1808 Rio de Janeiro. The Portuguese Court flees Napoleon to Brazil. For the first and only time in history, a European royal family transfers its capital to an American colony.
Maria Azevedo and her sister, Isabel, have spent years transporting gold through the jungle to Rio’s port. They can dispatch jaguars and smugglers with a crack of a whip, but the Prince Regent’s efforts to civilize the city have them looking over their shoulders. More soldiers. New laws. Full stocks.
Then the sisters’ childhood friend is wrongly imprisoned for murder.
Maria knows the only hope a Brazilian has for justice in the Court’s Rio is if someone drops the real murderer on the palace steps. The sisters recruit Victoria Cruz, a Portuguese refugee in service to Mad Queen Maria, and together they begin hunting a murderer through a city teeming with corruption.
The women soon discover a conspiracy that reaches the heart of the Portuguese court. To save their friend from execution, they’ll have to decide what they’re willing to risk for justice, love and family.