Books by Emma Lathen

A SHARK OUT OF WATER by Emma Lathen
Released: Nov. 12, 1997

A Shark Out Of Water ($22.95; Nov. 12; 304 pp.; 0-312-17019-X): Imperturbable banker John Putnam Thatcher's 23rd case (Brewing Up a Storm, 1996, etc.) takes him to Poland, where the Sloan Guaranty Trust can make a killing underwriting the modernization of the Kiel Canal—though, as usual, Thatcher will have to deal with financial shenanigans, geopolitical unrest, and somebody even more eager to make a killing on the deal. Read full book review >
BREWING UP A STORM by Emma Lathen
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Dec. 9, 1996

John Putnam Thatcher's 23rd case—and his first since Right on the Money (1993)—dares to ask the timely, yet somehow absurd, question of whether Quax, the Kichsel Brewery's nonalcoholic beer, has the effect of luring underaged drinkers into a taste for Kix, its more potent sibling. On this side are the Kichsel brass, clients of Thatcher's Sloan Guaranty Trust, poised to plant Quax in every supermarket, vending machine, and burger chain in this great nation. On the other side are the Ludlums, suing Kichsel over the drunk-driving death of their teenaged son; the Soft Drink Institute (SDI), who'd rather have teens stick to Coke and Pepsi; and the lobbyists of Madeleine Underwood's newborn NOBBY (No-Beer Buying Youngsters), convinced they're fighting an addiction as insidious as cigarette smoking. In the middle, it turns out, is Madeleine Underwood herself, a rip- roaring messiah who infuriates so many people on every side of the issues (the beset Kichsels, burger king Elmer Rugby, the SDI command, a fence-straddling congressman, her own NOBBY troops) that you'll feel a real pang when she finally gets bashed to death, transforming her potential for hilariously active mischief into a mere embarrassment for the legion of innocents suspected of her murder. Be of good cheer, though: Thatcher demonstrates in the end that the author's cleverness didn't pass away with wickedly etched Underwood—or during Lathen's sabbatical, which this bubbly satire brings to a triumphant end. Read full book review >
RIGHT ON THE MONEY by Emma Lathen
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: April 1, 1993

A merger between private-label manufacturer Aqua Supplies, Inc. (ASI), and the Ecker Company, a mom-and-pop client of the Sloan Guaranty Trust, whose main asset is pop Conrad Ecker's uncanny knack for developing small kitchen appliances, is threatened by a suspicious fire in Ecker's record room—and then by meddlesome ASI underling Victor Hunnicut, whose paranoid determination to scuttle the merger ends only when he's skewered during a Manhattan trade show. The police start by going after Conrad's slow-horse production manager, Bob Laverdiere, whose wife Tina had overseen the books that were toasted, and then, finding no flaw in Ecker's finances, they focus on the nervous upper echelons at ASI—but it naturally takes the Sloan's genial veteran John Putnam Thatcher to spot the cleverly concealed culprit. Not as high-concept as Thatcher's recent outings (East is East, 1991, etc.), but with more memorable characters and counterplots. Above average for this blue-chip series. Read full book review >