I’m at a conference for my day job … although this business trip wound up with me being only about an hour up the road from home! Still, I had my usual challenge of not sleeping well the first night in the hotel room, and was up late finishing this book. I really enjoy this series, and hope you check it out.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
There are a good many reasons why I loved this entry in the Benjamin January series. You’re about to find out about some of them.
Benjamin is asked to come along with Henri and Chloe Viellard on a trip to Washington, DC … because Henri wants to bring his mistress, Dominique — a free woman of color who is Benjamin’s sister. Chloe has long been accepting of the relationship … and she needs Henri to come along on the trip because her pen friend has disappeared, and she needs to find him. Women did not travel alone in those days.
So, the Viellards stay in a hotel, and Ben and Dominique stay in a boarding house … where the only white guest is a small, quiet writer from Baltimore named Edgar Poe, who gladly helps with the search for Mr. Singletary, Chloe’s friend.
There’s a sub-plot involving the development of baseball … and one of the best players in town is freed by his master so that he can go play the game. The man is murdered the night before a big game, so now there’s that mystery to solve as well.
One of the things I liked best about this book, besides the well-constructed mysteries and the look at Washington politics during the Jacksonian era, is that we got to see Henri Viellard as more than just the chubby rich guy who keeps Dominique in fine style. His personality comes through, and he exhibits unexpected bravery in some tight situations. It was nice to see a little more character development, and I got a better idea of why Dominique loves him so much.
There are only a few books left in this series, and I’m going to be very sad when I exhaust them.