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Fever season
Barbara Hambly
Adult Fiction HAMBLY

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Learned black surgeon Benjamin January returns from his debut as protagonist in A Free Man of Color (1997) to utilize his considerable skills in a graphic and compelling story based on events that transpired in 1834. The Paris-trained physician, still grieving for his recently deceased wife, is back in New Orleans after a 16-year absence and his now treating the victims of a raging cholera epidemic. But his position at Charity Hospital is precariousÄaccepted in his own mixed-race society, he is scorned by most whites. Now, even in the chaotic mayhem of an epidemic, January becomes aware of a disturbing fact: free people of color are disappearing. Are they dying? Are they being abducted to be resold as slaves? Although chronically fatigued from his multiple occupations (he gives piano lessons to eke out his income) and the demands of his eccentric family, he nonetheless manages to begin a discreet investigation that will involve some unique and idiosyncratic individuals including street people, con men and aristocrats. He even forms an unlikely alliance with a coarse, yet astute, white police lieutenant. January's queries are further complicated by the disappearance of his friend Cora, who may be implicated in theft and murder. Complex in plotting, rich in atmosphere and written in powerful, lucid prose, this compelling mystery holds its secrets until a horrifying, compelling finale. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Benjamin January, introduced in A Free Man of Color (LJ 6/1/97), returns in the second novel of this historical series set in early 19th-century New Orleans. The city is being ravaged by a violent and deadly disease known as Bronze John. January, a dark-skinned doctor and sometime musician, works day and night to care for the ill and dying while continuing to instruct his music students at their piano lessons. The doctor is unwillingly thrown into a dangerous predicament when a runaway slave asks for his help contacting her lover, a servant in the home of one of his music pupils. While author Hambly, a prolific sf/fantasy writer, renders the time period with careful detail, the story line is confusing and the numerous characters are difficult to follow. Unless the history of Louisiana is of specific interest or the previous novel was particularly popular, most libraries can pass. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 3/15/98.]ÄBeth Gibbs, P.L. of Charlotte & Mecklenburg Cty., NC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Benjamin January
African American
Free man.

Delphine Lalaurie
Slave owner.

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