Amsterdam, 1659: On the world's first commodities exchange, fortunes are won and lost in an instant. Miguel Lienzo, a sharp-witted trader in the city's close-knit community of Portuguese Jews, knows this only too well. Once among the city's most envied merchants, Miguel has suddenly lost everything. Now, impoverished and humiliated, living in his younger brother's canal-flooded basement, Miguel must find a way to restore his wealth and reputation.
Miguel enters into a partnership with a seductive Dutchwoman who offers him one last chance at success—a daring plot to corner the market of an astonishing new commodity called “coffee.” To succeed, Miguel must risk everything he values and face a powerful enemy who will stop at nothing to see him ruined. Miguel will learn that among Amsterdam's ruthless businessmen, betrayal lurks everywhere, and even friends hide secret agendas.
is the author of A Spectacle of Corruption, A Conspiracy of Paper (winner of the 2000 Edgar Award for Best First Novel), and The Ethical Assassin. He has a graduate degree in English literature from Columbia University, as well as an M.A. from Georgia State University and a B.S. from Syracuse University. He lives in San Antonio with his wife and daughter.