cover image Ran Away: 
A Benjamin January Novel

Ran Away: A Benjamin January Novel

Barbara Hambly. Severn, $28.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8082-6

At the outset of Hambly’s stellar 11th whodunit set in antebellum New Orleans (after 2011’s The Shirt on His Back), a witness declares he saw a wealthy “infidel” Turk hurl two dead concubines from his attic window, but free black Benjamin January knew that Turk, Hüseyin Pasha, 10 years earlier in Paris, where January lived with his adored first wife, Ayasha, for a compassionate human being incapable of such a murder. In financially strapped New Orleans of 1837, unscrupulous Americans who prevent their slaves from learning to read and hypocritical religious charlatans prey on the defenseless, while January risks his own life and his family’s in defending the Turk and his household and providing a station for escaping slaves on the underground railway. Hambly matches her moving portrayals of society’s underdogs with thrilling escapes, bittersweet insights into love and loss, and vignettes of New Orleans’ voodoo priestesses. Agent: Frances Collin Literary Agency. (Jan.)