Why did I love this book?
This first book in the Benjamin January mystery series got me hooked for life. Author Barbara Hambly takes us deep into the culture of free people of color in 1830s New Orleans with this well-researched mystery series. A musician by trade and a physician by training, January is well-positioned as an amateur investigator. He sees and hears everything as a musician, but his medical training gives him expertise that white sheriff Abishag Shaw lacks — and is more than happy to draw on. This first book involves a murder at one of the infamous quadroon balls, where January happens to have been playing piano and will draw you in from the very beginning.