Mexico’s mid-century architecture is on display in NARCO NOIR. Pivotal action takes place in a fictional building called Casa
Emilia stared across a withered lawn to a long gray stucco building that once upon a time was a showpiece of Mexican architecture. Two lines of balconies fronted by waist-high walls ran across the front, bisected by a double height main
entrance with massive wooden doors. Bands of swirling mosaic edged the bottom of the balcony wall while a smaller design encircled the roofline like eyeliner under a fringe of clay roof tiles. The windows above the balcony walls were tall and thin and broken.
Streaks of rust from the steel frames and black curds of mold etched stripes down the stucco. Shards of glass glinted like random canine teeth.
Even more sadly, jagged portions of the tile mosaic were missing, leaving behind knobs of mortar and an undershirt of chipped cement block. The parts still clinging to the building twinkled silver and blue in the morning sun.
“What did you say this place was called?” Silvio kicked at a chunk of rubble near the wide stairs leading to the main entrance. Emilia joined him, stopping to peer at the fountain in the middle of the courtyard. A bronze sailing ship
poised over a stone basin as big as an armchair. There was no water to be seen. The basin was lined with bird droppings and parched scum.
“Casa de Plata,” Emilia said. “It was an apartment building.”
No one came out to challenge them. The paved lot next to the building could easily accommodate 6 or 7 cars. It was empty.
Silvio shaded his eyes and squinted at the crumbling facade. “I’ve seen pictures of this place,” he said. “In school. The decoration tells the story of Spain’s flota de plata. You know, the treasure ships that took Mexico’s
silver to Spain.”
Emilia gazed upwards. Silvio was right. Odds and ends of Spanish galleons sailed around the building on blue waves that dissolved into gray cement. Spain’s treasure ships, created from stone and glass and skill, were no match for years
of neglect and indifference.
Need to catch up before NARCO NOIR? Check out the latest in the Detective Emilia Cruz series:
43 MISSING: Emilia is assigned to a national task force investigating a mass disappearance. Based on Mexico’s most notorious true crime.
Get it on Amazon here >>> http://mybook.to/43-missing-ebook/
RUSSIAN MOJITO: Emilia’s stepfather is kidnapped and a Russian journalist is murdered in boyfriend Kurt Rucker’s hotel. Is there a connection?
Get it on Amazon here >>> http://mybook.to/mojito-mystery/
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