A murder at a Brazilian brothel leads to a bizarre competition between a forensic expert and a potential suspect in this enigmatic historical mystery.
Reminiscent of the fiction of Latin American greats Jorge Luis Borges and Julio Cortázar, The Mystery of Rio is a finely wrought novel that will transport readers into a thrilling literary hall of mirrors where they might find themselves reflected at times, and pleasurably lost at others . . .
Rio de Janeiro, 1913. A government official is found murdered at the former home of the Marquesa de Santos, known as the House of Swaps, a sophisticated brothel where secret liaisons are orchestrated and monitored. Under the guise of a medical clinic, the brothel is run by a scientist obsessed with the study of female sexual fantasies. During the criminal investigation, a forensic expert who frequents the House comes face-to-face with a rogue from Cais do Porto who is possibly involved in the murder. The two begin a competition to decide who is the greatest seducer.
Winner of the Brazilian National Libraries’ Machado de Assis Prize for Best Novel
Praise for The Mystery of Rio
“Mussa’s action-packed tale is a true page turner that will leave readers wanting more.” —San Francisco Book Review
“Brace yourself for a jawdropper ending.” —Shelf Awareness