Wet Grave (Benjamin January, Book 6)

By Barbara Hambly

In such beautiful novels of crime and personality as Die Upon a Kiss, bought Down the River, and A unfastened guy of Color, Benjamin January tracked down killers in the course of the sensuous, atmospheric, dangerously attractive international of previous New Orleans. Now, during this new novel through bestselling writer Barbara Hambly, he follows a path of homicide from illicit again alleys to glittering mansions to a depressing position the place the oldest and deadliest secrets and techniques lie buried . . .

Wet Grave

It’s 1835 and the relentless glare of the past due July solar has slowed New Orleans to a standstill. whilst Hesione LeGros--once a corsair’s jeweled mistress, now a raddled hag--is stumbled on slashed to loss of life in a shanty at the edge of New Orleans’s such a lot lawless area, there are few to care. yet one in every of them is Benjamin January, musician and instructor. He good recollects her blazing ebony good looks whilst she seemed, exquisitely gowned and convenient with a stiletto, at a demimonde ceremonial dinner years in the past.

Who would wish to kill this girl now--Hessy, they acknowledged, may flip a trick for a bottle of rum--had a few quarrelsome “customer” determined to dispose of her? Or may possibly or not it's one of many sexual predators who roamed the darkish and seedy streets? Or--as Benjamin involves suspect--was her killer a person she knew, an individual whose cautious seek of her shack indicates a cold-blooded crime? a person whose boot left a chillingly specific print . . .

His inquiries at taverns, markets, and slave dances display little approximately “Hellfire Hessy” considering her glory days in Barataria Bay, as soon as the lair of gents pirates. Then the homicide is swept from his brain via the supply of a crate jam-packed with contraband rifles--and yet one more telltale boot print left by means of its claimant. while a homicide speedily follows, Ben and Rose Vitrac, the girl he loves, worry the workings of a serpentine brain and a treacherous plot: one in basic terms they could wish to thwart in time.

All too quickly they're fugitives of colour within the stormy bayous and marshes of slave-stealer state, headed for smugglers’ haunts and sinister plantations, the place one fake step can be their final towards a...Wet Grave.

From the Hardcover edition.

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January picked his manner round the jumble of outdated chairs and dismantled carriage-traces to the jungly insurrection of the courtyard, the place Rose, Artois, Uncle Veryl, and James have been collected in entrance of the open French doorways of the laundry-room-cum-laboratory. A wood crate categorized RENNIE AND SONS—EDINBURGH rested at the courtyard bricks, and nice amounts of packing-straw lay strewn approximately. area have been made at the laboratory worktable for a stack of china plates, wealthy cobalt blue rimmed with gold and blurred with straw-dust.

Strolling again to Chouteau with overflowing buckets of crabs among them, Rose remarked, “Shall we ship each one of these as much as the large residence? Alice tells me my brother's no longer good this day. He used to face up greater opposed to summer season warmth than he does now. The ague wears him down. ” She referred to her half-brother casually, as Artois used to talk of Chloë St. Chinian. “It isn't really a fit weather for white males. ” January brushed on the mosquitoes that had already all started to whine within the gradual twilight one of the oleanders.

And Scene , Act One will be Dominique, seriously pregnant, poling a pirogue via a swamp someplace attempting to make it to Bois d'Argent herself. He wanted he had the playbill, which might have written on it someplace even if it'd be a tragedy or a farce. He stated, “I'll move. ” Dominique's face blossomed immediately with pleasure; he held up his hand. “You remain here—I'll be again good ahead of your child comes, yet i feel it might be tempting destiny so you might try and make it again to city. okay? ” “Darling .

Darling, who can make up a narrative like that? ” January smiled, hearing them, listening to his sister chuckle for the 1st time in weeks. thankful that the day of the marriage, which he knew Dominique have been dreading, have been grew to become, by way of corporation, into an party of laughter and occasional. Had Dominique watched the marriage procession, too, coming alongside the shell highway that used to be noticeable from the gallery the place they now sat? Henri Viellard, huge, immense in a grey satin coat and knee-breeches, blinking myopically via his spectacles and never his bride.

The few steamboats on the wharves lay useless, like stranded whales. the single animation used to be that of a guy within the shares earlier than the Cabildo: he wept with frustration and soreness as he attempted to jerk his head clear of a chronic horsefly as massive as January's thumb. The blue shadows of the prison's stone arcade held warmth, now not coolness, as January crossed via them to the open double doorways. Voices echoed within the flagstoned watchroom inside of, the place the town Guards had their headquarters. A knot of well-dressed gents clustered round the table of the fellow January had come to determine.

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