David Liss was born in New Jersey in 1966. He received an B.A. from Syracuse University, an M.A. from Georgia State University, and an M.Phil from Columbia University. His debut novel, A Conspiracy of Paper (2000), won the 2001 Barry, MacAvity, and Edgar awards for Best First Novel. His other works include The Coffee Trader (2003), A Spectacle of Corruption (2004), The Ethical Assassin (2006), The Whiskey Rebels (2008), and The Devil's Company (2009).