Thursday, October 13, 2005

Book Number 38


A Conspiracy Of Paper (2001) by David Liss

It is often a hit or miss proposition for me with historical fiction and period crime, in particular. My mother is a big fan of the sub-genre and I've tried a few of the series. Ellis Peters' Brother Cadfael or Anne Perry's Victorian crime books, for example.

This novel, A Conspiracy of Paper, takes place in England during the early development of the stock market and when the ideas of banking and representational paper money were coming into being. The hero, Ben Weaver, is a Jewish ex-pugilist who has become a freelance debt collector and problem solver. Estranged from his family, he is maneuvered into investigating his fathers death.

The story is well told although a bit overly complex. Not one of those mysteries that you are going to figure out somewhere in the middle. The cast of characters are well drawn and interesting. My major complaint, which was mirrored in the review by Olman, is that the writing and the characters actions can be a bit contemporary.

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