03 November 2014

The Bitter Trade by Piers Alexander

About the Book
Publication Date: April 7, 2014
Publisher: Tenderfoot
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Genre: Historical Adventure/Thriller

In 1688, torn by rebellions, England lives under the threat of a Dutch invasion. Redheaded Calumny Spinks is the lowliest man in an Essex backwater: half-French and still unapprenticed at seventeen, yet he dreams of wealth and title.

When his father’s violent past resurfaces, Calumny’s desperation leads him to flee to London and become a coffee racketeer. He has just three months to pay off a blackmailer and save his father’s life – but his ambition and talent for mimicry pull him into a conspiracy against the King himself. Cal’s journey takes him from the tough life of Huguenot silk weavers to the vicious intrigues at Court. As the illicit trader Benjamin de Corvis and his controlling daughter Emilia pull him into their plots, and his lover Violet Fintry is threatened by impending war, Cal is forced to choose between his conscience and his dream of becoming Mister Calumny Spinks.

As an enthusiastic drinker of coffee, I am not about to pass up a historical novel involving coffee, so I happily picked up Piers Alexander’s The Bitter Trade. The brief summary grabbed my interest, and I’m glad to say it did not disappoint. Alexander’s story is well-written, full of great wit, and highlights intriguing aspects of history. As I read, the atmosphere and characters felt authentic and reminded me of novels I have read written around that same time period. I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of this novel – especially the main character, Calumny Spinks. Both resourceful and dynamic, Calumny proves to be a highly unique and entertaining protagonist and I never encountered a dull moment in following his adventure. It’s engrossing and original, and I think other fans of historical fiction will be as delighted with it as I was. I recommend The Bitter Trade.

Thanks to Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, I received a copy of The Bitter Trade and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.

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About the Author
Piers Alexander is an author and serial entrepreneur. After a successful career as CEO of media and events companies he became a Co-Founder and Chairman of three start-up businesses. In 2013 he was awarded the PEN Factor Prize for The Bitter Trade. He is currently working on the sequel, Scatterwood, set in Jamaica in 1692.

For more information visit Piers Alexander’s website. You can also find him on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.

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