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)