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Green Grow the Dollars (John Putnam Thatcher #19)
by Emma Lathen
John Putnam Thatcher's out in the field - to harvest a crop of patent thievery, corporate scandal, and multimillion-dollar death! All because a newly deveolped tomato promises a six-month yield - guaranteed to revolutionize agribusiness with juicy new profits. Until the patent rights, claimed by Sloan Guaranty Trust's respected client, are challenged in court by an upstart ...more
Published January 1st 1982 by Simon & Schuster
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Another top-notch John Putnam Thatcher (though not the best). After a bit of a slow start (which stopped a Lathen binge read the first time I started reading it) the pace hots up. An ex-employee is contesting the patent application of a new tomato strain from a major lab and the distributor on the basis of IP theft. Millions in profits and professional reputations are at stake...
Thatcher is alerted by his secretary that the account of Vandam Nursery & Seed Company is being frozen. Since his important customer, Standard Foods had just bought Vandam, Thatcher was involved. It appears that Vandam was about announce it's new wonder tomato, Numero Uno. Wisconsin Seed company had brought a lawsuit preventing the catalog going out and claiming that Vandam had stolen the tomato VR-117 which they had developed. Thatcher then finds out that the tomato was actually developed b ...more
What's the world coming to? People are being killed over tomato plants! Specifically, the secretary at a small agricultural research facility is killed before she can testify at a patent suit where the proper inventor of a biennial tomato is being decided. The other claimant to the tomato is a large firm financed by the Sloan, Thatcher's bank. This mystery seemed particularly convoluted, but it was quite interesting.
Thatcher has some involvement, but overall you get to watch the world of agriculture (which was an area one of the authors worked). The mighty tomato has an interesting history in the world of capitalism and that and the $$ made by processed and created plant strains is interesting- and can lead to murder!
I have read all of Emma Lathen's books and recently re-read this one. They are so well written and fun to read that this is a series that I come back to read again. Her mysteries feature a banker as the detective and are informative, humorous books to read. Always good characters that you learn to care about.
Other Books in the Series
John Putnam Thatcher (1 - 10 of 24 books)