Wet Grave by Barbara Hambly
(Benjamin January, Book 6)

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 5 Critic Reviews



In such stunning novels of crime and character as Die Upon a Kiss, Sold Down the River, and A Free Man of Color, Benjamin January tracked down killers through the sensuous, atmospheric, dangerously beautiful world of Old New Orleans. Now, in this new novel by bestselling author Barbara Hambly, he follows a trail of murder from illicit back alleys to glittering mansions to a dark place where the oldest and deadliest secrets lie buried . . .

Wet Grave

It’s 1835 and the relentless glare of the late July sun has slowed New Orleans to a standstill. When Hesione LeGros--once a corsair’s jeweled mistress, now a raddled hag--is found slashed to death in a shanty on the fringe of New Orleans’s most lawless quarter, there are few to care. But one of them is Benjamin January, musician and teacher. He well recalls her blazing ebony beauty when she appeared, exquisitely gowned and handy with a stiletto, at a demimonde banquet years ago.

Who would want to kill this woman now--Hessy, they said, would turn a trick for a bottle of rum--had some quarrelsome “customer” decided to do away with her? Or could it be one of the sexual predators who roamed the dark and seedy streets? Or--as Benjamin comes to suspect--was her killer someone she knew, someone whose careful search of her shack suggests a cold-blooded crime? Someone whose boot left a chillingly distinctive print . . .

His inquiries at taverns, markets, and slave dances reveal little about “Hellfire Hessy” since her glory days in Barataria Bay, once the lair of gentlemen pirates. Then the murder is swept from his mind by the delivery of a crate filled with contraband rifles--and yet another telltale boot print left by its claimant. When a murder swiftly follows, Ben and Rose Vitrac, the woman he loves, fear the workings of a serpentine mind and a treacherous plot: one only they can hope to thwart in time.

All too soon they are fugitives of color in the stormy bayous and marshes of slave-stealer country, headed for smugglers’ haunts and sinister plantations, where one false step could be their last toward a...Wet Grave.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Barbara Hambly

See more books from this Author
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 April 29, 2003 by Bantam. 384 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Wet Grave

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

While January’s sister Dominique, pregnant by her about-to-be-married white lover, and his true love Rose, now jobless since her charge Artois was murdered, egg him on—and withstand a hurricane, a plantation fire, and enemies taking fire—January comes to understand what is truth and what are lies...

| Read Full Review of Wet Grave (Benjamin January, ...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

After an excruciatingly slow start, Hambly's sixth novel featuring Benjamin January (after 2001's Die Upon a Kiss) builds to hurricane force as the former slave and Creole surgeon looks into the murder of a drunken whore whom no one seems to care about.

| Read Full Review of Wet Grave (Benjamin January, ...

Book Reporter

"...(T)hey come here seeking their fortunes, but all they find is a wet grave."

Jan 24 2011 | Read Full Review of Wet Grave (Benjamin January, ...

The Best Reviews

In 1835 New Orleans, Olympia Snakebones sends for her brother Benjamin January to come to the poorer side of town because someone killed a free colored lady, Hesione LeGros.

Jun 25 2002 | Read Full Review of Wet Grave (Benjamin January, ...

Red Room

Nobody but January seems to care about the old woman’s death, and he is encouraged by many to abandon the case once it becomes apparent authorities are not willing to become involved.

Aug 01 2010 | Read Full Review of Wet Grave (Benjamin January, ...

Reader Rating for Wet Grave

An aggregated and normalized score based on 28 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review