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The Fatal Equilibrium (Henry Spearman #2)

2.95 of 5 stars 2.95  ·  rating details  ·  218 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Dennis Gossen is dead, a career in economics cut short by the Harvard Promotion and Tenure Committee and an apparent suicide. When two members of that committee are killed, Gossen's fiancee, Melissa Shannon, finds herself indicted for murder. Once again, Henry Spearman, Professor of Economics at Harvard, finds himself on the track of a murderer and once again Marshall Jevo ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published August 28th 1985 by MIT Press (MA)
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I didn't read this in a day, but was surprised that when I went to mark it as "read", that I guess I hadn't entered the book at all. However, this wasn't a long book, but a bit slow at times for a mystery. This is because of its unusual nature: it's an economics lesson and murder mystery combined. The authors are both economics professors and must be mystery buffs as well.
A young economics professor at Harvard is up for tenure. His murder is set up to look like suicide when he is denied it; two
John Alsdorf
This is one of a series co-authored by a couple of prominent economics professors, writing under the pen name of Marshall Jevons. The sleuth in question is himself a professor of economics who ends up using economic principles to solve the mystery. Delightful way to learn some basic economics. I wish the books had been around 50+ years ago when I was in college.

Milton Friedman, who, incidentally, served as the model for the hero of the series (according to an epilogue in one of them) wrote the b
Fu Tan
Intriguing and a bit mysterious. Some basic economic concepts and principles are nicely blended into the plots. As a graduate student in economics, I was surprised to find that some of the fundamental methodologies adopted by economists would be demeaned by scholars in other disciplines. Though this book is purely imaginative, I think the authors borrow a lot from the reality in the sense that how much pressure the idea of getting a tenure puts on junior faculty. I would recommend this book to u ...more
Nov 07, 2015 Pegah rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people with too much time
It's very ironic that a book about economics and rationality is written in the most inefficient and irrational way possible (was this on purpose??? pls confirm/deny). If 75% of this book wasn't purely exposition, then maybe I'd think it was entertaining and a good way to teach economics. But it was, so...sorry.
Jennifer Curtis
I do not feel better about life because I spent several hours reading this book. It was a required read for my family economics class. I found it slow and hard to follow. I think my review goes along with Elizabeth. I believe my lack of knowledge in economics is what made it hard to get into this book.
it was one of a very first book that I completely read though by myself without help of others in United States.

The story is very interesting and the connection with economy is incredible. I really like the economic thinking way.
Skylar Burris
I read this in my first year of college, in my Econon 101 class. It was one of those instances of a professor assigning his class his own book, although I can't recall if he actually told us he co-wrote it under a pseudonym or if I didn't find out until later.

Mr. Elzinga (oh, the snobbery that has followed me from Mr. Jefferson's University to this day...) co-authored this with William Biert. Both are free market economics professors, and their series of mysteries (three, soon to be four, novel
I had to read this book for my econ class because guess what! My professor co-wrote the book. I hated economics, not because my professor was bad nor because I think it's "useless" (in fact I think economics is incredibly important since economic unrest is often the cause behind radical political parties coming to power & I hate that I suck at it so much but I DIGRESS!!), but because HOLY MOLY do I not possess the mind or logic to reason through it. Sooo if it's a book about econ, do you thi ...more
I am bit disappointed after the reading. One boner is the party in which Clegg met Shannon took precedence over the beginning of formal promotion and tenure committee. At the party, Clegg didn't learn that Froster and Bell were contacted by Gossen until next day when promotion and tenure committee began. I have to ask why Clegg would steal the glove of Shannon's to implicate her into the murders of Froster and Bell before he knew Clegg might leak the information to others.

And Clegg did not have
Trinity School Summer Reading
Certainly not the most literary option on this summer’s list, this playful murder mystery creatively and accurately illustrates the basic principles of Microeconomics. Written by two economists under the pen name Marshall Jevons.
Cate C.
Dated but good crime novel that illustrates economic principles. Enjoyable read.
A fun thriller that also makes you think about Economics
Ronald Barba
Murder mystery + basic economics.
An interesting idea: to introduce some basic economics in the context of a murder mystery. But in order to make it work, it's a little too forced and artificial. Some things work OK. Resolution (good guy figuring out what happened) sort of comes out of nowhere, and seems unconvincing how he figures it out. Also, most of the economics "taught" I knew already. Plot revolves around the tenure process at Harvard. Straw men from other departments thrown in to "debate" value of economic theory with cl ...more
Steve Gross
A mystery set at Harvard. Not very puzzling but you'll learn a lot about economics.
Tauseef Zahid
Just good for basic concepts

Nice way to teach econ. Thought the fiance getting convicted was highly unrealistic but, that's not really the point of the book. Also, I get the whole will spend more time shopping for more expensive items-- but I also spend a lot of time shopping on cheap items that I will repeatedly buy instead of expensive purchases which often are one time buys. But, as a gross understatement, Elzinga is one smart cookie so I assume he knows what he's talking about.
Aug 07, 2007 Ann rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who took or is taking Microeconomics
I thought it was so funny that we had to read this for Sanderson! Very obviously written by some economists trying to spice up economic concepts with a murder mystery and a clever "detective" who solves the case via these concepts. I especially enjoyed the stereotype ivy leaguish professors who made up the cast of suspects/victims.
The corny dialog and contrived murder mystery are too much to handle, despite the many clever lessons in economics that are taught throughout the book. The Invisible Heart: An Economic Romance (Paperback) is much better, although it, too, is way over the top in the cheese department.
Some books with co-authors turn out to be fantastic, but this was just horrible. Weak plot strung along by an even weaker and noticeably horrid use of the English language. I would have preferred just reading an economics textbook glossary versus this (which is what I ended up doing).
This is a mystery from the MIT Press. It was a very didactic novel, but the story was lost in the lesson and not very convincingly developed. Rather a disappointment, especially in comparison to The Invisible Heart, which I love.
"conceptually, he realized that an individual took his life when the discounted lifetime utility remaining to him was negative"

yes, i realize it's not Nabakov, but it's also not worth the opportunity cost
Written by Elzinga under a pen name. Its a mystery book that was an enjoyable read. (I read it in one sitting despite needing to go to bed earlier, but I do that with a good number of books).
Victor Claar
The "Marshall Jevons" pseudonymous writing team of Breit and Elzinga refine their economics-mystery writing craft in their second Henry Spearman mystery. You'll want to read the others, too.
Spencer Em dash j
I mean yeah, it's clunky. But it's cute and a fun review of econ. It's also an interesting view into the world of academia.
Classified as a cozy, this book is an enjoyable read that cleverly inserts economic theory into a mystery.
Oh, silly economics professors, trying to get people to learn things...
This needed a better copyeditor.
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