Accounting for Murder (John Putnam Thatcher Mysteries, #3)
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Accounting for Murder (John Putnam Thatcher #3)

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  69 ratings  ·  6 reviews
Somebody at National Calculating was very worried when Clarence Fortinbras got a court order to look at the company's books - so worried, in fact, that Fortinbras soon turned up murdered in the company offices.
Paperback, 190 pages
Published August 2nd 1983 by Pocket Books (first published 1964)
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Lisa Kucharski
The wonderful thing about the early Lathen's is that they feature Thatcher a great deal. And in this story his sharp tongued mind is on full display. A great mystery, that involves accounting! It may seem that accounting is dull to many people but, having some exposure to it, it actually is interesting and this mystery certainly gets down to the power of numbers and how they are read!

This is actually a 1964 book. An early entry in the John Putnam Thatcher series. It is clear that the authors were just developing their style. The humor is not bad but not as well-done as in later offerings. The plot resolution is a bit hard to follow and depends upon a greater understanding of the characters than the authors have provided.
Vicki Cline
Another good business mystery. And I guessed the murderer! One of the things I like best about this series is the chapter headings. They are always centered around a theme. In this case, since the victim is named Fortinbras, the theme is Shakespeare's Hamlet. Some examples -
2. Enter Fortinbras
8. Weepings and Lamentations
11. Distant Revelry
15. Behind the Arras
20. Exeunt Omnes
Also, in this book we learn that Thatcher is 60 years old. I don't think he ever ages, even though the books were written...more
This is a quite standard mystery centered around a simple but unusual accounting fraud. This book was first published in 1964 and takes place at that time. The business of business was definitely still a man's world then. I found it interesting to follow the descriptions of Mrs. Cobb as she interacted with the male managers. She is described as "nominally the assistant division manager... in Research and Development, actually the guiding intelligence in a division notable for the rapid turnover...more
Jun 29, 2012 Marc rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Connoisseurs of murder mysteries with business settings
This 1964 Wall Street murder mystery was often fun to read, but the story never generated any real suspense or grabbed my interest. It's a series of cleverly-observed character studies and situations that never really cohere into an engaging mystery story.

The authors (a duo working under the Emma Lathen pseudonym) take an ironic posture toward their story and its characters, but they devote more effort to witty observations and clever dialogue than to crafting a compelling narrative. One proble...more
Being myself an accountant, it was a nice experience to find notions of accounting and finance mixed with one of my favourite genres, as mystery is.
On an absolute partial and subjective point of view, I liked it very much because of the background. As complexity, I can say it was a good read. Nevertheless it is the first book I read from this author, so I hope to find out in the future if his idea kept along further production or stood original within this book.
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Aka R.B. Dominic

Emma Lathen is the pen name of two American businesswomen: an attorney Mary Jane Latsis (July 12, 1927 -October 29, 1997) and an economic analyst Martha Henissart (b. 1929),who received her B.A. in physics from Mount Holyoke College in 1950.
More about Emma Lathen...
Banking on Death (John Putnam Thatcher, #1) Murder to Go (John Putnam Thatcher, #10) Ashes to Ashes (John Putnam Thatcher, #12) The Longer the Thread (John Putnam Thatcher, #13) When in Greece (John Putnam Thatcher, #9)

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