Off the Shelf: "Accounting for Murder"

By Marcus Pan

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Accounting For MurderWe step into the Hitchcockian with this bit by Emma Lathen. Circa 1964 as one would guess, Accounting For Murder is a mystery novel. It's short and quick, and can be quite entertaining on your bathroom visits and train rides. Emma Lathen is referred to as "America's Agatha Christie." Which surprises me - considering that I've always thought Agatha Christie was in America. Only goes to show you how much of a mystery buff I am. Which is to say - I'm not.

The novel centers around a large company where one Mr. Fortinbras, accountant at large, steps into to force an accounting of books. Of course he's found dead of obviously murderous circumstances, but it gets interesting with the personalities being well played out helping to hide the perpetrator until the final moments. Well executed, if a bit at times dull. It delves slightly into accounting methods to help explain the motive without stepping into sheer boredom.

Overall I found this book to be somewhat quick, and enjoyable for the moment. It fades quickly, leaving not much in the way of impressions. But for some quick, light reading and you tend toward the mystery side of things, Accounting For Murder can give you a short journey in a slightly-dull murder.

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"Accounting For Murder" by Emma Lathen
The Macmillan Company
Copyright © 1964 by Emma Lathen
ISBN: 64-20303

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