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It looks as though the girl committed suicide, but Mother Abbess Maria Santa Hilda believes her innocent and has her buried at the convent in sacred ground. The King of Spain has discovered that the coins the city has been circulating throughout the world are not pure silver and is sending his top prosecutor and the Grand Inquisitor to mete out punishment. Together they will discover that Inez was not the girl she seemed, and that greed has no limits.
Annamaria Alfieri writes with astounding detail, showing an appreciation for the complexities and social nuances of this intriguing time in Latin American history when politicians, religious leaders, and an indigenous people all competed for power and survival in the thin mountain air of the Andes. Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. More Details Original Title. Potosi Bolivia. Other Editions 4. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about City of Silver , please sign up.
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Start your review of City of Silver: A Mystery. Jun 07, Kavita rated it liked it Shelves: mystery , historical-fiction , religion , bolivia. In the period of Spanish colonisation of the Americas and the terror of the Inquisition, a local Peruvian man is murdered in the mine.
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He holds a secret that could shake the foundations of the City of Silver, Potosi in the Principality of Peru now in Bolivia. His death mostly went by unnoticed, but when a second death takes place in the convent of Santa Isabella de los Santos Milagros of a rich and young noblewoman, the daughter of one of the most powerful men in the city, things begin to unra In the period of Spanish colonisation of the Americas and the terror of the Inquisition, a local Peruvian man is murdered in the mine.
His death mostly went by unnoticed, but when a second death takes place in the convent of Santa Isabella de los Santos Milagros of a rich and young noblewoman, the daughter of one of the most powerful men in the city, things begin to unravel. Who killed Santiago?
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Who killed Inez? And why? Who else is in danger here? This is the mystery part. The book is also pretty well-researched and brings out the utter disregard for the local Peruvians that the Spaniards displayed. But other than killing them in mines and treating them as chattel, does one of the conquistadors have a more sinister plan?
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Or does it only matter if the victims were Spaniards? The terror of the Spanish Inquisition is also vibrantly displayed. The Catholic Church has lost its hold on many countries. Now, faithful and fanatical Catholics are desperate enough to instigate the Inquisition in a bid to keep their faith alive. This means targetting anyone who is not following the rules as they think ought to be followed. When this fanaticism is mixed with greed, racism, and sexism, it forms a pretty potent mixture, just enough to wipe out the progressive Abbess Maria Santa Hilda.
Or is it? Is there really a God who gives justice to women? There are dark secrets everywhere, from the mayor of Potosi to the Peruvian miner, to the young women in the convent, not to mention the Abbess herself as well as Father Junipero. These secrets drive the story and bring forth a conclusion that is slightly unbelievable, even if it is apt. I enjoyed the story very much but the conclusion was rather far-fetched.
I do think Annamaria Alfieri is a good writer though, and I want to check out her other mysteries, especially if they are set in Bolivia. Jan 12, Richard Derus rated it it was ok. Rating: 2. Sadly, I ended the page read wishing I'd resisted. It's not a bad book, really, but it's ponderous. The pacing problem that plagues many an historical mystery was amply demonstrated here It's startling to Rating: 2.
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It's startling to me that the murder of a young woman in a convent could elicit such a small response from me. I was more moved by the death of a miner. Simply couldn't be bothered to learn their names, even I gave them letters in my head, and after "F" gave up entirely Overall not recommended.
Dec 02, Wendy rated it really liked it Shelves: completed-un-challenge , peru. Set in , Potosi Peru. City of Silver: A Mystery beautifully blends a mystery, historic Catholic doctrine, 17th century sexism and racism. As it IS , women are expected to obey their men and do what is what they are told or Else. The Spaniard occupiers treat the Peruvian natives like slaves or worse.
However, that does not mean all of the women or natives are like sheep, on the contrary. Annamaria Alfieri does a excellent job portraying the Catholic Church and all its pageantry as well as the culture a Set in , Potosi Peru. Annamaria Alfieri does a excellent job portraying the Catholic Church and all its pageantry as well as the culture and mind-set of Peru.
It is a well written, interesting historical novel. I will be reading more of her books. Potosi is apparently part of Bolivia now. The book is set in the 17th Century, then Peru. Dec 03, Jason Golomb rated it really liked it Shelves: historical-fiction , south-america , mystery. It had beauty. This murder mystery is set in in the then Peruvian city nestled against a silver-rich mountain that made the city one of the wealthiest places in not only the new world, but the entire world.
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The story revolves around the discovery of girl found dead in a room of a convent. She's naked, the door is locked, "Potosi had a Spanish soul: proud, greedy, cruel, and noble. She's naked, the door is locked, there's no other entrance, and no apparent cause of death. Threaded through this mystery is the arrival of the King's emissary investigating whether the coinage produced at Potosi is being blended with lesser metals.
Not only could this spell financial disaster for the Potosi community, but the church's representative of the Inquisition in New Spain is arriving as well. While things may seem a bit melodramatic, the story pulls together very very well. Alfieri's world is vividly reproduced, and maintains a genuinely New World feel. She absolutely nails the tone and voice of the era. There are shades of Gary Jennings' New World in Alfier's Potosi, and the characters are strongly built, but not as boldly as Jennings' worlds of the Aztec. The characters are strong and familiar.
Padre Junipero and Abbess Maria are both bastions of the religious communities in Potosi, but have deep seated dark secrets that led them to the Church and led them to this city far from their homes in native Spain. The local representative of the church's Inquisition is full of bile and takes irredeemable joy in sending sinners to the auto de fe. Cliched, perhaps, but the character development moves at an appropriate pace and, with only one exception, did I find their back stories conclude less dramatically than foreshadowed.