Dead Water

Dead Water

Book - 2004
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Nineteenth-century New Orleans is a blazing hotbed of scorching politics and personal vendettas. And it's into this fire that Benjamin January falls when he is hired to follow Oliver Weems, a bank official who has absconded with $100,000 in gold and securities. But it's more than just a job for January. The missing money is vital to the survival of the school for freed slaves that he and his wife Rose have founded. Following the suspected embezzler--and the money--onto the steamboat Silver Moon, January, Rose, and their friend Hannibal Sefton are sworn to secrecy about the crime until they can find the trunks containing the stolen loot. And then the unexpected happens: Weems is found murdered and suddenly the job of finding the pirated stash grows not only more difficult--but more deadly. There is no shortage of suspects--from the sinister slave-dealer to the bullying steamship pilot to the suspiciously innocent "lady" with connections to every river pirate in the riotous port of Natchez-Under-the-Hill--who all seem to have something to hide. Now, with time running out, January seeks clues wherever he can find them--and allies among whoever can help. Working in tandem with a young planter named Jefferson Davies, he must uncover the dark web of corruption, betrayal, and greed that has already cost one man his life...and, if he can't catch a brutal, remorseless killer, will soon cost January and his friends theirs.
Publisher: New York : Bantam Books, 2004
ISBN: 9780553109641
Branch Call Number: MYSTERY HAMBLY
Characteristics: 297 p. ; 24 cm


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Aug 17, 2014

January's mood is desperate when his bank fails in hard times. The white banker hires him to follow Oliver Weems, a bank official who's absconded with $100K in gold and securities--some of which is January's money. Weems is headed north on the steamboat Silver Moon with trunks of the money. Rose and Hannibal go along. Complicating things are two coffles of slaves. Soon Weems is murdered, with too many suspects. This one had too many characters, not including the familiar ones from New Orleans. I found this confusing. The ending was a surprise, though I'd figured out a bit of it, just not how it contributed to the solution. It lost a star for me because of the setting.


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