The House of the Patriarch (Hardcover)
No one can talk to the dead . . . can they? Free man of color Benjamin January gets caught up in a strange, spiritual world that might lead to his own demise, as he hunts for a missing teenager in this gripping, atmospheric historical mystery. New Orleans, 1840. Freshly home from a dangerous journey, that last thing Benjamin January wants to do is leave his wife and young sons again. But when old friends Henri and Chloe Viellard ask for his help tracking down a missing girl in distant New York, he can't say no. Three weeks ago, seventeen-year-old Eve Russell boarded a steam-boat - and never got off it. Mrs Russell is adamant Eve's been kidnapped, but how could someone remove a teenager from a crowded deck in broad daylight? And why would anyone target Eve? The answer lies in New York, a hotbed of new religions and beliefs, of human circuses and freak shows . . . and of blackbirders, who'll use any opportunity to kidnap a free man of color and sell him into slavery. January's determined to uncover the truth, but will he ever be able to return to New Orleans to share it?
Barbara Hambly, though a native of Southern California, lived in New Orleans for many years while married to the late science fiction writer George Alec Effinger. Hambly holds a degree in medieval history from the University of California and has written novels in numerous genres.