The Institute by James M. Cain

The Institute by James M. Cain

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An academic looking for money finds a woman and trouble instead

Professor Lloyd Palmer loves a good biography. His fantasy is to start an institute to teach young scholars the biographical arts, and it will take old money to make his dreams come true. Around Washington, the oldest money is found not in the District, but in Delaware, a land of wealth so astonishing that even the Du Ponts are considered nouveau riche. But when the professor goes to Wilmington, he comes away not with old money, but young trouble. Her name is Hortense Garrett.

She is his benefactor’s wife, a twenty-something beauty trapped in an unhappy marriage, whose good looks conceal the most cunning mind this side of the Potomac. She needs a ride to Washington, and Lloyd offers to give her a lift. They’ve barely left Delaware before he falls for her. By the time they hit the Beltway, his biography will be in her hands.


“Nobody else has ever quite pulled it off the way Cain does, not Hemingway, and not even Raymond Chandler. Cain is a master of the change of pace.” —Tom Wolfe

“A poet of the tabloid murder.” —Edmund Wilson

“No one has ever stopped reading in the middle of one of Jim Cain’s books.” —Saturday Review of Literature

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