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Accounting for Murder ( penguin crime no…
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Accounting for Murder ( penguin crime no 2713) (original 1964; edition 1967)

by Emma Lathen

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156576,544 (3.71)4
Member:bigship
Title:Accounting for Murder ( penguin crime no 2713)
Authors:Emma Lathen
Info:Penguin Books (1967) Edition:Paperback, 186 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:penguin crime numbered, read 2013, reviewed/rated, crime

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Accounting for Murder by Emma Lathen (1964)

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Showing 5 of 5
I really like this series.

The main character, John Pulham Thatcher, a banker, gets involved in mysteries, usually murders. The world of finance and accounting is present but not in an " in your face" way. Nevertheless the nuances are there and explained without it sounding like a lecture.

The author in fact comprises 2 women , an economist and a lawyer, who apparently managed to hide their secret for a number of years before it got out.

I have always been fascinated as to how 2 people jointly write a book ( think of the 2 cousins who comprise Ellery Queen). Certainly there is no hint here of cracks showing where one writer starts and fonishes. If one googles , there is a short article explaining their methodology . Fascinating really.

SPOILER ALERT

The essence of identifying the solution of the murder stems from asking why one division of a company which makes widgets for the public barely makes a profit and yet another division of the same company making the same widgets but this time for sale to the military makes handsome profits. If an audit of the unsuccessful division shows no issues one is driven to the only logical alternative....

I look forward to reading more of this series ( and from what I have read to date, it is not necessary to read them sequentially, which is good as I only find these books occasionally in second hand shops and the like).

18 January 2013 ( )
  bigship | Jan 18, 2013 |
I enjoy the wry, some what distant, voice of the narrator who both likes people and sees
the foibles. ( )
  pnorman4345 | Aug 28, 2012 |
This seemed to go hand in hand with The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe. Both take place in New York on Wall Street. The big numbers game. I have to admit I was bored by this book. None of the characters interested me enough to care what happened to them (another similarity with The Bonfire of the Vanities). Each and every one of them seemed dull and flat. In addition the plot was slow moving and I kept asking myself "where and when is this murder? I know this guy dies so when does it happen?" Accounting for Murder is supposed to focus on amateur silver-haired detective John Putman Thatcher and yet for the first 60 pages he's barely in the story. Initially, he is invited to a lunch with Mr. Fortinbras who late winds up dead. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Aug 9, 2011 |
When a distinguished accountant is murdered during the audit of a Sloan customer, John Putnam Thatcher must unravel the threads of a clever fraud to find a ruthless killer. ( )
  Bjace | Nov 22, 2010 |
This series, featuring Wall Street banker John Thatcher, show us a very different banking world, in which senior bankers concern themselves with real businesses, not derivatives houses of cards. A strong sense of time and place(in this case Wall Street in the 1960's( and an undertone of humor are the main attraction of this series. This time, Thatcher is investigating the murder of an accountant, who has discovered some nasty truths about a data processing company. ( )
  annbury | Sep 15, 2010 |
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