Cover image for The shirt on his back : a Benjamin January novel
The shirt on his back : a Benjamin January novel
Publication Information:
Surrey, England : Severn House, 2011.
Physical Description:
250 p. ; 23 cm.


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available

On Order



The new 'Benjamin January' novel from the best-selling author

Abishag Shaw is seeking vengeance for his brother's murder - and Benjamin January is seeking money after his bank crashes. Far beyond the frontier, in the depths of the Rocky Mountains, both are to be found at the great Rendezvous of the Mountain Men: a month-long orgy of cheap booze, shooting-matches, tall tales and cut-throat trading. But at the rendezvous, the discovery of a corpse opens the door to hints of a greater plot, of madness and wholesale murder . . .

Author Notes

Barbara Hambly lives in Los Angeles, where she is at work on the sixth Benjamin January novel, "Wet Grave", which Bantam will publish in 2002. Her second Benjamin January novel, "Fever Season", was named a "New York Times" Notable Book of the Year.

(Publisher Provided) Barbara Hambly was born in San Diego, California on August 28, 1951. She received a master's degree in medieval history from the University of California at Riverside in 1975. She has worked as a high-school teacher, a model, a waitress, a technical editor, and a karate instructor. At one time, she also wrote scripts for cartoons like Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors and He-Man.

She writes many different types of books including fantasy, romance, and mystery. Her works include the Darwath Trilogy, the Benjamin January Mysteries series, Those Who Hunt the Night, The Emancipator's Wife, Someone Else's Shadow, and Patriot Ladies. She has also written for the Star Trek universe, the Star Wars universe, and the Beauty and the Beast television program. She is a Locus award winner.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Lt. Abishag Shaw of the New Orleans City Guards, keen to apprehend the man who killed his younger brother, hires his friend Benjamin January to help track down the culprit in Hambly's superb 10th historical featuring the black freeman (after 2010's Dead and Buried). Left nearly penniless by the 1837 New Orleans bank failure, January needs no persuading to leave his beloved newly pregnant wife, Rose, and travel hundreds of miles into the Green River wilderness in the Rocky Mountains. Along the way, January and company encounter eccentric trappers, reptilian fur traders, tragic prostitutes, raging missionaries, and sensitively three-dimensional Sioux, Omahas, Crows, and Blackfeet. Their expedition plays out against the British-U.S. rivalry for the enormously profitable beaver fur trade, while American covered wagons toil on toward Oregon. As January struggles to survive fatigue, starvation, and assorted psychological horrors, Hambly convincingly shows that revenge must finally give way to justice. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Booklist Review

Benjamin January, free man of color in New Orleans, needs money. All the banks in the country have crashed, and his wife is expecting their child. When Lieutenant Abishag Shaw of the City Guards offers him a job, he jumps at it, despite the fact that it will take him away from home for an extended period. Shaw seeks vengeance for his brother's murder and believes the killer will be at the rendezvous of mountain men in the Rocky Mountains. The annual encampment involves drinking cheap liquor, engaging in shooting matches, and swapping tall tales as well as selling furs and making shady business deals. Amidst it all, the body of a clean-shaven man wearing only a pair of black kid gloves turns up. Abishag and Benjamin uncover a sinister mass murder plot as they investigate. The latest entry in this flamboyant historical series is again full of period detail. Hambly paints a vivid, convincing picture of the life of free blacks before the Civil War.--Bibel, Barbar. Copyright 2010 Booklist

Library Journal Review

The tenth entry in this outstanding historical series (Dead and Buried) is set in the Rockies as our hero, a free man of color, attends the annual rendezvous of mountain men. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.