Published by St. Martin's Press on September 18th 2018
Buy on Amazon
Cambridge, Massachusetts, Fall 1988
Spenser Collins is a sophomore at Harvard University when he is “punched” to join the Delphic Club, an exclusive all male final club that can boast some of world’s most successful businessmen, politicians, Hollywood legends and Wall Street titans to name a few. Spenser, a basketball player at Harvard, is from Chicago and is the son of a single Mother. He does not quite fit Delphic Club’s membership criteria and yet they are interested in him. Spenser’s friend, Dalton Winthrop, has lived a life of luxury and knows a lot about the exclusive clubs at Harvard. He encourages Spenser to attend the social. Dalton’s great-uncle is the Delphic’s oldest living member. During their talks, Dalton mentions the “Ancient Nine” the infamous secret club within the club. The Ancient Nine is shrouded in mystery and Dalton shares several theories and Harvard Legends about how and why the club within the club exists. Dalton encourages Spenser to check out the club and find out any information he can find about the Ancient Nine. When Spenser meets an interesting man at the first social, Dalton and Spenser have their interest piqued even more than it already was, and they decide to do whatever they can to find out more about the club and the top secret exclusive Ancient Nine. Fueled by a meeting with Dalton’s great-uncle and the request to retrieve a secret book, the two young men must be clever, smart, and cunning to learn the truth.
Through the course of this novel, the reader learns more about the Ancient Nine but also about Harvard, Harvard’s history and secret societies in general. Spenser and Dalton discover there had been a missing person/murder in the 1920’s and as they research, the reader is also shown the library and research system at Harvard.
This book has a little bit of everything: secret societies, mystery, suspense, romance, and has a cat and mouse feel. There is also the objectification of women which may be uncomfortable to some, but I feel is indicative of the time the book is set in and the fact that the book is about frat/secret societies. There are stories within stories and those who want to keep the secrets of the club – just that secrets. Plus, there is the component about religion, the mention of King James and the King James Bible. How is all this related? You’ll have to read this to find out! There is a lot going on in this book – almost too much at times for me.
Thank you to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.