The Ancient Nine

The Ancient Nine

by Ian K. Smith

Overview: In 1988, Harvard undergrad Spenser Collins, the narrator of this enticing if formulaic thriller from bestseller Smith (The Blackbird Papers), is invited to a reception given by the Delphic Club, the “most secretive of Harvard’s nine most exclusive clubs,” whose membership includes “some of the world’s most prominent men.” Intrigued, Spenser researches the club’s past and learns that a Harvard student, Erasmus Abbott, vanished in 1927 after attempting to break into the Delphic Club. Spenser decides to investigate, and the path to the truth, of course, proves perilous. Meanwhile, Spenser strikes up a romance with a stunning community college student, Ashley Garrett, who works as a server in his dining hall. Ashley, who turns out to be brilliant but oddly dreams of a career as a wedding planner, initially dismisses the notion of dating a snobby Harvard man before their relationship arrives at a predictable destination. Those seeking an inside look at an Ivy League secret society will get their money’s worth. 75,000 announced first printing. Author tour. Agent: Mitch Hoffman, Aaron M. Priest Literary Agency.

Carole Zwicker (11/12/18): The Ancient Nine exceeded my expectations. I imagined this to be an account of students' lives at Harvard. Instead, the story reads like a Dan Brown mystery, although this fiction is based on real events. Spenser Collins is a Harvard athlete of meager means. Meanwhile, his best friend, Dalton Winthrop, is fifth-generation in Cambridge. In October, 1988, Spenser receives an invitation to attend a reception at one of Harvard's most prestigious and secretive all-male societies. Although he is not from a prominent family, he may be admitted to the Delphic Club if he passes a series of steps. The Delphic Club is an ancient society that has had leaders in politics, industry and entertainment as its members. Spenser and Dalton soon become curious and begin investigating the Delphic's secret past, especially the Ancient Nine who have absolute power over the society's secrets, The book takes us all over Cambridge, into Harvard's numerous libraries, meetings at the Delphic, basketball games, etc. It is a fascinating ride and hooks from the first page. And what an ending! I look forward to reading more books by Dr. Ian K. Smith. Highly recommended.
Rating: *****

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