Die Upon a Kiss
By Barbara Hambly
(Bantam, Mass Market Paperback, 9780553581652, 480pp.)
Publication Date: April 30, 2002
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In February 1835, the cold New Orleans streets are alight with masked Mardi Gras revelers as the American Theater’s impresario, Lorenzo Belaggio, brings a magnificent yet controversial operatic version of Othello to town. But it’s pitch-black in the alley where free man of color Benjamin January hears a slurred whisper, spies the flash of a knife, and is himself wounded as he rescues Belaggio from a vicious attack. Could competition for audiences—or for Belagio’s affections—provoke such violent skulduggery? Or is Shakespeare’s tragic tale, with its spectacle of a black man’s passion for a white beauty, one that some Creole citizen—or American parvenu—would do anything to keep off the stage? The soaring music will lead January into a tangle of love, hate, and greed more treacherous than any onstage drama, as he must discover who is responsible...and who will Die Upon a Kiss.
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.