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Cover image for Crimson angel
Title:
Crimson angel
ISBN:
9781847515353
Edition:
Trade paperback edition.
Physical Description:
247 pages ; 22 cm.
Summary:
"When Jefferson Vitrack--the white half-brother of Benjamin January's wife--turns up on January's doorstep in the summer of 1838 claiming he has discovered a clue to the whereabouts of the family's lost treasure, January has no hesitation about refusing to help look for it. For the treasure lies in Haiti, the island that was once France's most profitable colony--until the blood-chilling repression practiced there by the whites upon their slaves triggered a savage rebellion. The world's only Black Republic still looks with murderous distrust upon any strangers who might set foot there, and January is in no hurry to go. But when Vitrack is murdered, and attempts are made on January's wife and himself, he understands he has no choice. He must seek the treasure himself, to draw the unknown killers into the open--a bloody trail that leads first to Cuba, then to Haiti, and finally to the secret that lies buried with the Accursed gold"--Page 4 of cover.
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Summary

Summary

Benjamin January is forced to travel to Haiti to seek his family's lost treasure, in order to save everything he holds dear

When Jefferson Vitrack - the white half-brother of Benjamin January's wife - turns up on January's doorstep in the summer of 1838 claiming he has discovered a clue to the whereabouts of the family's lost treasure, January has no hesitation about refusing to help look for it. For the treasure lies in Haiti, the island that was once France's most profitable colony - until the blood-chilling repression practiced there by the whites upon their slaves triggered a savage rebellion. The world's only Black Republic still looks with murderous mistrust upon any strangers who might set foot there, and January is in no hurry to go.

But when Vitrack is murdered, and attempts are made on January's wife and himself, he understands that he has no choice. He must seek the treasure himself, to draw the unknown killers into the open, a bloody trail that leads first to Cuba, then to Haiti, and finally to the secret that lies buried with the accursed gold.


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

Set in the summer of 1838, Hambly's scalding 13th Benjamin January novel (after 2013's Good Man Friday) takes the freed slave and Paris-trained surgeon to Cuba and Haiti, along with his beloved wife, Rose, and his white fiddler friend, Hannibal Sefton. The trip is prompted by Rose's white half-brother, Jefferson Vitrack, who appears at their New Orleans home with a mysterious tale of buried family treasure. At first, January refuses to consider pursuing the treasure, which could fund the return of thousands of slaves to Africa. But after Vitrack is murdered and Rose is attacked, January realizes that he must unravel the secret behind his brother-in-law's story. Members of January's extended family were employed by the Caribbean sugar industry, which worked thousands of malnourished black slaves to death in an average of three years each. Hambly reveals the horrors of this grim chapter of history through understated glimpses into the mind of her hero, whose silent comment on the ferocious slave uprising that established Haiti as a black republic in 1804 sums up his attitude toward the white oppressors: "They had it coming." Agent: Frances Collin, Frances Collin Literary Agency. (Dec.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Kirkus Review

A former slave must return to Haiti to uncover a dark secret. Paris-trained physician Benjamin January is now a free man of color working as a musician in 1838 New Orleans to support his wife and young son. The arrival of wife Rose's white half brother, Jeoff Vitrac, should be a joyous occasion, but the visit brings nothing but trouble. Descendants of an aristocratic French family, the de Gericaults, Rose, Jeoff, and Aramis have heard tales of a family treasure hidden at the former family estate in Haiti. Jeoff asks Ben to help find the treasure, but Ben refuses, knowing he'd probably face a death sentence if he returned to the Black Republic of Haiti, where the slaves rose up against their oppressors, killing almost all the white plantation owners before turning to fight among themselves for control. Soon after unknown people start watching their house, Jeoff is murdered and Rose stabbed in the street. They leave the baby with Ben's sister and flee to Aramis' Grand Isle plantation, where the attacks continue. As much as he abhors the idea, Ben realizes that they'll never escape persecution until they find out whether the treasure still exists. Ben's friend the white musician Hannibal helps them by pretending Rose is his mistress and Ben his valet as they embark on a trip to Cuba in search of more clues. When Rose is kidnapped, Hannibal and Ben have no choice but to follow her to Haiti, a place where death waits around every corner. Hambly's long-running series (Good Man Friday, 2014, etc.) pulls no punches in describing the brutality of the period, when slaves and women, both possessions under the law, had little recourse for ill-treatment. The mystery is the least of this adventurous tale. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

It's 1838. Benjamin January, the former slave who works as a piano player when he's not solving mysteries, isn't entirely thrilled to learn that his wife's half-brother says he knows where the lost family fortune is located. Why isn't he thrilled? Because the treasure is supposedly located in Haiti, and Benjamin has no desire to head off on such a dangerous wild-goose chase. But, as it turns out, he's not the only one with an interest in the treasure if, in fact, it exists at all. The Benjamin January series combines well-plotted mysteries with rich period atmosphere and beautifully written characters; this one is perhaps more atmospheric than some others in the series, due to its setting and its especially dark dangers (voodoo, which also featured in an earlier novel in the series, being merely one of them). Series fans should particularly enjoy this one.--Pitt, David Copyright 2014 Booklist


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