- A Kitty in the Henhouse
- Chicken Scratches and Other Writing Tips
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- Happenings at the Henhouse
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- Squawk Authors: Latest and Greatest Books
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- Squawk's Favorite Books
- Stranger Than Fiction (Real Life)
- Teresa Reveals the CONFESSIONS OF A TRUE ROMANTIC
- CHRISTINA DODD HAS A TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY
- Christina Dodd Exposes the Glamour of Booktour
- Christina Dodd Treats You to an Extra Excerpt of IN BED WITH THE DUKE!
- GIRLFRIENDS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN Contest!
- Connie Brockway Posts Incriminating New Video
- SPOIL ME! BY CELEBRATING THE GOLDEN SEASON’S PUB DATE, TODAY!
- Teresa Says It Loud and Says It Proud: I WRITE ROMANCE NOVELS!!!
- CHRISTINA DODD SAYS “IT’S CHRISTMAS! DUCK!”
- Teresa Needs Your Help to Choose the SEXIEST MAN DEAD!
I was going to review THE RUINS, until about two-thirds of the way through. I did finish it but, suffice to say, there’s a lot of talk about drinking urine in the book, a lot of gore, a lot of questions and not enough answers. Still, if you like that “ew!” feeling, give it a shot.
Anyway, unable to unabashedly recommend that book I found myself without a back-up plan. So, I dug through my books looking for something I could recommend without hesitation. I found it in Barbara Hambly’s A FREE MAN OF COLOR, her 1833 set historical mystery with the debut appearance of her griffe hero-sleuth, Benjamin January, born into slavery but freed along with his mother and sister when his mother became a Creole gentleman’s mistress.
Upon the death of his beloved wife, Benjamin January returns from Paris, where he was a medical surgeon, to the intricately structured hierarchy and suffocating rules of New Orleans society—both white and black. Ben is not allowed to practice medicine so instead relies on his skill as a musician to make a living.
When the beautiful, manipulative octoroon mistress of a wealthy Creole planter is killed at a Mardi Gras balls where Ben is performing, January decides to look into the murder himself, certain the police will not bother with investigating. His inquiry leads him, and though him us, along a rich and mesmerizing journey. When Ben himself falls under suspicion, it is literally worth his hide to discover the identity of the murderer and that means, too, discovering the motive. The language Hambly uses perfectly reflects a society and age that is glittering, exotic, and superficial yet hints at the change sweeping in on this society like a tidal wave, with the arrival of the Americans heralding the destruction that will be caused by of the Civil War. A FREE MAN OF COLOR achieves an awful lot within its pages: a fascinating look at New Orleans’ convoluted caste system, a fine mystery, and great character studies where no one, whether slave, freed man, mistress, wife, master, African, French or Spanish planters, is completely innocent.