Companion to the wealthy shipping merchant Mrs. Garcia, Rosa is checking on a shipment of goods when she finds the her friend Captain Martin stabbed through the heart near the docks of Callao, Peru. One of Mrs. Garcia’s ship captains, Captain Ramon, is suspected of smuggling goods on Garcia’s ship. To catch him, Rosa and her matron devise a daring plan that will call on all of Rosa’s skill and courage, but may also save Garcia’s business and solve the murder of her friend. Two suitors vie for Rosa’s attention, the mysterious Mr. Ochea and the charming Mr. Argote. Both men are running from their past, but one of them will try to steal Rosa’s future.
Click here for information about Peruvian society in the 1830s, the time of Rosa. Independence from Spain had just been obtained and the wealthy citizens were divided between the pale skinned descendants of Europe and the bronze toned descendants of the Inca.
Click here to learn more about Lima, Peru’s capital, and Callao, the seaside town where the murder takes place. A natural port, Callao was prosperous, but also prone to pirate attacks.
Tapadas. or “covered ones”, were upper class mestizas who could move through Lima’s crowded streets anonymously. Covering all but one eye with a black scarf, they were said to have acted as spies during Peru’s independence movement.
At a dinner party, Rosa and the guests are presented with a giant empanada, a traditional meat pastry. Click here for a recipe to make your own personal sized empanada.
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