The Bitter Trade blog tour and review

Please join Piers Alexander as he tours the blogosphere with HF Virtual Book Tours for The Bitter Trade, from October 13 - November 14.
02_The Bitter Trade
Publication Date: April 7, 2014
Tenderfoot
Formats: eBook, Paperback; 448p
Genre: Historical Adventure/Thriller
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for an honest review

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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.

The Bitter Trade won the PEN Factor at The Literary Consultancy’s Writing In A Digital Age Conference. Jury Chair Rebecca Swift (Author, Poetic Lives: Dickinson) said: “The Pen Factor jury selected The Bitter Trade based on the quality of writing, the engaging plot, and the rich and unusual historical context. Dazzling and playful!”

My Take:

The Bitter Trade didn't start off anything like I was expecting. I was wondering what exactly was going on for a good while -- but that was actually kind of fun. There were so many family secrets that were hinted at and the obvious danger to Cal and his family was palpable - but why? It was very intriguing. I also loved the name Calumny Spinks - and how it plays into the family history. Actually, the family drama alone was enough to keep my interest - but then add in blackmail, political intrigue, rebellion, betrayal and a lots of really great characters and you have a real winner.

The book takes the reader from a small backwater town with narrow minded, easily manipulated people ready to be lead around by the noses by their corrupt and greedy religious leaders to London of 1688 where the tradesmen are jockeying for their own survival and the threat of an impending Dutch invasion makes for a difficult transition for Cal and his father. Cal desperately wants to be apprenticed and make his fortune and the right to be called "Mister" - but his father won't allow it. This basic conflict leads Cal on a wild adventure and many opportunities to grow up and prove himself.

Honestly, I hate to reveal any more of the conflicts and plots that are in The Bitter Trade. I don't want to ruin the fun for other readers. Suffice to say that London in 1688 is a dangerous and volatile place - especially if you come from Cal's family line.  This was a fast and entertaining book that I can happily recommend to anyone interested in historical history.



Praise for The Bitter Trade


“A fantastic debut novel” - Robert Elms, BBC Radio London

“The ambitious, cheeky Calumny Spinks is a great guide through the sensory overload of 17th century London, in an adventure that combines unexpected insights with just the right amount of rollicking ribaldry. I hope it’s the opener to a series.” - Christopher Fowler, author of the Bryant and May novels

“This debut novel is a gripping evocation of late seventeenth century London, rich in persuasive dialect and period detail and with a bold protagonist. An unusual thriller that just keeps you wanting to know more about the many facets of this story. You’ll never view your coffee in quite the same way again.” - Daniel Pembrey, bestselling author of The Candidate

“A very exciting and superbly researched novel” - Mel Ulm, The Reading Life

Buy the Book


Amazon UK (Paperback)
Amazon US (Kindle)
Barnes & Noble (Nook)
iTunes
Kobo

About the Author03_Piers Alexander



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 Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

The Bitter Trade Blog Tour Schedule


Monday, October 13
Review at Back Porchervations
Spotlight at Literary Chanteuse

Tuesday, October 14
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, October 15
Interview at Back Porchervations
Guest Post at Historical Tapestry

Thursday, October 16
Spotlight & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages

Monday, October 20
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Tuesday, October 21
Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book!

Wednesday, October 22
Interview at Oh, For the Hook of a Book!

Thursday, October 23
Guest Post at Historical Fiction Connection

Tuesday, October 28
Spotlight at What Is That Book About

Wednesday, October 29
Spotlight at Unshelfish

Thursday, October 30
Review at Broken Teepee

Saturday, November 1
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

Monday, November 3
Review at Book by Book
Review & Interview at Dab of Darkness

Tuesday, November 4
Review at Just One More Chapter
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews

Wednesday, November 5
Review at Turning the Pages
Guest Post at Just One More Chapter

Thursday, November 6
Spotlight at Let Them Read Books

Monday, November 10
Review at A Book Geek

Tuesday, November 11
Review at Book Nerd

Wednesday, November 12
Spotlight at Layered Pages

Friday, November 14
Review at Anglers Rest
Review & Giveaway at Booklover Book Reviews

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