Major Yammerton's, which reminded me I had one I haven't ever read. (Or maybe I have, but it's been a while & I've forgotten. Good enough!)
John Putnam Thatcher is a high-powered executive at Sloan Guaranty Bank on Wall Street. He's in Switzerland for other business reasons when he's called in to make a ransom payoff; Davidson Wylie, a key employee at Macklin Drilling, one of Sloan's clients, was kidnapped in Turkey by 'Black Tuesday.' Macklin will be paying, and Thatcher is asked to hand over the money to a numbered Swiss bank account.
But Wylie isn't released. What went wrong? And who is Black Tuesday? Palestinians? Eco-terrorists? (It is an oil company under attack.)
It's an important moment for Macklin: they're in the process of bidding for a North Sea oil site off the coast of Scotland; a German company is their main rival. Wylie was crucial to the bid.
Three weeks later, after some half-hearted negotiations, Wylie is released. By then the bid has been decided, and Macklin won even without Wylie's presence. Wylie is terrified and refuses to help police track down his kidnappers. He flies off to Houston (Macklin's headquarters) for some R&R, but is murdered a few days later.
There's another body--this one in London--before Thatcher solves this one. Pretty fun.
This comes out in 1978 when North Sea oil and OPEC are important issues. (That's assuming they aren't always.) But Emma Lathen isn't a writer of political thrillers, or not exactly, instead owing more to Golden Age mystery conventions, and we've met all the possible suspects by about page 40. (Emma Lathen also isn't Emma Lathen. It's a pseudonym for two high-powered professional women: one a New York lawyer; the other an economics professor.) This is the seventeenth in the series. There were seven more to come.
As it is the world of high finance and oil exploration, it moves around: Switzerland, Istanbul, Greece, Houston, New York, London, Scotland facing the North Sea. It was amusing to see Houston in the 70s, where I was for my undergraduate years. (Though this would be a little before my time.)
And all that traveling means I get to count it for:
Though the chat between the Istanbul cops was pretty entertaining, I think we'll go with that opening scene in the world of Swiss bankers...