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Emma Lathen's picture

Emma Lathen

(Mary Jane Latsis and Martha Henissart)

aka R B Dominic

Emma Lathen is the pen name for two American authors: Martha Henissart (who received her B.A. in physics from Mount Holyoke College in 1950), and Mary Jane Latsis (who was born on July 12, 1927 and died on October 29, 1997).

Henissart and Latsis met as graduate students at Harvard. As Lathen, they wrote numerous mystery novels starring John Putnam Thatcher, detective and Wall Street banker. They also wrote under the alternative pseudonym R. B. Dominic; these stories all feature congressman Benton Safford as the sleuth.

The books often refer to specific public events in their plotting; for example, "When in Greece" is mostly set in that country during the Colonels' Revolution, and "Going for the Gold" involves the Winter Olympics at Lake Placid. Others relate to more general social and other trends, such as "Death Shall Overcome" which links with the Civil Rights Movement.

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