Catherine Siemann's Reviews > Die Upon a Kiss

Die Upon a Kiss by Barbara Hambly
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's review
Jan 25, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: neovictorians-and-steampunk
Read from January 23 to 27, 2012

I'm probably not doing myself or this series any favors by reading it out of order, as I come upon copies, but on the other hand, I seem to have enjoyed this one more than many of the other reviewers. I think I enjoyed it more as a novel than as a mystery, if that makes sense -- I was much more engaged with the characters and situation than with whodunnit. Hambly's picture of early nineteenth century New Orleans is vivid and well-researched, her hero Benjamin January, a free man of color who trained in medicine in Paris and is also a professional musician, might be almost too perfect, but he is a character I find myself wanting to read more about. The complexities of New Orleans' society at the time -- Creoles and Americans, free people of color and slaves, etc etc etc -- plays a major factor, and Hambly does an excellent job of recreating that world. This particular story, having to do with two competing opera companies, kept me interested throughout.

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