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David Liss

Author of A Conspiracy of Paper

72+ Works 9,047 Members 430 Reviews 48 Favorited

About the Author

David Liss was born in New Jersey in 1966. He received an B.A. from Syracuse University, an M.A. from Georgia State University, and an M.Phil from Columbia University. His debut novel, A Conspiracy of Paper (2000), won the 2001 Barry, MacAvity, and Edgar awards for Best First Novel. His other works show more include The Coffee Trader (2003), A Spectacle of Corruption (2004), The Ethical Assassin (2006), The Whiskey Rebels (2008), and The Devil's Company (2009). (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: Author David Liss at the 2016 Texas Book Festival. By Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=53297539


Works by David Liss

A Conspiracy of Paper (2000) 2,506 copies
The Coffee Trader (2003) — Author — 1,943 copies
The Whiskey Rebels (2008) 1,225 copies
A Spectacle of Corruption (2004) 928 copies
The Devil's Company (2009) 738 copies
The Twelfth Enchantment (2011) 415 copies
The Ethical Assassin (2006) 378 copies
The Day of Atonement (2015) 231 copies
Randoms (2015) 114 copies
Four Summoner's Tales (2013) 76 copies
The Peculiarities (2021) 59 copies
Mystery Men (2012) 38 copies
Rebels (2016) 35 copies
Paleo / The Doomsday Prepper (2015) — Contributor — 31 copies
Renegades (2017) 28 copies
The Shadow Now (2015) 8 copies
The Double Dealer (2017) 6 copies
What Maisie Knew (2011) 5 copies
Green Hornet: Reign of the Demon (2017) — Author — 3 copies
The Spider Volume 3 (2014) 3 copies
Future Species 2 copies
The Spider 1 copy
The Spider 6 1 copy
PANTHERE NOIRE T03 (2013) 1 copy
The Spider 7 1 copy
The Spider 8 1 copy

Associated Works

Thriller: Stories To Keep You Up All Night (2006) — Contributor — 743 copies
The New Dead: A Zombie Anthology (2010) — Contributor — 366 copies
Watchlist: Two Serial Thrillers in One Killer Book (2010) — Contributor — 315 copies
The Monster's Corner (2011) — Contributor — 158 copies
The Gods of HP Lovecraft (2015) — Contributor — 118 copies
Dark Duets: All-New Tales of Horror and Dark Fantasy (2014) — Contributor — 96 copies
The Copper Bracelet: A Serial Thriller (2009) — Contributor — 90 copies
Out of Tune (2014) — Contributor — 80 copies
Zombies: More Recent Dead (2014) — Contributor — 54 copies
Kent Monkman: Triumph of Mischief (2008) — Contributor — 7 copies
Thriller: Stories to Keep You Up All Night, Volume 2 (2009) — Contributor — 7 copies


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Common Knowledge



This book is a prequel of sorts to the author's first book, A Conspiracy of Paper. The main character, Miguel Lienzo, having escaped Spain and the Inquisition, is the trader of the title and an ancestor of the protagonist in the aforementioned first book. Living in Amsterdam, in 1659, with other displaced Jews, he is now able to practice his religion. To ply his trade, he often crosses lines set by the Ma'amad, the group of elected leaders in the Jewish community who set lifestyle rules and protect the community from anyone wishing to do them harm.

Having lost his funds and ruined his reputation in a deal gone wrong, Miguel is forced to live in his brother's flood-prone basement, a bad situation made worse by the enmity between the brothers and by Miguel's growing affection for his brother's wife. So, when a Dutch widow he's befriended wants to partner with him in a scheme to make a fortune in trading the new drink made from coffee berries, Miguel agrees, setting in motion a twisty endeavor full of intrigue and betrayal.

I haven't really read historical fiction set in this time period, so it made for an interesting read. And Lisss's pacing and plot twists kept me turning pages.
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ShellyS | 71 other reviews | Nov 15, 2023 |
There were a few things I didn't like about this book, but I enjoyed the story very much. It's a complicated story of stock fraud and possible murder set in a time when paper money and stock exchanges were new. Things weren't regulated as they are today. In addition, there was no police force per se...people largely hired agents to regain stolen property or "enforce" other interests. The plot kept me guessing...and changing my mind...as to how it would come together. It dragged -- just a bit; the book could have been a little shorter, I think.

I didn't like the protagonist, Benjamin Weaver, as a person. But what a well -drawn character! The consummate outsider, flawed, human, trying to get by as best he can.

The book was well researched, and the problems of market manipulation and bubbles continue to plague investors today. There were times, however, when the author explained things through dialogue between characters that felt a bit forced.

Overall, though, the book was very well written. It was written in the style of the time period it portrays, both in terms of specific words and with asides to the reader which was common in novels written in that time.
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LynnB | 67 other reviews | Oct 18, 2023 |
The plot is centred on South Sea bubble of 1720 that is dubbed as the first stock market crash. The the novel is well researched and has a lot of references to real life characters of the 18th century London. David Liss has deftly handled two (or three ) subplots that made the storyline intriguing. Every page of the novel ripples with writer’s passion. There certain section of the novel, that I feel, are verbose.
harishwriter | 67 other reviews | Oct 12, 2023 |
Awesome book. I couldn't wait to find out the ending. If you love historical fiction you will love this.
CMDoherty | 71 other reviews | Oct 3, 2023 |



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