Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza was born in the Copacabana neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in January, 1936. He grew up at a time when Copacabana had no tall buildings and was mostly single houses. He witnessed his neighborhood make the immense change from a small, beachside community to a skyscraper-filled, world-famous resort, and he later made it the setting for his mystery novels. As the city changed around him, Garcia-Roza developed from a young and relatively innocent youth into a sophisticated scientist, Freudian psychoanalyst, and professor.
Garcia-Roza dedicated himself to the academic life at Brazil’s Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. He spent thirty-five years teaching philosophy and psychology, directing the preparation of undergraduate and postgraduate theses, and overseeing the postgraduate program of psychoanalytical theory. During his tenure there, Garcia-Roza wrote numerous nonfictional works that dealt primarily with psychological behaviorism. These works expand on Freudian theories of unconsciousness, interpretation of dreams, and metapsychology (the underlying causes of noncognizant behavior). Later, this profound knowledge of human behavior would be evident in the philosophical and analytical musings of Inspector Espinosa, Garcia-Roza’s main character in his mystery novels.
Although Garcia-Roza maintained a busy academic schedule, he still found time to read mystery novels. Among the works he read were those of his favorite authors, Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, and Arthur Conan Doyle, who would later influence his own mystery fiction. The specific style of writing Garcia-Roza employs in the Inspector Espinosa series is unique, but the author does credit the great masters of mystery with providing examples of literary excellence that inspired him to develop his own distinctive works.
Garcia-Roza’s first mystery novel, O silêncio da chuva (The Silence of the Rain, 2002), was published in 1997. It became an immediate best seller in Brazil. The work received the Nestlé Prize for Literature in 1997 (one of the highest literary awards available in Latin America) and the Jabuti Award for Latin American Literature. Shortly afterward, Garcia-Roza decided to leave his distinguished position at his university and to embrace mystery-fiction writing as his full-time career. The Espinosa series has been translated into English, Spanish, French, Greek, and other languages.