8.8.14

DAYS OF THE DEAD, by Barbara Hambly

7/series. Beginning with A Free Man of Color, Hambly has given us readers a long, complex, satisfying look at the pre-Civil War world of the south and the trials, tribulations and adventures of Benjamin January, born to be a field slave on a southern Louisiana plantation. No back story or spoiler here, you really just need to read all seven books, preferably in order, to find out how Benjamin gets to Mexico on his honeymoon, trying to rescue his aristocratic English friend, the consumptive and opium-addict Hannibal Sefton, who has been charged with murder. Wow, that long, involved sentence says it all. Held by the father of the murdered man (who, it is universally agreed, richly deserved to die) on a plantation outside Mexico City, the Shakespeare-quoting Hannibal is sought by the law; click for more...
but the father likes Hannibal's violin playing and the intellectual discussions the highly-educated man can carry on. Surrounded by a rich and weird collection of relatives, a high-strung French cook, and the probably psychotic but charismatic Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana (of the Alamo, among other things), Benjamin and his new wife, Rose, have to figure out a locked-room murder which Benjamin is initially convinced his friend could have done. This is, along with the other books in the series, a 5. Read it for the delightful writing - both humorous and devastatingly direct - and enjoy it for the fascinating story, too. Hambly writes in several other genres; go to her web site for more information:  www,barbarahambly.com
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