Murder at the Margin: A Henry Spearman Mystery / Edition 1

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Overview

Cinnamon Bay Plantation on lush, tropical St. John was the ideal Caribbean island getaway: Or so it seemed. But for distinguished Harvard economist Henry Spearman, long overdue for R & R, it offered diversion of a decidedly different sort and one he'd hardly anticipated: murder.

It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. Prickly and priggish, Gen. Hudson T. Decker (Ret.) might have been a Cinnamon Bay regular, but he'd managed to alienate fellow guests and a lot of townspeople over the years. Suddenly, before the local inspector has assembled a suspect list, there is a mysterious drowning and a second murder, this time a former U.S. Supreme Court justice. Prime suspects abound: a liberal professor of divinity, a vengeful wife, an alleged girlfriend, and a handful of angry local activists.

While the island police force is mired in an investigation that leads everywhere and nowhere, the diminutive, balding Spearman, who likes nothing better than to train his curiosity on human behavior, conducts an investigation of his own, one governed by rather different laws--those of economics. Theorizing, hypothesizing, Spearman sets himself on the trail of the killer as it twists from the postcard-perfect beaches and manicured lawns of a premier resort to the bustling old port of Charlotte Amalie to the densely forested hiking trails with their perilous drops to a barren, deserted cay offshore.

Now available in a new critical edition, Marshall Jevons's Murder at the Margin was first published in 1978, when it marked the debut of Henry Spearman. Spearman relies on economic thinking to solve crimes--a distinction that places him in the pantheon of such fictional investigators as Father Brown, Miss Marple, Hercule Poirot, and Rabbi Small.

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Editorial Reviews

Wall Street Journal - John R. Haring
Writing pseudonymously, [William Breit and Kenneth Elzinga] have created Henry Spearman, a Harvard economist (actually a "Chicago" economist affiliated with Harvard), who utilizes the economic way of thinking literally to figure out "whodunit." If there is a more painless way to learn economic principles, scientists must have recently discovered how to implant them in ice cream.
Journal of Economic Education - Sarah Gallagher and George Dawson
This is a tight little mystery that should hold the interest of any student who enjoys detective stories. At the same time, it contains some basic economic lessons, presented in a way that the first-year student will have no difficulty understanding. . . . Its style is crisp and entertaining, and its cast of characters will delight any mystery lover. . . . What gives Murder at the Margin its sparkle are the shrewd observations about academic life and the authors' ability to transform statements of economic law into deft character analysis.
Wall Street Journal
Writing pseudonymously, [William Breit and Kenneth Elzinga] have created Henry Spearman, a Harvard economist (actually a "Chicago" economist affiliated with Harvard), who utilizes the economic way of thinking literally to figure out "whodunit." If there is a more painless way to learn economic principles, scientists must have recently discovered how to implant them in ice cream.
— John R. Haring, Jr.
Journal of Economic Education
This is a tight little mystery that should hold the interest of any student who enjoys detective stories. At the same time, it contains some basic economic lessons, presented in a way that the first-year student will have no difficulty understanding. . . . Its style is crisp and entertaining, and its cast of characters will delight any mystery lover. . . . What gives Murder at the Margin its sparkle are the shrewd observations about academic life and the authors' ability to transform statements of economic law into deft character analysis.
— Sarah Gallagher and George Dawson
Wall Street Journal
Writing pseudonymously, [William Breit and Kenneth Elzinga] have created Henry Spearman, a Harvard economist (actually a "Chicago' economist affiliated with Harvard), who utilizes the economic way of thinking literally to figure out "whodunit.' If there is a more painless way to learn economic principles, scientists must have recently discovered how to implant them in ice cream.
— John R. Haring, Jr.
Journal of Economic Education
This is a tight little mystery that should hold the interest of any student who enjoys detective stories. At the same time, it contains some basic economic lessons, presented in a way that the first-year student will have no difficulty understanding. . . . Its style is crisp and entertaining, and its cast of characters will delight any mystery lover. . . . What gives Murder at the Margin its sparkle are the shrewd observations about academic life and the authors' ability to transform statements of economic law into deft character analysis.
— Sarah Gallagher and George Dawson
Wall Street Journal

Writing pseudonymously, [William Breit and Kenneth Elzinga] have created Henry Spearman, a Harvard economist (actually a "Chicago' economist affiliated with Harvard), who utilizes the economic way of thinking literally to figure out "whodunit.' If there is a more painless way to learn economic principles, scientists must have recently discovered how to implant them in ice cream.
— John R. Haring, Jr.
Journal of Economic Education

This is a tight little mystery that should hold the interest of any student who enjoys detective stories. At the same time, it contains some basic economic lessons, presented in a way that the first-year student will have no difficulty understanding. . . . Its style is crisp and entertaining, and its cast of characters will delight any mystery lover. . . . What gives Murder at the Margin its sparkle are the shrewd observations about academic life and the authors' ability to transform statements of economic law into deft character analysis.
— Sarah Gallagher and George Dawson
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Harvard economist Henry Spearman finds his Caribbean vacation interrupted by murder in this 1978 mystery novel. (Oct.)
From the Publisher

"Writing pseudonymously, [William Breit and Kenneth Elzinga] have created Henry Spearman, a Harvard economist (actually a "Chicago' economist affiliated with Harvard), who utilizes the economic way of thinking literally to figure out "whodunit.' If there is a more painless way to learn economic principles, scientists must have recently discovered how to implant them in ice cream."--John R. Haring, Jr., Wall Street Journal

"This is a tight little mystery that should hold the interest of any student who enjoys detective stories. At the same time, it contains some basic economic lessons, presented in a way that the first-year student will have no difficulty understanding. . . . Its style is crisp and entertaining, and its cast of characters will delight any mystery lover. . . . What gives Murder at the Margin its sparkle are the shrewd observations about academic life and the authors' ability to transform statements of economic law into deft character analysis."--Sarah Gallagher and George Dawson, Journal of Economic Education

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691000985
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 7/12/1993
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 228
  • Sales rank: 368,382
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author


Marshall Jevons is the pen name of Kenneth G. Elzinga, the Robert C. Taylor Professor of Economics at the University of Virginia, and William Breit of Trinity University (1933-2011). Together they wrote two other Henry Spearman mystery novels under the Jevons pseudonym: "The Fatal Equilibrium" (Ballantine) and "A Deadly Indifference" (Princeton). Elzinga, as Marshall Jevons, most recently wrote "The Mystery of the Invisible Hand" (Princeton).
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Table of Contents

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2003

    It's a great Murder Mystery

    I had to read this book for my microeconomics class and I thought It was going to be really boring but Was I Wrong After I read the Book I read it again it was that good he had you on the edge of your seat as he reveals the who the murderers are.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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