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The Coffee Trader by David Liss
Amsterdam in 1659 was city full of refugees from other countries, a bustling port, and the world's first commodity exchange. It was a place where fortunes could be made or lost overnight due to the vagaries of the weather, pirates, or intrigue among businessmen in town. Miguel Lienzo is a Portugese Jew who has fled the Inquisition in his homeland and made and lost his fortune in his new country. On the brink of financial ruin, Miguel is enticed by a woman to invest in coffee, a new beverage unknown to Europe. To put his plan for domination of the new coffee market in place, Miguel must fend off his creditors, dodge the head of the Jewish council who could have him banished for doing business with a gentile, and survive the chaos of the markets and the greed of his competitors. The Denver Post calls The Coffee Trader "a reading joy."