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March 2019: Debut > A Conspiracy of Paper by David Liss - 4 stars

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message 1: by Barbara M (last edited Mar 31, 2019 12:13PM) (new)

Barbara M (barbara-m) | 2149 comments A Conspiracy of Paper by David Liss It's 18th century England and stocks and stock-jobbers are at the center of this debut novel. Liss does a very good job of setting stage and not getting too far into the financial world but there is still quite a bit from this well-researched novel. He does a good job of describing it for the novice. He’s very knowledgeable about this whole field with his advanced scholarship.

The story is told in first person as Benjamin Weaver describes himself as a non-practicing Jew. In short asides he gets the reader up to date with his unique life. You learn that he hasn’t completely turned his back on his heritage but doesn’t really follow the rules. He’s a former, retired, boxer who made quite a name for himself before a career changing injury. People still recognize him as a great fighter. When he left boxing, he took up thievery! He’s given that up too and is trying to become just the opposite by working at “thief taking.” It wasn’t called being a detective in those days.

His father was a stock-jobber. He and Ben had parted ways but he’s been killed in a coach “accident” and Ben is talked into investigating whether it was murder. It is quite the conspiracy that he uncovers. The author is very good at keeping everything in order and easy to follow. Stocks are a new phenomenon, especially that a different entity besides the Bank of England has been taking a hand in it. It's very interesting that this is so new at this time in history since it is something we are so used to hearing about.

I enjoyed the story and the atmosphere Liss ably describes. I will probably read the next one in this series. I'd like to see what else Benjamin Weaver gets into.

message 2: by Amy (new)

Amy | 8148 comments Read this like 25 years ago. I can picture it. And the cadence and feel of the writing.

message 3: by Barbara M (last edited Mar 31, 2019 12:16PM) (new)

Barbara M (barbara-m) | 2149 comments Amy wrote: "Read this like 25 years ago. I can picture it. And the cadence and feel of the writing."

Well, maybe 19 years ago when it was first published! :-D

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