Dead Water by Barbara Hambly
(Benjamin January)

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Nineteenth-century New Orleans is a blazing hotbed of scorching politics and personal vendettas. And it's into this fire that Benjamin January falls when he is hired to follow Oliver Weems, a bank official who has absconded with $100,000 in gold and securities. But it's more than just a job for January. The missing money is vital to the survival of the school for freed slaves that he and his wife Rose have founded.

Following the suspected embezzler--and the money--onto the steamboat Silver Moon, January, Rose, and their friend Hannibal Sefton are sworn to secrecy about the crime until they can find the trunks containing the stolen loot. And then the unexpected happens: Weems is found murdered and suddenly the job of finding the pirated stash grows not only more difficult--but more deadly. There is no shortage of suspects--from the sinister slave-dealer to the bullying steamship pilot to the suspiciously innocent "lady" with connections to every river pirate in the riotous port of Natchez-Under-the-Hill--who all seem to have something to hide.

Now, with time running out, January seeks clues wherever he can find them--and allies among whoever can help. Working in tandem with a young planter named Jefferson Davies, he must uncover the dark web of corruption, betrayal, and greed that has already cost one man his life...and, if he can't catch a brutal, remorseless killer, will soon cost January and his friends theirs.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Barbara Hambly

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Barbara Hambly is the author of Patriot Hearts and 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 the acclaimed historical Benjamin January series, including the novels A Free Man of Color and Sold Down the River. She lives in California.
Published August 3, 2004 by Bantam. 416 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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The undertaker’s half-brother will be accused of siphoning off bank funds from a Burial Society and January will have to outrun overseers, slave traders and men determined to obfuscate family origins before matters settle down.

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Publishers Weekly

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Sorrow, grief, and pain pervade Hambly's outstanding ninth Benjamin January mystery (after 2004's Dead Water ), set in New Orleans during the summer of 1836.

Mar 29 2010 | Read Full Review of Dead Water (Benjamin January)

Publishers Weekly

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But when the president of the bank where all the Januarys' money has been deposited comes to them and confides that a bank employee has cleaned out the coffers, the pair have only one choice: follow the thief and recover the money before a substantial payment is due on their mortgage.

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