A Free Man of Color
By Barbara Hambly
(Bantam, Mass Market Paperback, 9780553575262, 432pp.)
Publication Date: June 1, 1998
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A lush and haunting novel of a city steeped in decadent pleasures...and of a man, proud and defiant, caught in a web of murder and betrayal.
It is 1833. In the midst of Mardi Gras, Benjamin January, a Creole physician and music teacher, is playing piano at the Salle d'Orleans when the evenings festivities are interrupted--by murder.
Ravishing Angelique Crozat, a notorious octoroon who travels in the city's finest company, has been strangled to death. With the authorities reluctant to become involved, Ben begins his own inquiry, which will take him through the seamy haunts of riverboatmen and into the huts of voodoo-worshipping slaves.
But soon the eyes of suspicion turn toward Ben—for, black as the slave who fathered him, this free man of color is still the perfect scapegoat....
Barbara Hambly is the author of The Emancipator’s Wife, a finalist for the Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction. She is also the author of Fever Season, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and seven acclaimed historical novels.
"A smashing debut. Rich and exciting with both substance and spice."—Star Tribune, Minneapolis
"A sparkling gem."—King Features Syndicate
"An astonishing tour de force."—Margaret Maron
"Superb."—Drood Review of Mystery
"A darned good murder mystery."—USA Today