Jan 08, 10
Read in January, 2010
This is the first book in a series starring Benjamin January, a free man of color in New Orleans, and is a murder mystery set in 1833 New Orleans depicting all strata of New Orleans "society" and all sorts of plot twists and turns. What I learned most about was the placage system where married white men had octoroon or quadroom mistresses (placees) with their own houses. While an upper-class ball is going on, there is a passageway to the octoroon ball next door with white men going back and forth while the white women try not to notice their men's absences. Ms. Hambly has great descriptions, especially of the swamps.