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Crimson Angel: A Benjamin January Historical Mystery (A Benjamin January Mystery) Hardcover – 28 Aug 2014


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Severn House Publishers Ltd; First World Publication edition (28 Aug. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0727884271
  • ISBN-13: 978-0727884275
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 13.3 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,062,580 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Barbara Hambly's first Star Wars novel was the New York Times bestselling Children of the Jedi. Her other novels range from high fantasies to historical mysteries to vampire tales. She holds both a master's degree in medieval history and a black belt in Shotokan karate. A multiple Nebula Award nominee, she has also been president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. She lives in Los Angeles.

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Review

"Series fans should particularly enjoy this one." Booklist "Hambly's long-running series pulls no punches" Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Barbara Hambly holds a degree in medieval history from the University of California and has written novels in many genres, from mysteries to science fiction and fantasy. Married to science fiction writer George Alec Effinger, she lives in Los Angeles and teaches at a local college.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Anne TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 25 Jan. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
I have read most of Barbara Hambly's series about Benjamin January and although they are all of high quality I feel that this one is exceptionally good. You don't have to have read the others in the series to enjoy this one as it is a self-contained story.

Ben's wife Rose has a dual heritage background and her white family enlist her help when her brother is killed. Ben wants no part in this investigation because it will involve going to Cuba and Haiti which are both places that are dangerous for a black man who is not a slave. In the end he has no choice and he and Rose uncover some very dark dealings among the slave owners which have had an effect from one generation to another.

This book is set in the early nineteenth century and deals very much with the evils of slavery. Ben is never safe - not in his own city of New Orleans and certainly not further afield. The situation means that his musical and medical gifts cannot be used to the maximum and he and Rose live a life of poverty He is often helpless to do what he wants and has to stand back and see real injustice happen in front of his eyes with no way of intervening. The author uses the story to look at the life of those who are oppressed - over and over again she shows that Ben's reaction to events is different from other characters because of his colour and his situation in society. Cleverly, the oppression in marriage and the inequality of men and women is also woven into this story. No reader can help but look at this story in teh light of various forms of discrimination and oppression which still exist in our world.

Don't get the idea that this book is all doom and gloom. It certainly deals with difficult issues and is full of tension but, in the end, this is a suspense novel and the plot predominates.
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By Elle on 20 Feb. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellently written as always, very suspenseful. It's good to have more of Rose for the first time in a few books. My only criticism is that the author returns to some themes/plot devices that have already been used several times earlier in the Benjamin January series.
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By Shieldmaiden on 15 Oct. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
You can't go wrong with Barbara Hambly.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 28 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Life of a freed slave in 1838 New Orleans 9 Mar. 2015
By Waheed Rabbani - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
In 1838 New Orleans, Benjamin January, a freed slave and Paris-trained surgeon, is having to survive as a musician. However, life takes a turn for Benjamin when his wife Rose’s white half-brother, Jeoff, comes calling with an offer to participate in a treasure hunt. He claims to have discovered clues to his family’s heirlooms hidden at their former estate in Haiti; the family had had to flee the island following the slaves’ bloody uprising. Benjamin is reluctant to accept Jeoff’s proposal. However, when Jeoff is mysteriously murdered and Rose is attacked, Benjamin enlists the help of a white fellow musician friend. To resolve matters, they embark on a trip that takes them to Grand Isle, Cuba, and Haiti.

Although the thirteenth novel of Barbra Hambly’s series, this reads like a standalone, for all the necessary backstory is dexterously interwoven. The story’s historical antebellum period is portrayed vividly. The delicate race relations are dramatized like in a screenplay. Benjamin’s skills, not only as a physician but also as a scholar, are amply demonstrated. For instance, when he is washed ashore in Haiti, he appropriately recites Shakespeare: “What country, friends, is this?” Furthermore, the mystery aspects of the plot will keep readers engrossed up to the end.

This review first appeared in the HNR Issue 71 (February 2015)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Greed, Slavery and a Moral 19 Jan. 2015
By wbentrim - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Benjamin and Rose January are back in a new adventure. The evils of slavery and greed are the major themes in this book.

Rose's past intrudes on the life that Rose and Ben are trying to build. Rose's brother brings the Crimson Angel into their life and that leads down a path of death and destruction. The mystery of the evil Dr. Maurir is defined by his similarity as an early rendition of the equally evil Nazi Mengle with a similar penchant for experimentation on live subjects.

Hambly very graphically illustrates the often ignored atrocities that accompanied slavery. She also points out the astounding number of deaths that also accompanied slavery. If nothing else, this book hammers home the dreadful impact of slavery on both the slaves and the destruction of character in the slave owners.

This is a good story with a very impactful depiction of slavery.

I recommend.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Read ALL of the Benjamin January series 13 Dec. 2014
By Chris Christensen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ok, I'm cheating a little. I'm still reading this (but almost done). I think I've read everything Barbara Hambly has written, and will continue to do so. I really like this main character: a large black man who fled from New Orleans to France, became a doctor, but after the death of his wife, returned to the Big Easy. Period roughly 1830's. I also like the other fixtures in Benjamin's world--the worldly rogue, the spittoon missing policeman, the scientific bespeckled wife, and the voodooienne. Start with the first one, though, or you'll miss the background story. This one quickly moves from NO to Cuba, then Haiti. It's packed with characters and, my one quibble, is missing a map that would make more sense of the terrain.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Love the author, love the characters, love the plot 1 Mar. 2015
By Susan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Hambly is someone I buy without reading the flyleaf. She never disappoints. She always educates (in this case, the fascinating history of Haiti). Hambly's true gift is to make you understand what living at a certain time, in a certain place, was like. It can be hard. But her characters are so appealing. Her plots so intricate and airtight. And her research so impeccable. I love her.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Hambly satisfies 13 Mar. 2015
By ceannoying - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Hambly takes us into a silenced history in this tale. She continues to build the characters of January, Rose, Hannibal and all, and she introduces her readers to more information than most have ever had about the Haitian revolution. It's a great read and hopefully will encourage readers to learn more about Haiti and its history; its history as seen from outside the European worldview.
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