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Graveyard Dust (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 6. Juli 1999

4.5 von 5 Sternen 10 Kundenrezensionen

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Benjamin January's life is such a mixture of exotic elements and influences that Barbara Hambly's historical mysteries about him often seem to be in danger of exploding. There's his very black skin in a society that equates lightness to class; his shaky status as a free man in 1830s slave-owning New Orleans; the music that he loves but now has to play at parties to make a living because he can't practice as a doctor in America. Graveyard Dust, the third in Hambly's fine series, adds the murky religion of voodoo to the mixture. Ben's older sister, Olympe, practices that ancient art and winds up being charged with murder by a frightened and suspicious police force. Then there's the yellow fever epidemic that has broken out, threatening not only public health but the financial future of several powerful citizens.

What keeps the book on track across all this colorful terrain is Hambly's uncanny ability to constantly show us the connections to our own place and time. January is always recognizable as our representative of strength and morality, even if he seems at times to be carrying unbearable burdens. Few mysteries have as much humanity and history in their list of ingredients. --Dick Adler


"Hambly continues to dramatize problems of race and class through her trademark exotic settings and situations--including the most florid courtroom fireworks you've ever seen."
--Kirkus Reviews

"[E]motional authenticity, varied cast and rich historical trappings give the novel power and depth."
--Publishers Weekly

Praise for the other Benjamin January novels by Barbara Hambly:

A Free Man of Color:

"Magically rich and poignant...In scene after scene researched in impressive depth and presented in the cool, clear colors of photography, Hambly creates an exotic but recognizable environment for January's search for justice."
--Chicago Tribune

"A darned good murder mystery."
--USA Today

"A most sparkling gem...Readers are transported back to a distinctive time and place and introduced to a most unusual protagonist....New Orleans vividly comes alive....January is a fascinating hero."
--King Features Syndicate

"An astonishing tour de force...This tense and absorbing drama is full of clever twists, chilling dangers, and unexpected acts of redeeming grace."
--Margaret Maron

Fever Season:

"A notable writer of mystery fiction...This one grips the reader from start to finish."
--The Washington Times

"From the highborn Creoles in their river mansions to the uncivilized Americans brawling on the levee, Hambly speaks all their languages, knows all their secrets, and brings them all to life."
--The New York Times Book Review

"A haunting story of injustice...An eye-opening look into a little-known period in U.S. history."
--MLB News

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4.5 von 5 Sternen
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Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Von "A Free Man of Color" war ich sehr angetan, doch "Fever Season" war zäh wie Kaugummi. Nach langem Zögern hab ich mich an "Graveyard Dust" gewagt und war hocherfreut, dass Hambly hier an den ersten Benjamin-January-Band anschließen kann. Januarys Leben als freier Farbiger und sein Umfeld in New Orleans sind mitreißend dargestellt, die Figuren gut herausgearbeitet. Die Handlung hingegen fand ich teilweise überkompliziert und nicht ganz nachvollziehbar, und was manchmal genervt hat, waren die gelehrten griechischen und lateinischen Besserwissereien von Benjamin und Hannibal. Auch war mir die detaillierte und oft wiederholte Voodoo-Lehre zuviel - da wäre weniger mehr gewesen.

Fazit: Schön, dass die Benjamin-January-Reihe an ihren vielversprechenden Start doch noch anknüpfen kann, aber weniger Komplexität hätte dem Roman gutgetan, daher nur 4 Sterne.
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Graveyard Dust is the third of a series which this accomplished author has written about New Orleans in the 1830's. She is a fine writer who deserves much wider recognition and publicity. Her research is obviously thorough and her ability to capture character, place, time and story are outstanding. I have been reading her science and historical fiction since the eighties and I must say that I have never been disappointed.
Even though this book is the third in the series, the way Ms. Hambly develops the characters and the exposition is complete, fresh and never boring. You could certainly start with this book and then go back to read the others.
If I had to find one flaw (the reason for the 4 stars instead of 5), I would say that the pace of the book is slower than my NY tastes. However, it is a perfect mirror of the South as far as I can tell -- and it held my interest the entire way.
Since I am white, I would like to add that I was encouraged to read reviews here by African Americans who liked this book. I felt it was sensitive and accurate and their endorsement confirmed that for me.
The best thing I can say is that I am always looking out for new work by Barbara Hambly -- she is a reader's delight.
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Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Being a fan of both mystery and history (as well as the science fiction genre), I have been reading the Benjamin January series from the very beginning - and enjoyed the historical atmosphere (and research...) as well as the charactors, personal dilema and odd mysteries that January has had to deal with. It has also been a pleasure to see the charactors develop more personality over last two books, as the author becomes more comfortable with the era and city she is bringing us into. January and his friends, family, and colleages (as well as his antagonists, historical and otherwise) seem to become more a part of New Orleans in the 1830's, and sometimes (especially in this latest)I can almost feel that if I were to go there and check the records of that time, I would find references to the Levesque house and the Corbier upholstry business alongside the records of Judge Canonge, Bras-Croupe (Cut-Arm), Marie Laveau and the other actual historical figures Ms. Hambly uses. Besides that, she always spins a good yarn, a little rough occasionally, but always human and enjoyable. And at least in this story, as we watch him recovering from the events in Fever Season, we see that poor Ben finally gets a *little* time to himself and his friends between dodging assassins and yellow fever while he helps to do the footwork the police can't due to "the custom of the country" and social restrictions. A pleasure to see, and makes him (and them) far more real.
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Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
In 1834 New Orleans, just prior to his death, Isaak Jumon apparently accuses his spouse Celie of poisoning him. At least that is the conclusion of the local law enforcement officials. Besides arresting Celie, the police apprehend Benjamin January's sister Olympe as an accomplice for selling the poison.
Benjamin, a free man of color, knows his sibling would never do such an act, though she practices good voodoo. He also realizes that his sister has no chance of a fair trial by her peers because New Orleans is a city deeply divided along racial lines. Benjamin begins his own inquiries into the murder of Isaak even after someone tries to warn him off by sprinkling GRAVEYARD DUST in his bed. When it comes to Olympe, nothing will stand in Benjamin's way of trying to free her.
GRAVEYARD DUST, the third novel in Barbara Hambly's superb historical mystery series, is an excellent who-done-it that will bring further accolades to this talented writer. The excellent story line is extremely complex as it meanders to its conclusion. The characters are warm and represent various aspects of early nineteenth century New Orleans. This facet of the novel alone makes GRAVEYARD DUST a winner. The atmosphere of 1834 New Orleans makes this one of the top historical who-done-its of the year.

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
The third in the series following A Free Man of Color and Fever Season, Graveyard Dust continues the story of Benjamin January in 1834 New Orleans. January's sister, a voodoo priestess, is charged with murder in the death of a young man whose body has yet to be found. Purportedly, she provided the gris-gris used by a young wife to kill her husband. Olympe is jailed and seems unwilling to defend herself. Setting out to prove the innocence of both women, January is forewarned that his own life is in danger when he finds graveyard dust in his bed. January's investigation turns up family secrets, greed, and illicit sex. Hambly again invokes the colorful nineteenth-century New Orleans with all its humidity, mud, stench, disease, and vermin, as well as its polite society, racial divisiveness, judicial corruption, Catholicism, and voodoo. Not as engrossing as the first two in the series, Graveyard Dust, nonetheless will please Hambly's legions of fans.
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