river boatmen and into the huts of voodoo-worshipping slaves. The Police lieutenant Abishag Shaw becomes his uneasy friend in the beginning and an ally by the end of the story.

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