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Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad but it could have been much better, January 6, 2006
This review is from: Murder at the B-School (Hardcover)
When a student from a wealthy family, think Rockefeller or Vanderbilt, is found dead in a campus hot tub, the dean of the Harvard Business School asks an untenured finance professor to provide assistance to the student's family. At the same time, a Boston police detective investigates the death and finds evidence of foul play. The detective and professor team up to determine what happened.

I'm a fan of the mystery genre, particularly mysteries where the detective isn't a police officer. I also have a graduate degree in finance, so I expected to love this novel. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. The book's description is misleading in that it implies the professor will solve the case. In truth, the police detective does most of the work. I'd hoped to be given more insight into the inner world of a top tier B-school. Instead, Harvard serves merely as the setting for a stock mystery. This could have just as easily been Murder at Harvard or Murder in Cambridge. The professor didn't seem authentic for a tenure track finance professor at Harvard. He's lackadaisical while I suspect most of them are very intelligent and ambitious. I also expected him to use his unique skills to solve the mystery, similar to how Michael Connelly used a biotech engineer's skills of logic and reasoning to solve a mystery in Chasing the Dime, but that wasn't the case. When John Grisham writes about a lawyer or Michael Crichton writes about a doctor solving a mystery, it's clear they've been there and know what they're talking about. It's obvious this author hasn't been to B-school. He's probably walked across Harvard's campus but that's about it. That's as much of Harvard Business School as you'll get from this story.

On the whole, the book was a pleasant enough experience. The plot flowed smoothly and created enough interest to keep me reading. The protagonists made decent companions for a month's worth of commutes on the train but I don't think I'd be apt to look for a sequel or read anything else by this author. Don't pay retail for this but if you see it in the library or in a bargain bin and like a pleasant mystery that doesn't ask too much from you, then this is worth the read.
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