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Days of the Dead (Benjamin January #7)

3.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  512 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
The New York Times hails Barbara Hambly’s novels featuring Benjamin January as “masterly,” “ravishing,” and “haunting.” The Chicago Tribune crowns them “dazzling…January is a wonderfully rich and complex character.” Now the bestselling author returns with a story that leads January from the dangerously sensual milieu of New Orleans into a world seething with superstition a ...more
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Published July 1st 2003 by Bantam (first published 2003)
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(showing 1-30 of 882)
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2.5 stars. It was nice to spend time with Benjamin, Rose and Hannibal again, and this novel was as well written as all of Hambly's work, but this isn't one of my favorites in this series. After the events of the previous book I was eager to see how their lives in New Orleans would change, but instead this book takes place in Mexico, where Hannibal has been living with his opera singer.

It's 1835, and we get to meet Santa Anna and hear all about the Texas Revolution. Meanwhile Hannibal has been ac
Sylvia McIvers
I love historical fiction, especially by authors who I trust to take time to do the research. In Days of the Dead, Barbra Hambly takes her hero, Benjamin January, to Mexico. Is the research as thorough as her stories that took place in the deep south? I haven’t read widely enough about Ye Ancient Mexico to know that. However, it is a great read.

Newly rich Benjamin and his wife Rose travel to Mexico to save their friend Hannibal the musician from being hanged for a murder he didn’t do. But in a l
Sep 08, 2011 MonsterAteMy rated it really liked it
This is the seventh Benjamin January mystery, and follows the excellent Wet Grave. This entry follows the adventures of free-man-of-color Benjamin January as he and his new wife, Rose, travel to Mexico in an attempt to rescue their old friend Hannibal, who has been accused of murder. In the course of the book, we learn a lot about Mexico of the 1830's and the cultural clashes within. It's a period rich in drama and the author mines it beautifully to provide a dense backdrop to the smaller story ...more
Jun 25, 2012 Kara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

And now for something completely different.

Benjamin January leaves all the murder and mayhem of New Orleans to head for Mexico City where his friend Hannibal is accused of poisoning a Mexican aristocrat.

It’s an interesting shift of gears for January – there is still danger, yes, and lots of it, with madmen, politicians, bandits, and ill-tempered French cooks lurking around every corner, but January is in the kind of danger that could attack anyone, like an illness, rather than a specific danger
Dec 19, 2012 Doris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book, while extremely well written, didn't have the impact of the other books in the series. I felt it dealt well with Hannibal, who is dying of Tuberculosis (consumption) but the other characters didn't feel as well rounded or as accurate as usual.

A desperate letter from Ben’s friend Hannibal leads to a case in Mexico, with Rose pursued by the Don as her beloved Ben works to find the truth behind the murder of the Don’s son and heir. This story touches on homosexuality, addiction, and the
Ashley W
Aug 20, 2012 Ashley W rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Set in the 1830s in Mexico, Benjamin's friend is accused of a murder he didn't commit, so January and his wife Rose, come to Mexico from New Orleans to save him and find the true murderer before the end of the Days of the Dead.

Usually when I read mysteries, I guess the murderer after about the first page, and then I get bored, but I loved this one. It was thrilling, informative, and the main character, a free black man named Benjamin January, was pretty darn awesome. It was hard to guess "Whodu
Text Addict
Benjamin and Rose January travel to Mexico to (try to) rescue their friend Hannibal Sefton, who's gotten into a jam. First, he was made an unwilling semi-permanent guest at the hacienda of his paramour's father; then, he's accused of murdering his host's son. The evidence appears damning, but it's also absurd to think that Hannibal would kill anyone.

As always, Hambly richly evokes the historical period and landscape. Mexico in the 1830s was, to put it bluntly, an economic and political mess, and
Aug 01, 2014 Mardia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
With these books, the worldbuilding and characters always top the mystery itself, but I thought several aspects of the plot were refreshing and unusual. That being said, I felt like the story could've used some streamlining, but that's not really the point of these books, for better or worse. I enjoyed the glimpse into Benjamin and Hannibal's friendship as well, but I was rather disappointed that we didn't get any reveal about Hannibal's past history.
Jun 05, 2011 Goose rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoy the Benjamin January books by Barbara Hambly and I think Benjamin himself is a well rounded and interesting enought character to support this series. However, Days of the Dead was one of my least favorite of this series. While Hambly writes with her usual attention to historical detail, there are some problems with this book. Ben, his wife Rose, and friend Hannibal seem a little lost out of Louisiana and plopped down in this plot that takes place in Mexico, where many of the chara ...more
Nov 08, 2010 Unwisely rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, 2010, historical
After the last book, I was skeptical this series could go anywhere...but this book was a *very* pleasant surprise. Or, as I texted a friend, "It's set in Mexico and they brought back my favorite character! Squee!!!"

Hannibal is back, and in trouble. Locked room mystery, all evidence points to Hannibal, only Ben can get him out. He brings along Rose, because why not? There's also a mad patrón, excessive religiosity, buckets of family drama, and Santa Anna, presumably because she could. Which made
Aug 06, 2013 Bonnie rated it really liked it
I hadn't read any books from this series for some time and was pleased to see it available on ebook from the library. Unlike previous books in this series, this one was set in and around Mexico City, where January and his wife go to help their friend Hannibal Sefton, who has been accused of murder. The mystery of who actually killed the son of a mad Mexican nobleman is involving and has a rather surprising conclusion, but what I especially liked was the historical Mexican background during the 1 ...more
May 27, 2014 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one's set in Mexico. There were too many characters for me to keep track of, but as always, the writing is beautiful, and always historically accurate. This series needs to ideally be read in order, but this novel stands alone, as well.
Aug 19, 2010 Kim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010booksread
This may be my least favorite of the Benjamin January books so far. But then again, I did enjoy it. It's the first book not set in Louisiana. Instead it's set in Mexico. The setting was interesting, especially having Santa Anna as a character in the time right before he went to Texas to fight. The part of the book that really didn't work for me was the mystery. The author does her best to confuse and obscure the truth, but I saw it all coming way, way before the characters had any inkling. So mo ...more
May 05, 2014 Robin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Mexico this time.
Oct 04, 2013 Bethany rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Generally I absolutely love the Benjamin January mysteries, but unfortunately this one felt more like a chore to read and I found myself reluctant to pick it up and make any progress reading it. I'm not even quite sure why, other than the fact that there are many, many characters to keep track of, along with their back stories and family history, which just made this book confusing. It was interesting to see Ben, Rose, and Hannibal in a new setting and exploring Mexico, but otherwise this one ju ...more
May 24, 2012 Naomi rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition it just me?? This book just did not rock my socks off. I loved the first book by this author and jumped at this one when I determined that it fit into a challenge I am doing, but I didn't warm up to this one as I did the first in the series. I found the book to drag on with characters that were bland..totally unexpected coming from a Mexican setting where I thought the seeting would have it hot, spicy and mysterious. Instead, I found myself rushing through the book to get it finished fo ...more
Jul 26, 2015 Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An entertaining read in which the hero travels to Mexico to investigate a murder that his friend is accused of committing.
Rebecca Huston
Another grand entry in the series, this time with Benjamin and his new bride Rose hurrying off to Mexico to keep Hannibal from hanging for murder. A neat change of venue, but the shift doesn't down grade the book at all. Very much recommended for fans of the series.

To see the longer review, please go here:
Aug 30, 2008 Ann rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I must admit that I never finished this book. I really enjoyed other books in this series. I'm not sure why I couldn't stay with it, but I just had no interest in what happen at all, so I just put it down and picked up another book. I'll probably sell it used if I can. I would give it away, but I really can't recommend it, and I really liked all the other books by this author.
Once again Hambly provides another great opportunity to learn some history! I was abit overwhelmed with all the Mexican names/cast of characters, thus the 3.5 star rating. I did learn alot about our 'south of the border' history in this 7th installment of her 'Benjamin January' series. This is a wonderful series, but I wouldn't consider it an 'easy' read!
John Park
Murder mystery. Colourful and quite clever; interesting setting (Mexico city under Santa Anna on the eve of the Alamo). Maybe too many characters. Some editorial glitches (e.g. in one of the action scenes January enters with a pistol in his hand but the first thing he does is break a man's arm; did he drop the pistol?). Emotionally flat.
Karl K
Jan 19, 2012 Karl K rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Surprising book. Turns out this author was on a list of recommended mystery writers. To my surprise, I found this book in a mystery, mystery book bag from our local friends of library sale.
The story was good. But I found the book a bit tedious. It seemed like a story line that went round and round.
This was just not my type of book. I don't have much background knowledge about Mexico in the 1830's and I felt like it just dragged on and on and I the characters were really bland. I read it for a challenge and it wasn't anything I would have picked on my own. 2 stars.
Feb 07, 2015 Julie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, series
The middle was too slow and sometimes seemed populated with characters who later turned out to be superfluous to the plot. I did like the uniqueness of the main characters and the climax was effective--just had to navigate excessive scenery to get there.
Oct 26, 2014 Bennett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed. Wish I could talk to Mom about it - she had some issues but I didn't see them.
Interesting new author (for me at least). It is a mystery, but her characterizations and descriptions are great! These are both often lacking in a mystery because the main focus is on plot.
I was actually rather bored with this one. I didn't find the new characters compelling at all. I just didn't care much about any of it.
Jul 23, 2010 Valerie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one sticks out in the series, because it had details about Mexico, and Louisiana during that time period. And also, a well plotted murder weapon.
Aug 10, 2010 Joann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love this series. Learned more about hx of Mexico.
Mar 31, 2011 Helen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
slow start, good finish
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aka Barbara Hamilton

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 about Barbara Hambly...

Other Books in the Series

Benjamin January (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • A Free Man of Color (Benjamin January, #1)
  • Fever Season (Benjamin January, #2)
  • Graveyard Dust (Benjamin January, #3)
  • Sold Down the River (Benjamin January, #4)
  • Die Upon a Kiss (Benjamin January, #5)
  • Wet Grave (Benjamin January, #6)
  • Dead Water (Benjamin January, #8)
  • Dead and Buried (Benjamin January, #9)
  • The Shirt on His Back (Benjamin January, #10)
  • Ran Away (Benjamin January, #11)

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