Henry Spearman, the balding economics professor with a knack for solving crimes, returns in The Mystery of the Invisible Hand--a clever whodunit of campus intrigue, stolen art, and murder. Having just won the Nobel Prize, Spearman accepts an invitation to lecture at Monte Vista University. He arrives in the wake of a puzzling art heist with plans to teach a course on art and economics--only to be faced with the alleged suicide of womanizing artist-in-residence Tristan Wheeler. When it becomes clear that Wheeler had serious enemies and a murderer is in their midst, Henry Spearman is on the case. Was Wheeler killed by a jilted lover, a cuckolded husband, or a beleaguered assistant? Could there have been a connection between Wheeler's marketability and his death? From the Monte Vista campus in San Antonio to the halls of Sotheby's in New York, Spearman traces the connections between economics and the art world, finding his clues in monopolies and the Coase conjecture, auction theory, and the work of Adam Smith. What are the parallels between a firm's capital and an art museum's collection? What does the market say about art's authenticity versus its availability?
And what is the mysterious "death effect" that lies at the heart of the case? Spearman must rely on his savviest economic insights to clear up this artful mystery and pin down a killer.
Marshall Jevons is the pen name of Kenneth G. Elzinga, professor of economics at the University of Virginia. Elzinga, along with William Breit of Trinity University (1933-2011), has written three other Henry Spearman mystery novels under the Jevons pseudonym: The Fatal Equilibrium, Murder at the Margin, and A Deadly Indifference.
Flash-Forward 1Spearman Meets the King 1 2A Nobel Invitation 5 3No Coase for Concern 11 4Investigation of a Theft 19 5Visiting Professor 29 6West to Texas 37 7An All-Nighter 43 8The Artist Has a Visitor 47 9The Scene of the Crime 57 10Spearman Gets the News 73 11The Academical Village 97 12Dining Protocol in the Academy 107 13A Doctor's House Call 119 14A Conference of Detectives 133 15Art and Economics 141 16It All Began with Adam... 161 17Office Hours: In Three Acts 179 18The Hiring Squad 201 19 Surprise at Sotheby's 217 20Trip to the Travis 231 21Class Action 249 22An Artist's Eulogy 259 23Lost & Found 269 24An Arresting Development 277 25The Death Effect 281 26The Bell Curve 297 27 A Late Night Visit 309 28 Doing Good by Doing Well 317 Acknowledgments 341