With his second novel, THE COFFEE TRADER (Random House), Edgar award-winner David Liss performs literary alchemy to transform an unheralded event—the introduction of coffee to the seventeenth-century European commodities exchange—into a fourteen-karat-gold thriller. Trader Miguel Lienzo has lost everything but his nerve after some overly adventurous plays in the sugar market. Deep in debt to his unforgiving confreres in Amsterdam's merchant community, he devises a desperate scheme to create a monopoly on the exotic new bean. He's just one scoundrel among many, however, and his machinations threaten to bring him closer to ruin than market domination. And, as befits a man with nothing to lose, he flirts with his sister-in-law. Remarkably original and executed with nary a misstep, The Coffee Trader is a potent and satisfying brew indeed.