Customer Reviews for

A Conspiracy of Paper (Benjamin Weaver Series #1)

Average Rating 4.5
( 57 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 57 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2005

    London, 1719: everyone is a crook

    David Liss has set his story in the year before the South Sea Bubble caused stocks to fall 98%. Unlike precipitous market declines in later years, the trouble then was was widespread corruption, short selling, dishonesty and, in the novel, murder. David Liss has invented wonderful characters whose flaws, unlike the flaws of characters in contemporary fiction, are flaws of strength and arrogant self confidence: no wimps in this story. To understand the investment climate of our own times we need to know more about the dawn of the investment era, and it is all in this book. There is no preaching nor academic asides in this fast-told adventure, only muscular action. I immediately read more books about the period, but enjoyed this one the most.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2008

    A reviewer

    This book by David Liss was an excellent read, the main character Benjamin weaver is a thief taker in 18th century england who is hired to investigate the mysterious circumstances of his fathers and another mans murder. Liss then takes you down into a world where the good are bad and the bad are good depending on the situation.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 1, 2013

    Benjamin Weaver is self-professed "protector, guardian, bai

    Benjamin Weaver is self-professed "protector, guardian, bailiff, constable-for-hire, and thief-taker." He’s tough and masculine and sexy to the reader. The other characters in the book are well developed and humorous. Learning about 17th-century finance is also very fascinating. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 14, 2012

    A Wonderful Historical Mystery.

    A Conspiracy of Paper by David Liss is an excellent read for anyone who enjoys history and mystery. The character, Benjamin Weaver, is a wonderfully flawed man whose life experiences have given him his own brand of morality. The plot line is complicated with several twists. But what especially held my interest is the parallel drawn between the South Sea Company of early 18th century England and today's Wall Street. The contrast is eerie. I guess it is true that the more things change, the more things stay the same.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 17, 2012

    Great book.

    Great book but the Nook software really stinks!

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  • Posted January 4, 2012

    highly recommend

    excellent book. Complex plot ,well worked out. Book moves along very fast, very well written.An enjoyable read,the first in a series with Benjamin Weaver ex pugilist as the hero.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2007

    The conspiracy of paper what a MYSTERY!!!

    The title of the book I am writing a review on is a conspiracy of paper. The author of this fiction mystery is David Liss. This book targets an audience that likes a good mystery. David Liss is showing in this book that while writing you can still keep the attention of your audience by exciting word and informative scene writing. Compared to many mystery books David Liss gives detail by detail of the scene and what is going on. In conclusion the mystery in this story was just that a mystery. David Liss has a wonderful way of putting you into the crime scene and making you feel as if you are apart of the mystery solving process. I really enjoyed following this murder mystery and give this book 41/2 water droplet.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2004

    Overrated

    Tedious. Endless wheedling with no apparent purpose. The investment wasn't worth the payoff. The Coffee Trader was a much better effort.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2002

    My new favorite book!!!

    I have never read a book that was so much fun!! If you love Anne Rice and Greg Isles, go back in time and try David Liss! This book was wonderful!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2002

    Murder on Exchange Alley

    In A Conspiracy of Paper, David Liss describes how money and murder changed the financial face of the world as he focuses on white collar crime in 1719 London. A Conspiracy of Paper is not a literal historical novel, however, but a lively, imaginative one that involves the South Sea Bubble, a battle for control of trading rights in South America and the South Seas. The protagonist is Benjamin Weaver, a Jewish ex-boxer known as the Lion of Judah who abandoned the ring to become an eighteenth-century Sam Spade, someone who retrieves stolen property and brings the thieves to justice, a lucrative but dangerous occupation. Weaver, whose real name is Lienzo, has been estranged from his own family for many years and he has no desire to mend any broken fences. Not even his father's death, reportedly an accidental one, can bring Weaver back within the family fold. The plot of this book centers on two crimes. The first involves the pretentious William Balfour. Although Balfour's father's death has been declared a suicide, Balfour, himself, believes it was murder and he engages Weaver to investigate, telling him that Weaver's own father's death might in some mysterious way be linked to that of the elder Balfour's. Weaver finds the large fee Balfour has agreed to pay far more enticing than any link to his own father could ever be. The other crime involves a baronet, Sir Owen Nettleton, who wants Weaver to recover some incriminating letters that were stolen from him during a liaison with a prostitute. An incident that occurs while Weaver is busy tracking down the stolen letters will have repercussions that will haunt Weaver for some time to come. The connection between Nettleton and Balfour, although nebulous at first, becomes clearer as time goes on. So does the connection to Weaver's own father's death. During the course of his investigation, Weaver must interact with his own family once again and this brings two wonderfully-drawn characters into the book: Weaver's uncle and his brother's beautiful and restless widow. It also adds yet another complication to a story that grows ever more complicated by the page. A wonderful character himself, we come to really care about Weaver as he mixes politics with murder and places his life in peril. Liss, himself a doctoral candidate in English at Columbia University, has a fine eye for detail and we really feel as though we are back in eighteenth-century London as Weaver moves from the coffee houses to the brothels to the financial district to the depths of London's rag-and-tatter street life. The absolute division between the Jewish and Christian residents, as well as the overt anti-Semitism is well-detailed as is the corruption existing in the government. Liss also manages to duplicate the speaking and writing style of the period and to reconstruct English history with amazing accuracy. I am sure many readers will compare this novel to Caleb Carr's The Alienist and most will probably prefer the latter. A Conspiracy of Paper, however, is still a wonderful and engrossing undertaking through London of three centuries ago. It is a mix of intrigue, murder and financial shenanigans that almost any reader will find fascinating.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2001

    a wonderful journey

    I was so grateful that I started reading A Conspiracy of Paper as I began a long air trip as I would have laid waste to my usual schedule under other circumstances. I could not put this book down as I journeyed back to 1719 London with Mr. Liss. I look forward to his next book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2001

    Historical Fiction at it finest...

    This is nearly a perfect work of historical fiction!! I loved every page...the plot unfolded masterfully, yet held your suspense until the very end. The amount of historical detail to religious prejudice, the new and emerging financial markets, fashion, classes difference and social mores was vast, yet so beautifully woven into the story line. Plus, you really do love the protagonist!! Do read...you won't be sorry!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2001

    A Tour de Force

    A CONSPIRACY OF PAPER is one of the best novels I've read, and its being a first novel just makes it all the better, as we can now anticipate more from Mr. Liss. Once I got into the novel a bit and realized how very good it was, I began reading with a more critical eye, thinking I might be able to pass on one or two very small suggestions to the author, but I found I had none to give. It's a tour de force. I was impressed with the story, the pacing, the characterization, and the style of writing which so perfectly captured the eighteenth century. The necessary expository passages were handled with real flair; we were never lost in the details of that faraway time. I enjoy historical novels and read a fair number of them, but I must say this novel must now be put in a very small group of nearly flawless works. I have not been this impressed since I read THE YEAR OF THE FRENCH by Thomas Flanagan. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes historical novels--and to anyone who has never tried this particular genre. You're in for a heck of a ride!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2000

    Wonderful trip back in time

    What a wonderful trip back in time! David Liss has written an entertaining and informative historical mystery with plenty of twists and turns, fascinating and complex characters, and a setting that resonates today. In many ways, the problems and possibilities that 18th century England experienced as it rushed headlong toward the 'new finance' are eerily similar to what the modern world is facing with the 'new economy.' And Liss explains it all with enough detail to keep the reader up-to-speed but without bogging down the pace of the action.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2000

    Fun, Intriguing Lesson in History

    What a fun way to learn of things past. An intriguing plot and and maze of twists and turns keep you and the protagonist, Ben Weaver, guessing right up to the end; and what an ending it is. The ending's unraveling of the mystery reminded me of The Sting. Through all of the fun, the reader even learns a bit of the history behind the British stock market; a forebearer of our own. Liss has a great sense of time and place. A very fun read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2000

    very clever 'who done it'

    creative writing, capturing the spirit of early 18th century England (London)business society. A little slow at first, as the author built his main characters with great detail.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2000

    Excellent book

    This is one of the best books I've ever read! I could not put it down. I look forward to the next David Liss book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2000

    An Extraordinary Novel!

    What an extraordinary novel. As a trial lawyer I try, as best I can to engage in 'pleasure' reading. This book was an absolute pleasure to read. Candy for the mind! I read a great deal and rarely find myself so engaged in a book I find it hard to put down. Actually it's sort of annoying to read a book that is so well written that you don't want to put it down. So this review is a WARNING. If you don't like reading a book that is so good you can't put it down, Don't buy this book. Otherwise...ENJOY!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2000

    AFascinating Adventure

    This is an exciting historical mystery. The characters are most interesting, the story intricate and the detail of the period is very realistic. The language is intelligent and the major issues are as relevant today as they were nearly 300 years ago. A wonderful book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2000

    A sophisticated mystery as good as it gets

    A CONSPIRACY OF PAPER is a sophisticated thriller that effectively transports the reader back to the early 18th century. Selective use of early British grammar, idiomatic expression and slang enhance the realism developed by the author. As an avid whodunit reader I was captivated by the plot twists that culminated in a classic ending. Character development is strong and gives the reader a strong sence of the social and economoic condition of the time. David Liss is a bright, imaginative young author whose future novels I would not hesitate to purchase.

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