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Graveyard dust
Barbara Hambly
Adult Fiction HAMBLY

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Voodoo deities and infectious diseases pervade the fetid summer atmosphere of the latest Benjamin January adventure. A musician, surgeon and free man of color in 1834 New Orleans, Ben is also a sleuth. Now he must investigate the recent death of one Isaak Jumon in order to free his own sister, Olympe, a voodoo priestess who has been accused of abetting the murder by supplying a poison to Isaak's young wife. But the woman claims that she did not buy poison from Olympe, rather that she obtained a hex directed at Isaak's avaricious mother, the widow of a wealthy New Orleans plantation owner. Ben's encounters with the city's intricate stratification of wealth, color, religion and nationality give this third in the series (after the acclaimed Fever Season) considerable texture. While he unravels the mystery, Ben also struggles on personal fronts: to recover from the loss of his wife to cholera; to stem the current epidemics of cholera and yellow fever, to endure the injustices of his society; to accept his sister's voodoo practices despite his Catholic beliefs. Hambly's plot, which revolves around evils confined to no race or class, is complex and often hard to track, but its emotional authenticity, varied cast and rich historical trappings give the novel power and depth. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Voodoo, murder, and child abuse are the subject of Hambly's latest New Orleans historical featuring Benjamin January, free man of color (Fever Season). The year is 1834, and January seeks to free his sister, who has been jailed for a voodoo-related murder. As he follows the trail, aided by his friend Hannibal, his own life is threatened by a monstrous fellow with the fateful name of Killdevil. While the city struggles to keep cholera in check, January stays one step ahead of his would-be assassin, interviewing the family and friends of the victim and the accused. An intricate plot twist is a welcome surprise in a relatively slow read, but fans who have gone down this road and enjoyed Hambly's long descriptions of the many-tiered colored culture of the time will want to visit again. Recommended for libraries with previous books in the series. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 4/1/99.]ÄShirley Gibson Coleman, Ann Arbor Dist. Lib., MI (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
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