Read: Murder at the Margin

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During last year’s December reunion at my old boss’ and professor’s place he recommended a little novel to me. Some detective fiction where the protagonist is an economist who solves the crime using economic principles. He got the book himself as a gift and obviously liked it. I bought the first book of the trilogy and got the two other ones as a gift myself for my birthday.

Murder at the Margin written by Marshall Jevons, an alias for the two economists William Breit and Kenneth G. Elizinga, can and indeed did already serve as complementary reading to courses in the principles of economics. The novel is written in the tradition of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple or Hercule Poirot: A crime, some obvious but innocent suspects, some nice reasoning, here based on economic principles, and finally the unveiling of the killer.

It’s a brief novel (just about 200 pages), it’s slowly paced and violence is only experienced indirectly. There is no gore, there is no blood. Yet, there are murder victims and therefore a crime to solve. And since I liked those Miss Marple movies (Yes, the movies. The Dame Margaret Rutherford movies. I have not gotten to read any of Agatha Christie’s novels so far.) I liked this novel.

I really enjoyed it. And I believe first year economics students might enjoy this book as well. It certainly is not as dry as many textbooks and still can teach a few economic principles to the reader.