My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book was, again, a bit of a departure from previous novels. This time, we get to see a little more of Benjamin January’s life in Paris, with his first wife (Ayasha). The backdrop is the so-called Sultan’s Palace murders, which author Barbara Hambly uses as a way to let us into the world of Muslims during the Jacksonian era.
This time, we have an eyewitness claiming that Huseyin Pasha dropped two of the women from his harim out of an open second-story window in the French Quarter — and Benjamin January doesn’t believe the tale, because Huseyin Pasha saved Ayasha while they all lived in Paris.
So, as always, January, his friend Hannibal Sefton, January’s second wife (Rose), and City Guard Lieutenant Abishag Shaw are on the case trying to find out what really happened.
I thoroughly enjoyed all of the plot twists, the most crucial of which I really did not see coming at all, and the appearances of historical personages such as Marie Laveau and Bernard Marigny as added color.
I cannot say enough good about this particular series of historical mysteries. While I do find some of them more to my liking than others, overall it’s an exceptional batch of whodunnits.