Shirt on His Back (Benjamin January Mysteries)

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9780727880109: Shirt on His Back (Benjamin January Mysteries)
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The new 'Benjamin January' novel from the best-selling author - Abishag Shaw is seeking vengeance for his brother’s murder – and Benjamin January is seeking money after his bank crashes. Far beyond the frontier, in the depths of the Rocky Mountains, both are to be found at the great Rendezvous of the Mountain Men: a month-long orgy of cheap booze, shooting-matches, tall tales and cut-throat trading. But at the rendezvous, the discovery of a corpse opens the door to hints of a greater plot, of madness and wholesale murder . . .

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Benjamin January, free man of color in New Orleans, needs money. All the banks in the country have crashed, and his wife is expecting their child. When Lieutenant Abishag Shaw of the City Guards offers him a job, he jumps at it, despite the fact that it will take him away from home for an extended period. Shaw seeks vengeance for his brother's murder and believes the killer will be at the rendezvous of mountain men in the Rocky Mountains. The annual encampment involves drinking cheap liquor, engaging in shooting matches, and swapping tall tales as well as selling furs and making shady business deals. Amidst it all, the body of a clean-shaven man wearing only a pair of black kid gloves turns up. Abishag and Benjamin uncover a sinister mass murder plot as they investigate. The latest entry in this flamboyant historical series is again full of period detail. Hambly paints a vivid, convincing picture of the life of free blacks before the Civil War. --Booklist, May 1, 2011

A man heads into Indian territory in 1837. When the banking system fails and his work as a New Orleans musician dries up, Benjamin January, a free man of color, leaves his pregnant wife Rose to venture west with Lieutenant Abishag Shaw of the New Orleans City Guards. Shaw will pay him to help find out how his young brother Johnny came to be scalped at Fort Ivy, a fur-trade station some six weeks' distance beyond the frontier. Shaw's other brother, Tom, head man at the fort, discounts the story that Johnny ran afoul of a marauding Blackfoot. He believes that Johnny died because of Boden and Hepplewhite, two men intent on causing trouble at the summer Rendezvous. Tracking them, Shaw, January and his recovering opium addict friend Hannibal (Dead and Buried, 2010, etc.) learn of skirmishes between the Hudson Bay Company and the American Fur Company for beaver pelts; the near-rape of a member of the Omahas; and an old dead man left naked by hands that could have belonged to Omahas, Sioux, Blackfeet, Crows, Delawares, Shoshones or even Manitou Wildman, the raging giant whose boxing skills almost defeated January. Seven white men and many Indians will die before the New Orleans contingent is captured by the Crows and delayed justice is meted out.

An absorbing if appalling look at whiskey debauchery, suspect rifle trading, smallpox devastation, a mass poisoning endeavor, the decimation of the beaver population and grisly confrontations with warring tribes, all of which surround a classic whodunit. --Kirkus Reviews, Jun 1, 2011

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781847513366: Shirt on His Back (Benjamin January Mysteries)

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ISBN 10:  1847513360 ISBN 13:  9781847513366
Publisher: Severn House Trade Paperback, 2012
Softcover

9780727898906: Shirt on His Back (Benjamin January Mysteries)

Severn..., 2012
Hardcover

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