The Coffee Trader by David Liss
A Novel

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The Edgar Award–winning novel A Conspiracy of Paper was one of the most acclaimed debuts of 2000. In his richly suspenseful second novel, author David Liss once again travels back in time to a crucial moment in cultural and financial history. His destination: Amsterdam, 1659—a mysterious world of trade populated by schemers and rogues, where deception rules the day.

On the world’s first commodities exchange, fortunes are won and lost in an instant. Miguel Lienzo, a sharp-witted trader in the city’s close-knit community of Portuguese Jews, knows this only too well. Once among the city’s most envied merchants, Miguel has lost everything in a sudden shift in the sugar markets. Now, impoverished and humiliated, living on the charity of his petty younger brother, Miguel must find a way to restore his wealth and reputation.

Miguel enters into a partnership with a seduc-tive Dutchwoman who offers him one last chance at success—a daring plot to corner the market of an astonishing new commodity called “coffee.” To succeed, Miguel must risk everything he values and test the limits of his commercial guile, facing not only the chaos of the markets and the greed of his competitors, but also a powerful enemy who will stop at nothing to see him ruined. Miguel will learn that among Amsterdam’s ruthless businessmen, betrayal lurks everywhere, and even friends hide secret agendas.

With humor, imagination, and mystery, David Liss depicts a world of subterfuge, danger, and repressed longing, where religious and cultural traditions clash with the demands of a new and exciting way of doing business. Readers of historical suspense and lovers of coffee (even decaf) will be up all night with this beguiling novel.

From the Hardcover edition.

About David Liss

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David Liss is the author of The Devil's Company, The Whiskey Rebels, The Ethical Assassin, A Spectacle of Corruption, The Coffee Trader, and A Conspiracy of Paper, winner of the Edgar Award for Best First Novel. He lives in San Antonio with his wife and children.From the Hardcover edition.
Published March 4, 2003 by Random House. 432 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Coffee Trader

Kirkus Reviews

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and Alonzo Alferonda, a wily moneylender whose interpolated “Factual and Revealing Memoirs” offer an indeed revealing outside perspective on Miguel’s experiences.

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Publishers Weekly

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Soon Miguel is caught in a web of intricate deals, while simultaneously fending off a madman desperate for money, and an enemy who uses the Ma'amad to make Miguel an outcast.

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BC Books

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So when Geertruid Damhoulder, an attractive and enterprising widow, somewhat suspiciously and inexplicitly seeks him out for a partnership and plans to monopolize the market in coffee beans — an untested and unfamiliar product to most Europeans — Miguel thinks he sees a way to ascend, and not nec...

Jan 01 2006 | Read Full Review of The Coffee Trader: A Novel

Book Reporter

If Starbucks Coffee was smart, they'd start selling David Liss's new novel THE COFFEE TRADER right alongside all their other caffeinated laced beverages.

Jan 21 2011 | Read Full Review of The Coffee Trader: A Novel

Reviewing the Evidence

THE COFFEE TRADER is the story of a Portuguese Jew, Miguel Lienzo, who lives in the 17th century immigrant Jewish community of Amsterdam.

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Review (Barnes & Noble)

From café au lait and homemade cappuccino to macchiatos and old-fashioned coffee sodas, Rosbottom, who also authored Waffles and Sunday Soup, shares her insight into the bean and its myriad flavorings.

May 24 2010 | Read Full Review of The Coffee Trader: A Novel

Curious Book Fans

Miguel Lienza tries to fix the markets by selling things he doesn’t actually own and even obtains credit for his schemes secretly in his brother’s name, but those who would put an end to any chances of him being successful are so much more odious and underhand that you would forgive Miguel almost...

Jul 22 2011 | Read Full Review of The Coffee Trader: A Novel

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