Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Cold Bayou

Cold Bayou is the 16th Benjamin January mystery from author Barbara Hambly. Released 31st May 2018 by Severn House, it's 256 pages and available in hardcover, paperback, and ebook formats.

I've been with this series from the beginning and can't think of many other series in any genre which have maintained strength and, frankly, still have remarkably astute things to say after more than a dozen books.  This series hasn't ever disappointed. The characterizations are astute and the dignity, intelligence, and humor of Dr. January are inspiring and (to me, a middle class white woman who is also a medical professional) humbling. I really like these characters and feel invested in them.

Ms. Hambly is a gifted and prolific author with several series in several genres. All of her books which I've read are well plotted and written and Cold Bayou is no exception. It seems to be meticulously and accurately researched and the portrayals of the brutality and casual cruelty and racism are stark.

I was previously unaware of the legal intricacies involved in consolidation and control in farming in the south during that period.  There is graphic violence and sexual violence in the book. The language is mild (hell, damn, and such). This is a dark and melancholy book, but so well written and the denouement resonated with me for a long while after turning the last page.

I sincerely hope that the author has many more stories for us.

Five stars.
Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes

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