Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Lady of Perdition

Lady of Perdition is the 17th (!!) Benjamin January novel by Barbara Hambly. Due out 7th Jan 2020 from Severn House, it's 256 pages and will be available in hardcover and ebook formats (ebook available now).

These books are superbly well written. The author manages to convey the very real peril of living as a person of color in the southern USA in the 1840s. Despite being a European trained physician and gifted musician, Dr. January is continually at risk of being kidnapped and forced into slavery. In this installment, January, along with his loyal friends Abishag Shaw and Hannibal Sefton venture deep into Texas to try to rescue a young kidnapped girl, a student of his wife's girls' school.

This book works well as a standalone, the mystery (less of a murder mystery and more of a 'how will they get out of this alive') and parallel plots work very well without previous familiarity with the series. I do recommend reading the series, however, for the consistently high quality of the plotting and characterizations as well as the meticulous historical research. The books are full of the casual racist violence which was endemic to that part of the world, and they could have been relentlessly depressing. The author manages to imbue the characters with nobility, grit, purpose, honesty, and even a touch of humor and whimsy (especially Hannibal and Rose, whom I adore).

I love these books and truly look forward to every installment with anticipation.

Five stars for this one, and five stars for the series.

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

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