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.