Barbara Peters, owner of The Poisoned Pen, recently welcomed J.J. Gelernter to talk about his books. The Thomas Grey books include his latest one, The Montevideo Brief. As Josh Haven, he’s the author of The Siberia Job. There are signed copies of both books in the Webstore. https://store.poisonedpen.com/
Here’s the description of The Montevideo Brief.
A secret treaty will determine whether England can survive against Napoleon, and Captain Grey races across the Atlantic to intercept a treasure fleet.
Vienna—June 1804. At the glittering debut of Beethoven’s Third Symphony, a Spanish diplomat meets with Captain Thomas Grey, agent of His Majesty’s Secret Service. In exchange for a gigantic bribe, the Spaniard discloses Spain’s darkest secret the actual terms of the Treaty of San Ildefonso with France.
Spain’s neutrality in Napoleon’s war on Britain is only a ruse to keep the British navy from attacking the great treasure-armada now gathering in South America. Spanish warships will depart Montevideo, Uruguay, carrying 2,000 tons of gold; when the gold is safely in Madrid, Spain will declare war on Britain and ally with France to divide the British Empire between them. Britain’s only hope is to sink or capture the treasure fleet, and the responsibility of delivering that blow falls to Grey. As Jack Aubrey would have said in such a crisis, “There is not a moment to be lost!”
J. H. Gelernter is the author of the Thomas Grey novels: The Montevideo Brief, Hold Fast, and Captain Grey’s Gambit.
This is the summary of The Siberia Job.
A Texas businessman travels to the furthest reaches of post-Soviet Russia in search of the country’s new wealth — and finds new dangers as well. Based on true events.
After the demise of the Soviet Union, the newly-established Russian government privatized its industry by issuing vouchers to all of its citizens, allowing them the chance to be shareholders in the country’s burgeoning businesses. The slips are distributed among the population and auctions are arranged where they can be exchanged for actual shares. For the country’s rural populations living in abject poverty, the vouchers appear to be little more than pieces of paper, totally separated from the far-off concept of potential future fortunes.
But for Texas businessman John Mills and his Czech companion, Petr Kovac, the seemingly-valueless chits suggest a lucrative potential, worth much more than what the current owners are willing to sell them for. They travel to the furthest, coldest reaches of the country to acquire vouchers for the country’s national oil company, Gazneft, roving from town to town with suitcases full of cash. But they quickly learn that the plan has complications — for example, the fact that the auctions at which these vouchers are traded for actual shares have been planned at the most remote, inaccessible locations possible to deter outsiders from buying in. And when the Russian mafia and the oligarchs in charge of Gazneft catch wind of their successes, the stakes become suddenly more deadly.
A thrilling adventure inspired by true events, The Siberia Job charts a course through one of the most impactful periods in recent Russian history, whose reverberations continue to be felt in the present day.
Before publishing his first novel, Josh Haven was an art critic for magazines & newspapers in the US & Europe and an astrogeophysicist who solved the Saturn-Hyperion density/porosity problem. His seafaring adventure novels are published under the name J.H. Gelernter, and Fake Money, Blue Smoke is his first crime novel.
Enjoy the conversation.