New Amsterdam, 1664. The morning after recently widowed schout (sheriff) Pieter Tonneman, wandering drunkenly outside the local tavern, stumbles over a corpse that mysteriously disappears, Tonneman rescues Racquel Mendoza from a suspicious fire that has destroyed her Jewish family's home; in the smoldering ashes he discovers the errant corpse. Later that day, British warships surround the colony and demand its surrender. What are the connections among these events--and what do they have to do with the disappearance of Racquel's husband eight months before? Not much mystery here--but husband-and-wife team Martin and Annette Meyers (creators, respectively, of the Patrick Hardy and the Smith and Wetzon mysteries) provide doughty historical fare that may score with Ellis Peters fans. A series on the leading couple's descendants is in the works.