Synopses & Reviews
Cinnamon Bay Plantation was the ideal Caribbean island getaway--or so it seemed. But for distinguished Harvard economist Henry Spearman it offered diversion of a decidedly different sort and one he'd hardly anticipated: murder.
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 and hypothesizing, Spearman sets himself on the killer's trail as it twists from the postcard-perfect beaches and manicured lawns of a resort to the bustling old port of Charlotte Amalie to densely forested hiking trails with perilous drops to a barren offshore cay.
"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
"At last a new kind of mastermind--a rational 'homoeconomics' and libertarian. If Henry Spearman had not existed, God would have had to invent him. Marshall Jevons did, to his readers' benefit."--Paul Samuelson
"I thought the economic argument extremely ingenious and the idea of using economic analysis as a way to solve the mystery most original."--Milton Friedman
About 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).