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By: Dan Jakel

Madam Josefina's Social House

Pages: 312 Ratings:
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Buenos Aires, 1904. A burgeoning city with a political class dominated by ruthless businessmen, a middle class harbouring disenchanted revolutionaries, and hundreds of thousands of working migrants, amongst whom anarchist ideologies are taking hold.

Commissioner De La Fuente leads the Detective Division of the Police of the Capital. He’s got a strategy to rid the country of radicalized anarchists before their bombs start exploding, and to quell yet another bloody insurrection. He’s also ambitious, willing to do whatever it takes to obtain the exalted position of Chief of Police. He owns Madam Josefina’s Social House, a brothel, taking advantage of the indiscretions of the powerful to gain their support, through blackmail if necessary.

Enter Sofia Montserrat, taking on the job of bookkeeper. She’s an idealistic aristocrat with a secret, writing social critiques for underground newspapers in her spare time. While hiding out from the Spanish authorities she discovers a deadly plot conceived by rogue elements of the police force. She could just let it run its course, but her conscience won’t allow it, and her decisions will have grave repercussions for herself and those she loves.

Madam Josefina’s Social House is a historical thriller, which takes the reader from the sweeping landscapes and enduring poverty of Spain’s rural south to the tenements of metropolitan Buenos Aires. And an inconspicuous brothel, a place of erotic passion and Tango, a place where destinies collide.

Dan Jakel spent 30 years as a police officer with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. He enjoys travelling, which has been broad and varied through the years. This include several evenings exploring the Tango venues of Buenos Aires with his wife, Nathalie, and enjoying the culture of Seville and Madrid. These particular places have informed a number of scenes in the novel, in combination with hours of research ensconced in textbooks, journal articles, archives, videos and photographs. He resides in Ottawa. This is his first novel.

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