In February 1835, the cold New Orleans streets are alight with masked Mardi Gras revelers as the American Theater’s impresario, Lorenzo Belaggio, brings a magnificent yet controversial operatic version of Othello to town. But it’s pitch-black in the alley where free man of color Benjamin January hears a slurred whisper, spies the flash of a knife, and is himself wounded as he rescues Belaggio from a vicious attack. Could competition for audiences—or for Belagio’s affections—provoke such violent skulduggery? Or is Shakespeare’s tragic tale, with its spectacle of a black man’s passion for a white beauty, one that some Creole citizen—or American parvenu—would do anything to keep off the stage? The soaring music will lead January into a tangle of love, hate, and greed more treacherous than any onstage drama, as he must discover who is responsible...and who will Die Upon a Kiss.
About the Author
Barbara Hambly is the author of The Emancipator’s Wife, a finalist for the Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction. She is also the author of Fever Season, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and seven acclaimed historical novels.
“A passionate story, steeped in rich and colorful history and vivid detail...Hambly mixes an exquisite blend of intrigue and suspense.”—Mystery Review
“The darkest time in American history comes alive in Hambly's unforgettable series.” —Publishers Weekly