The Shirt on His Back (Benjamin January #10)
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 ta...more
With her last book I talked about the pleasure of "seeing" old faces; characters that populate the background through most of the series. With Shirt on His Back, we are outside of New Orleans, outside of those comfort zones and among an entirely ne...more
Yep. And I very much enjoyed it, even though it meant that Rose had to stay behind. (It's a bit of a pet peeve with me when characters get married and then for all practical purposes act as though they're still single -- see Miles Vorkosigan -- but in this case I think Hambly was careful to keep Rose a light presence...more
When the Bank of Louisiana fails in 1836, Benjamin January loses his savings and is desperate for work. He accepts a job traveling out west with Lieutenant Shaw, who is planning avenge his brother’s murder. Accompanied by a depressed but sober Hannibal, they arrive at the annual Rocky Mountain Rendezvous for fur trappers and traders, where they try to find the murderer...more
It was especially cool to discover all...more
For the longer revie...more
I agree that the New Orleans setting is more compelling to me as a reader, although this segment of US history is interesting. This story was bursting with characters but I felt like I needed a spreadsheet to keep track of them all...I kept getting jumbled.
Still think this is an amazing series which introduced me to the concept of a "free man of color" in the fascinating person of Benjamin January.
I will ke...more
Still three stars for being totally readable despite its faults (no Rose? Seriously??).
Having said that, as an exploration of native american and settler relations, it's fascinating. Hambly builds a detailed and nuanced view of a camp where warring factions make alliances and friendships while navigating different power dynamics, prejudices and cultural...more
Although this was dif...more
There’s a banking crisis. Too many people lose everything they have invested when the banks fail, and their investments are suddenly worthless. Major banks close. Jobs are hard to come by. People who were doing mostly okay start to think they might lose their homes to foreclosure.
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
But in The Shirt On His Back, the tenth of Barbara Hambly’s Benjamin January historical mysteries, the banking crisis is the Panic of 1837, under the ne...more
I liked this mainly because I've always been fond of January, Shaw, and Hannibal. I've also been starved for a January novel and can't for the life of me get my hands on a copy of #9, so I broke down and read this one out of order.
After all this time, though, I was a little disappointed that the story takes us out of New Orleans, a...more
In the midst of mounta...more
The latest in the Benjamin January series is best summed up as True Grit as narrated by the Crying Indian from the 1970’s environmental commercials with Doktor Frankenstein and monster added in, directed by Quentin Tarantino to raise the stakes to the level of Kill Them All.
It’s also a microscopic examination of Manifest Destiny. It all very well to make sweeping statements about political, cultural, economic and social themes of a general time period, but seeing it up close and personal…. It ma...more
This is one of my go-to series for amazing historical mysteries and they never cease to e...more
I've liked Barbara Hambly's for years and I especially appreciate her keen eye for historical...more
Maybe my expectations were too high because outside of New Orleans, Benjamin seemed to lose his magic. Too wordy, too drawn out. Still, I am excited about the release of the new one in just a few weeks with confidence I will enjoy it.
Ranging from fantasy to historical fiction, Barbara Hambly has a masterful way of spinning a story. Her twisty plots involve memorable characters, lavish descriptions, scads of novel words, and interesting devices. Her work spans the Star Wars universe, antebellum New Orleans, and various fantasy worlds, sometimes linked with our own.
"I always wanted to be a writer but everyone...more