David Liss (born 1966) is an American writer of novels, essays and short fiction. He was born in New Jersey and grew up in South Florida. Liss received his B. A. degree from Syracuse University, an M. A. from Georgia State University and his M. Phil from Columbia University. He left his post-graduate studies of 18th Century British literature and unfinished dissertation to write full-time. "If things had not worked out with fiction, I probably would have kept to my graduate school career track and sought a job as a literature professor," he said. Now (2010) a full-time writer, Liss lives in San Antonio, Texas with his wife and children.
Most of Liss' novels to date (through 2009) are historical-mystery (or historical-thriller) novels. Settings include 18th century London and America, and 17th century Amsterdam. One novel, The Ethical Assassin, is a contemporary mystery-thriller. His first book, A Conspiracy of Paper (2000), won the 2001 Edgar Award for Best First Novel. A member of the International Thriller Writers, he is a regular attendee at Bouchercon and Thrillerfest.