A fast paced mystery set in New Amsterdam, the summer of 1664. Sheriff Pieter Tonneman, still mourning his wife’s death, is coping with unruly Dutch settlers, soldiers, sailors, Indians, African slaves and free Africans, an insular Jewish community of merchants and traders, and now a murder followed by a mysterious fire. Even worse, British warships, cannons ready, sail into the harbor and demand surrender. Across the East River in Breukelen, a British army is poised to attack. Tonneman must persuade his cantankerous Calvinist boss, Director-General Pieter Stuyvesant, that the Dutch citizens are more interested in their beer and their businesses than in a fight with the British.
And then there is the beautiful Jewish woman Racqel Mendoza and the strange disappearance of her husband, which the Jewish community has kept to itself until now. The Dutchman is the first in a series of meticulously researched historical mysteries that trace the adventures Tonneman’s descendants through the history of New York.