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City of Silver

3.5 of 5 stars 3.50  ·  rating details  ·  112 ratings  ·  34 reviews
It's 1650, and the Peruvian city of Potosi is under investigation from the King of Spain for producing counterfeit silver coins. Meanwhile, the Grand Inquisitor of New Spain is also investigating, this time into the actions of abbess Mother Maria Santa Hilda, who has allowed an apparent suicide, a young woman who died inside the abbey, to be buried in sacred ground. But Mo ...more
Paperback, 301 pages
Published April 16th 2011 by Felony & Mayhem (first published August 4th 2009)
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Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Rating: 2.75* of five

An historical mystery set in seventeenth-century Peru, certainly an unusual choice for an author, was completely irresistible to me the day I stumbled across it in the liberry.

Sadly, I ended the 315-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...murders happened, but seemingly without emotional affect or effect. It's startling to me that the murder of a
Jason Golomb
"Potosi had a Spanish soul: proud, greedy, cruel, and noble. It had beauty. Grandeur. Chaos."

Potosi is the location of Alfieri's terrific historical mystery, "City of Silver". This murder mystery is set in 1650 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.

The story revolves around the discovery of girl found dead in a room of a convent. She's naked, the door is locked, there's no
Good little historical mystery set in Potosi, the focal point of Spain's colony during the 17th century due to it's incredible wealth of silver. The characters are intriguing, period details vivid, and it makes me long to revisit this charming town in Bolivia that I visited so long ago.
It's an emergency. Having read this, I must go to Potosi in Bolivia to see the most perfectly preserved Spanish Baroque city in the world. And what a story:
naughty nuns, the Spanish Inquisition, incest, cross dressing, and a mountain of silver = what else does one need?
Perry Whitford
In the heart of modern-day Bolivia used to stand the 17th century Spanish city of Potsoi, fourteen thousand feet above the equator, built at the base of a mountain containing the worlds largest silver mine. A largely forgotten place now, but in 1650, the year this mystery is set, the "city had dominated the economic life of the planet for nearly a century".
But that domination is under threat. It is discovered that the currency is being systematically debased, so the king sends a representative
City of Silver by Annamaria Alfieri really was a fast moving, intensely drawing book. It's set in 17th century Peru and definitely a mystery. Very quickly two murders happened and one in particular badly needed solving for reasons of political comfort. First came an Inca miner doing some under-the-table work for some unidentified someone, then the daughter of a wealthy family which opened other questions making people quite uncomfortable. The setting is an era of strict rules, which at least pu ...more
Inez de la Morada is the daughter of Francisco Morada, the Mayor of Potosi. Potosi is a city of many riches. Inez has found the man she wants to marry. Her father disapproves of her choice. Inez seeks shelter at the convent, Santa Isabella de los Santos Milagros. Mother Abbess Maria Santa Hilda takes a liking to Inez and watches over her. When Mother Abbess Maria goes to check up on Inez, she finds the young woman dead. Inez’s death does not go unnoticed, especially when her father is the Mayor. ...more
Took a while to get into this book but once I sorted out the characters and the plot the story was additive.
David Swatling
Richly detailed historical thriller with 17th century nuns in Peru. Dark secrets, festive processions, and a colorful cast of characters bring the New World to life - and death!
Set in 1650 Petosi, Peru, the richest city in the Western Hemisphere at the time and the source of most of the silver for the Spanish monarchy, there is plenty of action and intrigue with the Crown, the Church, and the Inquisition all vying for power and the murder of a young girl is at the center of the story.

The unusual setting, the well-researched historical detail, just a touch of romance, and a good, complex plot made this an entertaining and informative read.
Mickey Wyte

I really enjoyed this book. Annamaria Alfieri brings to the written page the sound and feel of 1650 Peru with a literally talent that brings to my mind Isabel Allende. Alfieri shows a vast knowledge of the period yet she does not write in a pedantic manor.
Her characters are well rounded. The story flows with every turn of the page.
I highly recommend City of Silver to those who enjoy well written historical fiction.
Set in Potosi the center of silver mining in the Western Hemisphere in the seventeenth century, this story is rich in historic detail and in intrigue. Told mainly through the voices of a number of women - rich wives of powerful mine owners, nuns, young women hiding in the convent to gain control over their lives, this is intricate web stretched to breaking by the complexities of desire, for money, power, and sex.
It was an interesting setting, the characters weren't boring and the breadth of the characters' stations in the society was broad. It wasn't overly thrilling and it was hard to feel anything for the murder victim because of her character which in turn made it hard to care about the sleuths because they liked her so much. I also think it would be more interesting if I knew less about colonial Peru.
A criminally neglected historical setting (17th century Bolivia) is the main draw for this nice little historical mystery. As I am fascinated by all things Spanish Colonial, I found the setting and its details satisfying. The only jarring note was the last few pages, which read as though they were torn from a romance novel. An odd ending to an otherwise decent historical mystery.
This was a pretty good mystery that kept me guessing until the end. However, the pace was a little slow and I did not like what happened to the cat! Also, I hated the way the women were treated, though I know it's historically accurate. There were a few strong women characters and one who grew stronger throughout the book. Still, I'm very glad I didn't live during those times.
When I started the book I thought it was going to be a chick-lit story even though the title says, "A Mystery." There is a bit of romance but it is a mystery set in the 1600's in South America in a high mountain town with a silver mine that is starting to run dry. It is a intriguing mystery about the church, the Spanish government and the men who control the city.
Tom Buske
This book is a little reminiscent of the excellent "Name of the Rose" but not quite as well written. Still a good murder mystery with some good historical period stuff from 17th Century Peru. If you like a good historical fiction yarn, I think you will enjoy this book.
A compelling read, this book is historical fiction and a mystery, too. 17th century church politics and greedy miners, heroic women and a sympathetic priest, all set in South America. I did expect the Spanish Inquisition, and sure enough, it's there.
Susan McDuffie
This mystery fascinated me; the setting totally unfamiliar and intriguing. I had no idea Potosi even existed, and this lively recreation of a vanished culture and city is well written and an excellent mystery besides. Thoroughly enjoyable!
It's clear the author really wanted the town of Potosí to be a character in itself, but somehow I just wasn't blown away by the story. I did finish it, it's an interesting and unusual time/place, and an ok mystery, but meh.
Jen Reardon
This was an interesting story set in the 1500s in S. America, revolving around the richest city in the world at the time. It was a little confusing to follow at times, but the story was good by the end of the book.
i couldn't finish this one. has a certain strength in setting (potosi, 1600's, miners, mine owners, rich church, murder and secrets), but just too slow and soap-operaish. well written though.
Lourdes Venard
The author does a very good job of portraying Potosi in 1650 -- for those who like historical novels, this will probably be a very good read. But as for the mystery, it was very thin.
Jun 19, 2011 Laura rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Laura by: Postcard mailing
Set in colonial Peru and chock full of period detail and intriguing history. Interesting characters and a complicated mystery combine to make this a satisfying read.
Opened a new venue...A South American historical setting...for me. Potosi, Peru (now Bolivia) is a very interesting city and I had never heard of it before!
Historical mystery which was kinda fun. The fact that I couldn't remember it two weeks later says something -- but is it about me or the book???
Loved the setting and historical times, very interesting look into
the religous life in South America in the 17th century.
Historical mystery set in a Peruvian city of Potosí in 1650s. I enjoyed the female view of the world ruled by men.
Jennifer has some great parts that have me tearing through, but then it slows down, many characters, many plots...
Fantastic for a debut novel. Historical novel mixed with murder mystery.
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Annamaria Alfieri is the pen name used by author Patricia King for her mystery novel City of Silver, set in 1650 in the wealthy Peruvian (now Bolivian) city of Potosi.
More about Annamaria Alfieri...
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