Death and Hard Cider (Benjamin January Historical Mystery #19)
Musician, sleuth and free man of color Benjamin January gets mixed in politics, with murderous results.
"The historical backdrop is vivid, and the writing is exquisite. One of the best in a not-to-be-missed series" - Booklist Starred Review
September, 1840. A giant rally is being planned in New Orleans to stir up support for presidential candidate William Henry Harrison: the Indian-killing, hard-cider-drinking, wannabe "people's president". Trained surgeon turned piano-player Benjamin January has little use for politicians. But the run-up to the rally is packed with balls and dinner parties, and the meagre pay is sorely needed.
Soon, however, January has more to worry about than keeping his beloved family fed and safe. During an elegant reception thrown by New Orleans' local Whig notables, the son of a prominent politician gets into a fist-fight with a rival over beautiful young flirt Marie-Joyeuse Maginot - and, the day after the rally is over, Marie-Joyeuse turns up dead. The only black person amongst the initial suspects is arrested immediately: January's dear friend, Catherine Clisson.
With Catherine's life on the line, January is determined to uncover the truth and prove her innocence. But his adversaries are powerful politicians, and the clock is ticking . . .