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I blush to own I rewarded his efforts to seek my opinion with only a formal reply in which I dismissed his ideas as nonsensical. I did so in part because I did not wish to involve myself with my family and in part because I knew that my uncle, for reasons that eluded me, had loved my father and could not accept the senselessness of so random a death.But then Benjamin is hired by two different men to solve two seemingly unrelated cases. One client, Mr. Balfour, claims his own father's unexpected death "was made to look like self-murder so that a villain or villains could take his money with impunity," and even suggests there might be a link between Balfour senior's death and that of Weaver's father. His next customer is Sir Owen Nettleton, an aristocrat who is keen to recover some highly confidential papers that were stolen from him while he cavorted with a prostitute. Weaver takes on the first case with some reluctance, the second with more enthusiasm. In the end, both converge, leading him back to his family even as they take him deep into the underbelly of London's financial markets.
Liss seems right at home in the world he's created, whether describing the company manners of wealthy Jewish merchants at home or the inner workings of Exchange Alley--the 18th-century version of Wall Street. His London is a dank and filthy place, almost lawless but for the scant protection offered by such rogues as Jonathan Wilde, the sinister head of a gang of thieves who profits by selling back to their owners items stolen by his own men. Though better connected socially, the investors involved with the shady South Sea Company have equally larcenous hearts, and Liss does an admirable job of leading the reader through the intricacies of stock trading, bond selling, and insider trading with as little fuss, muss, and confusion as possible. What really makes the book come alive, however, are the details of 18th-century life--from the boxing matches our hero once participated in to the coffee houses, gin joints, and brothels where he trolls for clues. And then there is the matter of Weaver's Jewishness, the prejudices of the society he lives in, and his struggle to come to terms with his own ethnicity. A Conspiracy of Paper weaves all these themes together in a manner reminiscent of the long, gossipy novels of Henry Fielding and Laurence Stern. Indeed, Liss manages to suggest the prose style of those authors while keeping his own, less convoluted style. This is one conspiracy guaranteed to succeed. --Alix Wilber --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This is a terrific book. I enjoyed it very much and learned a lot. I really enjoy the works of David LIss.Published 7 days ago by Lynne D
As far as historical fiction goes, this is about as good as it gets. I give it 4.5 stars - rounding down to 4 since Amazon doesn't let us do fractional scoring (why o why). Read morePublished 8 days ago by Jeffrey Ellis
It is a great pleasure to read a historical novel that is truly steeped in the language, architecture, society, and customs of the period. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Montana Mackay
Intelligent, articulate historical fiction. Liss's cast of characters are well crafted and believable. His plot keeps the reader engaged to the last page.Published 26 days ago by Marggie
The authors use of period language, coupled with high intrigue and excellent character development had me reading non-stop thru the night. I'm a convert.Published 1 month ago by Ron F.
A well written novel, full of interesting characters that i very much enjoyed getting to know. A mystery / suspense set in a treacherous time period in London, where law-and order... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Maggie_from_Brooklyn
I am about half way through this book, and find it to be quite an enjoyable read. However, as I have been reading, I started to notice that the character Benjamin Weaver seems to... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Richard Sprince
This is a well crafted book set in a time and place interesting to me and I enjoy mysteries but to me it became increasingly tedious the longer I read. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jon