Have you ever been to a place (monument, park, restaurant, etc.) mentioned in a novel?

This question was recently posted in twitter by Simon & Schuster @simonschuster. My choice is a market in Barcelona, La Boquería, were Pepe Carvalho often does his shopping. You can find more information at Boqueria website HERE (in English).

You can leave a comment to link with your blog showing your answer.

The Coffee Trader

How could I resist? I expect to receive The Coffee Trader by David Liss any time soon. Simply because:

  • Coffee, I like
  • History, I fancy
  • The price, was attractive (at The Book Depository)
  • The book and the author were mentioned by Norman at Crime Scraps, an excellent blog
  • Last but not least, I’ve been a commodity trader most of my working life

And I bought the book. How could I resist?

By the way José, Josseph or Joseph Penso de la Vega, best known as Joseph de la Vega (ca.1650, Espejo, Spain — November 13, 1692, Amsterdam, Netherlands), was a successful Jewish merchant, poet, and philanthropist residing in 17th century Amsterdam. He became famous for his masterpiece Confusion of Confusions, the oldest book ever written on the stock exchange business.” (from Wikipedia). A must read at all times, it should be a mandatory reading today.

“Amsterdam, 1659. On the world’s first commodities exchange, wealth is won and lost in an instant. Miguel Lienzo, a crafty trader in the city’s close-knit community of Portuguese Jews, knows this too well. Once among the most envied of merchants, Miguel has lost everything in a sudden shift in the sugar markets. Impoverished and humiliated, living on the charity of his petty younger brother, Miguel would do anything to change his fortunes.

Flouting the rulings of the Ma’amad, the restrictive and mysterious governing body of the Jewish community, Miguel enters into a partnership with a seductive Dutchwoman who offers him one last chance at success – a daring scheme to corner the market on an astonishing new commodity called coffee.

To succeed, Miguel will have to risk everything he values and test the limits of his commercial guile as he faces 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 fail. And he will learn that among Amsterdam’s ruthless businessmen, betrayal lurks everywhere and even friends hide secret agendas.” (from David Liss homepage)

The Crime Fiction Alphabet: X is for Xiaolong, Qiu Xiaolong

Esta entrada es bilingüe, desplazarse hacia abajo para ver la versión en castellano.

The Alphabet in Crime Fiction, hosted by Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise, has arrived this week to letter X. You can click HERE to find out the contributions of other fellow participants, please do visit their blogs. I’m sure that you will find out some interesting books to read.

My X is for Xiaolong. Qiu Xiaolong (1953) was born in Shanghai, China, and, since 1988, has lived in St. Louis, Missouri. A poet and a translator, he has an MA and a Ph.D. from Washington University. He is the author of Inspector Chen series (an Inspector with the Shanghai Police Bureau), including the award-winning Death of a Red Heroine (2000), A Loyal Character Dancer(2002), When Red Is Black(2004), A Case of Two Cities (2006),Red Mandarin Dress (2007), The Mao Case (2009), and Don’t Cry Tai Lake (due August 30, 2011).

He has also published a non-series book,Years of Red Dust: Stories of Shanghai (2010), two books of poetry translations, Treasury of Chinese Love Poems (2003) and Evoking T’ang(2007), and his own poetry collection, Lines Around China(2003).

You can find HERE my review of Death of a Red Heroine, winner of the 2001 Anthony Award for Best First Novel, and a finalist for the 2001 Barry Award for Best First Novel and the 2001 Edgar Award for Best First Novel. At some stage I expect to read the next books in the series.

One of the aspects that interested me most of his books is that they refer to police work under a totalitarian regime, and in this sense analysing the relationship that may exist with other authors, such as Ernesto Mallo, Carlo Lucarelli or Pétros Markaris among others, whose main character, is carried out or it has been carried out under a totalitarian regime.

For additional information visit:

Surfing on the Internet, I came across this article on the history of crime fiction in China, which I hope you will find interesting.

El Alfabeto del Crimen: X es por Xiaolong, Qiu Xiaolong

El alfabeto del crimen, organizado por Kerrie en Mysteries in Paradise, llega esta semana a la letra “X”. Puede hacer clic AQUÍ para ver las aportaciones del resto de participantes, por favor visite sus blogs. Estoy seguro de que se encontrará con algunas recomendaciones interesantes.

Mi X es por Xiaolong. Qiu Xiaolong nació en Shanghai en 1953 y vivió en esa ciudad hasta 1966, año en que se trasladó a Estados Unidos. En la actualidad vive en St. Louis, Missouri, en cuya universidad imparte clases. Poeta y traductor al chino de clásicos norteamericanos, es sobre todo conocido por la serie de novelas policiacas protagonizadas por el inspector jefe Chen Cao, cuyo primer título Muerte de una heroína roja (2000) fue galardonado con el Premio Anthony a la Mejor Primera Novela y finalista del Premio Edgar. El resto de los títulos de la serie, publicados hasta el momento en España, son Visado para Shanghai (2002), Cuando el rojo es negro (2004), El caso de las dos ciudades (2006), Seda roja (2007) y El caso Mao (2009).

Uno de los aspectos que más me ha interesado de sus libros es que se refieren a la labor de la policía bajo un régimen totalitario y, en este sentido, analizar la relación que pueda existir con otros autores como Ernesto Mallo, Carlo Lucarelli o Pétros Markaris entre otros, cuyo protagonista también desarrolla o ha desarrollado su actividad bajo un régimen totalitario.