The Ancient Nine
"Pulls you into the depths of a secret world from the first page. Ian Smith’s novel is unmissable." —Harlan Coben, author of Missing YouCambridge, Massachusetts, Fall 1988Spenser CollinsAn unlikely Harvard prospect, smart and athletic, strapped for cash, determined to succeed. Calls his mother—who raised him on her own in Chicago—every week.Dalton WinthropA white-shoe legacy at Harvard, he's just the most recent in a string of moneyed, privileged Winthrop men in Cambridge. He's got the ease—and the deep knowledge—that come from belonging.These two find enough common ground to become friends, cementing their bond when Spenser is "punched" to join the Delphic Club, one of the most exclusive of Harvard's famous all-male final clubs. Founded in the nineteenth century, the Delphic has had titans of industry, Hollywood legends, heads of state, and power brokers among its members.Dalton Winthrop knows firsthand that the Delphic doesn't offer memberships to just anyone. His great-uncle is one of their oldest living members, and Dalton grew up on stories of the club's rituals. But why is his uncle so cryptic about the Ancient Nine, a shadowy group of alums whose identities are unknown and whose power is absolute? They protect the Delphic's darkest and oldest secrets—including what happened to a student who sneaked into the club's stately brick mansion in 1927 and was never seen again.Dalton steers Spenser into deeper and deeper recesses of the club, and beyond, to try to make sense of what they think they may be seeing. But with each scrap of information they get from an octogenarian Crimson graduate, a crumbling newspaper in the library's archives, or one of Harvard's most famous and heavily guarded historical books, a fresh complication trips them up. The more the friends investigate, the more questions they unearth, tangling the story of the club, the disappearance, and the Ancient Nine, until they realize their own lives are in danger.

The Ancient Nine Details

TitleThe Ancient Nine
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 18th, 2018
PublisherSt. Martin's Press
ISBN-139781250182395
Rating
GenreFiction, Mystery, Thriller, Mystery Thriller

The Ancient Nine Review

  • Tammy
    January 1, 1970
    An unlikely student is punched (nominated) for membership into the Delphic club, one of the nine most exclusive clubs at Harvard. Things unravel from there as Spenser and another student in 1988 become obsessed with discovering the dark secrets of the Ancient Nine, a clandestine group within the Gas. There is a murder but it happens during the 1920’s so this is more of a puzzle requiring academic research and digging (some of it physical) rather than a traditional murder mystery. Be prepared for An unlikely student is punched (nominated) for membership into the Delphic club, one of the nine most exclusive clubs at Harvard. Things unravel from there as Spenser and another student in 1988 become obsessed with discovering the dark secrets of the Ancient Nine, a clandestine group within the Gas. There is a murder but it happens during the 1920’s so this is more of a puzzle requiring academic research and digging (some of it physical) rather than a traditional murder mystery. Be prepared for the objectification of women which I took with a grain of salt given the time period and that most of the characters are basically testosterone driven frat boys and sons of the 1%. After all, women have only recently found their voice within the #metoo movement. There’s also some nifty Harvard history, legend and lore along the way. Read this if you’re in the mood for a campus novel that pulls back the curtain on some very snarled ivy.
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  • Joy D
    January 1, 1970
    Set mostly in 1988, this book takes the reader inside Harvard’s final clubs (social clubs not officially recognized by the school) through a multi-layered mystery related to the disappearance of a student in 1927. The protagonist, Spencer Collins, is a pre-med undergraduate basketball player. He is being recruited by the Delphic, an exclusive all-male club with dark secrets. As a person of color from the south side of Chicago, he is not the typical privileged, wealthy, white recruit. Spencer and Set mostly in 1988, this book takes the reader inside Harvard’s final clubs (social clubs not officially recognized by the school) through a multi-layered mystery related to the disappearance of a student in 1927. The protagonist, Spencer Collins, is a pre-med undergraduate basketball player. He is being recruited by the Delphic, an exclusive all-male club with dark secrets. As a person of color from the south side of Chicago, he is not the typical privileged, wealthy, white recruit. Spencer and a friend attempt to solve the multiple mysteries related to the rumored leadership of the club, the titular “Ancient Nine.” Their search for clues becomes an intellectual puzzle, leading them to explore libraries, archives, and ancient texts. I very much enjoyed the cerebral parts of this story; however, it was difficult for me to overlook the numerous scenes that objectified women (bawdy jokes, descriptions of physical attributes, women as “rewards”). If the book had stuck to the mystery, which was interesting and complex, I would have enjoyed it more and rated it higher. Contains sexism, hazing, and underage drinking. Recommended to those that enjoy erudite mysteries.I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher, St. Martin’s Press, via NetGalley in return for a candid review. The expected publication date is September 18, 2018.
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  • Janet
    January 1, 1970
    I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher --- "Pulls you into the depths of a secret world from the first page. Ian Smith’s novel is unmissable." —Harlan Coben, author of Missing YouSpencer Collins thinks his life at Harvard will be all about basketball and pre-med; hard workouts and grinding work in class. The friends he’s made when he hits the storied ivy-clad campus from a very different life in urban Chicago are I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher --- "Pulls you into the depths of a secret world from the first page. Ian Smith’s novel is unmissable." —Harlan Coben, author of Missing YouSpencer Collins thinks his life at Harvard will be all about basketball and pre-med; hard workouts and grinding work in class. The friends he’s made when he hits the storied ivy-clad campus from a very different life in urban Chicago are a happy bonus. But Spencer is about to be introduced to the most mysterious inner sanctum of the inner sanctum: to his surprise, he’s in the running to be “punched” for one of Harvard’s elite final clubs.The Delphic Club is known as “the Gas” for its crest of three gas-lit flames, and as Spencer is considered for membership, he’s plunged not only into the secret world of male privilege that the Gas represents, but also into a century-old club mystery. Because at the heart of the Delphic, secured deep inside its guarded mansion club, is another secret society: a shadowy group of powerful men known as The Ancient Nine.Who are The Ancient Nine? And why is Spencer—along with his best friend Dalton Winthrop—summoned to the deathbed of Dalton’s uncle just as Spencer is being punched for the club? What does the lore about a missing page from one of Harvard’s most historic books mean? And how does it connect to religion, murder, and to the King James Bible, if not to King James himself?The Ancient Nine is both a coming of age novel and a swiftly plotted story that lets readers into the ultimate of closed worlds with all of its dark historical secrets and unyielding power.We all have heard a lot about Harvard but this “semi-true” (based on real events) story was quite educational even if it wasn’t 100% accurate. It was also interesting to see that it was written by an MD who has written diet/health books and one other novel which I have already ordered from Amazon to read. (BTW Ian Smith is about 40 years younger than I thought he would be after perusing his website!)The book draws you in and keeps you hooked and it went down paths that I never dreamt existed much less expected to read about.PERFECT FOR BOOK CLUBS as it will keep you discussing race, privilege, lore and legend for hours on end…5 solid stars from this librarian.
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  • Jennifer (JC-S)
    January 1, 1970
    ‘…you might be the way we crack the Ancient Nine.’Spenser Collins and Dalton Winthrop, two students at Harvard, unlikely friends. Spenser, a poor black boy from Chicago, is smart and athletic, determined to succeed. Dalton is the latest in a family of moneyed Winthrop men to attend Harvard. Dalton belongs in ways that Spenser cannot.Their friendship is strengthened when Spenser is ‘punched’ by the Delphic Club, one of the most exclusive of Harvard’s famous all-male- final clubs. The Delphic was ‘…you might be the way we crack the Ancient Nine.’Spenser Collins and Dalton Winthrop, two students at Harvard, unlikely friends. Spenser, a poor black boy from Chicago, is smart and athletic, determined to succeed. Dalton is the latest in a family of moneyed Winthrop men to attend Harvard. Dalton belongs in ways that Spenser cannot.Their friendship is strengthened when Spenser is ‘punched’ by the Delphic Club, one of the most exclusive of Harvard’s famous all-male- final clubs. The Delphic was founded in the nineteenth century and counts heads of state, power brokers, titans of industry as well as Hollywood legends amongst its members. So, where does Spenser fit in? Dalton is well aware of the exclusivity of this club: his great-uncle is one of their oldest living members. But there’s said to be an even more exclusive group within the Delphic Club: The Ancient Nine. The identities of the Ancient Nine are unknown, they are rumoured to be a shadowy group of alumni with absolute power and who protect the Delphic’s darkest secrets. One of those secrets: what happened to a student who was last seen sneaking into the Delphic mansion in 1927, and was never seen again?Step by step, Spenser and Dalton become caught up in this mystery. Step by step, Spenser faces the processes for acceptance into the Delphic Club (also known as ‘the Gas’). Spenser and Dalton find clues, eked out like breadcrumbs in the forest, but there’s always some additional twist. Are their lives in danger? And how is it that the members of the Delphic know so much about Spenser? I found this novel entertaining and enjoyed following the various clues. I’m not a huge fan of novels about secret societies with their (often) arcane, exclusive rituals. What held my attention in this novel was trying to work out why Spenser had been ‘punched’ by this particular group. I was also curious about what had happened to the missing student in 1927, and a certain mystery about a seventeenth century book.Although I enjoyed the book, I was disappointed that the ending seemed to indicate a continuation of the status quo: exclusive, privileged people protecting their own.‘Just like old times.’Note: My thanks to NetGalley and St Martin’s Press for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes.Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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  • Nancy
    January 1, 1970
    The Ancient Nine by Ian K. Smith is a book for people who like to work out puzzles and mysteries.A poor black kid from Southside Chicago, Spenser Collins worked for academic excellence, supported by his single mom. He is also a talented basketball player. His acceptance by Harvard University starts him on his way to medical school so he can pay his mom back and support her in style.If getting into Harvard seemed like a stretch, receiving an invitation from an exclusive final club, the Gas, total The Ancient Nine by Ian K. Smith is a book for people who like to work out puzzles and mysteries.A poor black kid from Southside Chicago, Spenser Collins worked for academic excellence, supported by his single mom. He is also a talented basketball player. His acceptance by Harvard University starts him on his way to medical school so he can pay his mom back and support her in style.If getting into Harvard seemed like a stretch, receiving an invitation from an exclusive final club, the Gas, totally puts Spenser outside of his comfort zone. His friend Dalton, whose family has deep Boston and Harvard roots, encourages him to go for it. There is a mystery behind the Gas involving a secret chamber and a dead student in 1951. Dalton encourages Spenser that from inside the club he can solve the mystery of what really happened in 1951.Elaborate parties with endless drinks and gourmet food, and sometimes even 'provided' women, is the social norm for the Gas. While the other boys overindulge, Spenser stays dry and trim for basketball.Spenser and Dalton go on a chase that involves day jaunts to talk to elderly Gas members and hours spent in dusty libraries. They create a patchwork quilt of evidence, but none of it adds up. Meanwhile, Spenser has met the love of his life, a townie who doesn't date Harvard men. She is also from a poor single mom and smart and determined to get an education.I knew nothing about Harvard or final clubs or Cambridge. It all sounded pretty over the top to me, but a Goggle search confirmed these clubs are elite, with the 1% of the wealthiest and most prestigious families being members. The parties at mansions, the money, the exclusiveness, the white male predominance-- it's all real. I sure hope the bussed in women for the parties are not real, but I likely am hoping in vain.The story dragged about mid-way. I was getting tired of late nights at libraries. The mystery involves King James I and puritanical writings and Knights of the Garter protecting the reputation of the King. It's all about libraries and books and a coverup.For all the tension over perceived threats, it was all talk and little action. There is a revelation about corrupt money and power and Spenser learns about his family history.One aspect of the story I liked was how it addressed the African American experience in this nearly all-white exclusive world of movers and shakers.Overall, The Ancient Nine was an entertaining light read.
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  • TAS
    January 1, 1970
    Full Disclosure: This book is scheduled to be published in September 2018. I received early access in exchange for writing an impartial review. This is a well-constructed mystery that will keep you turning each page. And that makes it a quick read. Along the way, there’s a bit of history woven in, lots of library research, a connection to British knights, and a bunch of secrets to be discovered. You also get a peak into the elite world of attending Harvard University, with random tidbits about w Full Disclosure: This book is scheduled to be published in September 2018. I received early access in exchange for writing an impartial review. This is a well-constructed mystery that will keep you turning each page. And that makes it a quick read. Along the way, there’s a bit of history woven in, lots of library research, a connection to British knights, and a bunch of secrets to be discovered. You also get a peak into the elite world of attending Harvard University, with random tidbits about which dorms are considered the most prestigious, which famous people attended, and where Harvard students in-the-know go to eat.But for me, this is so obviously a book written by a male writer for a male reader, especially if that reader happened to attend Harvard University or some other male-dominated Ivy League school. I felt I was reading a book that would have been published in the 1940s or 1950s, rather than taking place in the late 1980s.At its core, this is a deep dive into white male privilege — no matter that the main character, Spenser Collins, is an Afro-American from the streets of Chicago who plays basketball for Harvard. (Sound a little trite already, maybe?) The story focuses on Spenser’s initiation into the shadow world of Harvard’s private clubs, where rich and powerful alumni have created a “brotherhood” that unites the elite across generations. In fact, Spenser is so consumed with solving club mysteries and attending basketball practices that he (along with his rich friend Dalton) seldom seem to do any actual studying.As a woman reading about this world, so much of what happens seems downright childish to me. Boys breaking into dorm rooms in the middle of the night to frighten and blindfold students for assorted hazing rituals. Secretly delivered letters informing a few select students who is in and who is out at which private club. Lots of forced alcohol consumption, followed by raucous laughter when pledgers end up violently vomiting. Imposed risk taking and, of course, the requisite mooning. Plus, lots of careless sex with anonymous women — always provided by club members to pledgers as a sort of celebratory gift. I think the most offensive section for me was when pledgers end an offsite ritual by being delivered to a group of beautiful women, wearing nothing but high heels, who stand waiting to “entertain” them. (Are we talking male fantasy here or what?)At the end of the book, when the final secrets are revealed, the solution feels contrived — with a whole bunch of new elements introduced and then elaborately intertwined. For me, it did not constitute sufficient payoff for slogging through so much overt sexism and boy play.
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  • Patricia Romero
    January 1, 1970
    Spencer is at Harvard to play basketball and hopefully get into med school. Spencer is a really good character. From the wrong side of Chicago to the ivy leagued and wealthy Harvard, he seems to fit in just fine. Spencer was raised by a single mother and never knew his father. But his father left money for his education and somehow this is all connected to a very old final club, The Gas. At the Delphic House rumors abound concerning a secret room and several deaths. When Spencer's friend Dalton Spencer is at Harvard to play basketball and hopefully get into med school. Spencer is a really good character. From the wrong side of Chicago to the ivy leagued and wealthy Harvard, he seems to fit in just fine. Spencer was raised by a single mother and never knew his father. But his father left money for his education and somehow this is all connected to a very old final club, The Gas. At the Delphic House rumors abound concerning a secret room and several deaths. When Spencer's friend Dalton steals a book from his dying Uncle, the two of them set out to find out the truth behind the disappearance of a student and who are the Ancient Nine? A secret society, a hidden secret from King James I, and throw in some Nazi's and you have yourself an unstoppable mystery with thrills around every corner.From the very first page you know this is going to be one of those you can't put down. It's got a little bit of everything in there and I found myself actually heading to the catalogs to verify some of the historical portions. Very interesting. I can't wait for the next one!Well Done!Netgalley/St.Martin's  September 18, 2018
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  • White Hot Reads
    January 1, 1970
    The Ancient Nine is filled with depth and history of Harvard and the secret society culture. ~ White Hot ReadsI am fascinated by both history and secret societies so when I found The Ancient Nine on Netgalley I was so excited to read it and I'm glad I did. Overall, the book is full of layers and mysteries that we are trying to figure out. I enjoyed getting to know Spencer and Dalton. However, there were a couple of things that I struggled with, including, some of the details (in 1988 computers w The Ancient Nine is filled with depth and history of Harvard and the secret society culture. ~ White Hot ReadsI am fascinated by both history and secret societies so when I found The Ancient Nine on Netgalley I was so excited to read it and I'm glad I did. Overall, the book is full of layers and mysteries that we are trying to figure out. I enjoyed getting to know Spencer and Dalton. However, there were a couple of things that I struggled with, including, some of the details (in 1988 computers were not as common as the author makes it seems) and some of the research felt like I was slugging through. But I loved that the book kept me guessing and I loved how descriptive the author was of the area and the buildings. That made it easier to visualize the places they were going.
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  • Maranda
    January 1, 1970
    Was not sure I would like this book but IT WAS SURPRISINGLY GREAT! College life at Harvard for Spenser takes some interesting trails to enlightenment. Mystery clubs and hidden rooms takes Spenser from libraries to night time grave digging. Author with talent not only for characters but weaves a great story. "A copy of this book was supplied by St. Martin's Press via Netgalley with no requirements for a review. Comments here are my honest opinion."
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  • Rachel Carr
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book from a goodreads giveaway. My copy was an Advance Readers edition so there were several grammatical/typo errors and some tense issues that I hope will be corrected in the final version.The story is solid - a really good fast-paced mystery. It hit on elements that I always find enthralling - secret societies, hidden mysteries, religious overtones, family secrets/drama and had an added element of peeking in to the lives of the ultra rich. Personally, living outside Philadelphi I received this book from a goodreads giveaway. My copy was an Advance Readers edition so there were several grammatical/typo errors and some tense issues that I hope will be corrected in the final version.The story is solid - a really good fast-paced mystery. It hit on elements that I always find enthralling - secret societies, hidden mysteries, religious overtones, family secrets/drama and had an added element of peeking in to the lives of the ultra rich. Personally, living outside Philadelphia where the Wideners lived, I enjoyed the parts involving that family's ties to Harvard, too.Good character development, excellent setting and plot made this a really enjoyable read. Would love to see a movie version too!
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  • Whit
    January 1, 1970
    Old history and old money come together in this coming of age tale. THE ANCIENT NINE chronicles the steps a young boy from the South Side of Chicago takes to crack the secret code of one of Harvard’s earliest Final Clubs, The Delphic. Set in the late 80s, Dr. Ian Smith captured the fun of the times in amazing detail and left nothing out. One facet of the novel that I loved was how Dr. Ian didn't shy away from the race aspect of the story. Spenser is a black kid who is navigating Harvard with ext Old history and old money come together in this coming of age tale. THE ANCIENT NINE chronicles the steps a young boy from the South Side of Chicago takes to crack the secret code of one of Harvard’s earliest Final Clubs, The Delphic. Set in the late 80s, Dr. Ian Smith captured the fun of the times in amazing detail and left nothing out. One facet of the novel that I loved was how Dr. Ian didn't shy away from the race aspect of the story. Spenser is a black kid who is navigating Harvard with extreme grace. The side stories such as his growing love affair with a younger lady named Ashley and his basketball adventures kept the story moving and allows the reader to view different dimensions of his life. Spenser was relatable and I immediately became proud of him and his extreme critical thinking skills throughout the whole ordeal. This book is tastefully detailed and thorough. The imagery presented of the Harvard campus allowed the reader to get a vivid understanding of how the campus was set up in the 80s and the description of Spenser's initiation (or punch) into the club, kept me wondering how true each scenario actually was in real life. As the reader, I would love to know if Dr. Ian Smith received any cease & desists letters from the club. I enjoyed this read and even though it was my first book by the author I do not see it being my last. I give this novel 5/5 stars. 
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  • Bea
    January 1, 1970
    This is a phenomenal book, with lots of depth, various clues and nail biting suspense. It is a very intriguing topic and the author did a great job of capturing my interest and keeping it throughout. I never considered skipping a page or giving up while reading this book and that says a lot! I had no idea that Harvard had such a fascinating history, nor did I know it had that many libraries! I was ready to pack my bags just to go see the libraries and all those amazing books!The characters in th This is a phenomenal book, with lots of depth, various clues and nail biting suspense. It is a very intriguing topic and the author did a great job of capturing my interest and keeping it throughout. I never considered skipping a page or giving up while reading this book and that says a lot! I had no idea that Harvard had such a fascinating history, nor did I know it had that many libraries! I was ready to pack my bags just to go see the libraries and all those amazing books!The characters in the book are captivating and easy to get to know and like. The fact that they must uncover clues in order to solve the mystery of a students disappearance kept this readers interest. I don’t know if there are actually clubs like this at Harvard but it certainly seemed possible. Now I want to know so the book spurred me on to a bit more exploration. As a matter of fact, this book reads like things could actually have happened this way and it might all be true. I guess that’s part of what was so fascinating to me.This book is a definite five star read! I will be searching for more books by this author, I just can’t say enough about how wonderful it was. I received a copy of The Ancient Nine through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to St. Martin’s Press and to Ian Smith, M.D. for the opportunity.
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  • Patty Nobles
    January 1, 1970
    “The Ancient Nine” is a superb masterpiece by author Ian Smith that will keep the readers on the edge of their seat until the final page is turned. Harvard University is steep in traditions and in “The Ancient Nine,” the exclusivity and the rituals of the clubs are explored when the reader is taken on a journey regarding the mysterious disappearance of a student years ago who was determined to lend credence to the folklore surrounding the famed Delphic Club.Spenser Collins is a non-traditional s “The Ancient Nine” is a superb masterpiece by author Ian Smith that will keep the readers on the edge of their seat until the final page is turned. Harvard University is steep in traditions and in “The Ancient Nine,” the exclusivity and the rituals of the clubs are explored when the reader is taken on a journey regarding the mysterious disappearance of a student years ago who was determined to lend credence to the folklore surrounding the famed Delphic Club.Spenser Collins is a non-traditional student who is given an invitation to join the Delphic Club, but when he shared the news with his friend Dalton Winthrop, he is told of the disappearance of long ago a student and the secret society of the Ancient Nine. Spenser and Dalton work diligently to uncover the truth in order for Spenser to determine if the Delphic Club is part of his future. I was given an advanced copy of this book, and all of the opinions expressed in this review are my own.
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  • Pam
    January 1, 1970
    This book tells the story of Mr. Collins, a black basketball player from Chicago, who is at Harvard. While there, he gets invited to pledge The Delphic Club, one of the final clubs (i.e. secret societies) at Harvard. He uncovers a mystery along with his best friend and they attempt to figure out a mystery surrounding the Delph from years ago. I really enjoyed the mystery of the story. The ending was good as well. I received a free copy from Goodreads but my opinions are my own.
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  • Michelle Kidwell
    January 1, 1970
    The Ancient NineA Novelby Ian Smith, M.D.St. Martin's PressGeneral Fiction (Adult)Pub Date 18 Sep 2018I am reviewing a copy of The Ancient Nine through St. Martin's Press and Netgalley:Spencer Collins is not your likely Harvard prospect, although he is smart and funny, he's also strapped for cash, but he's determined to succeed so he calls his Mom for help!Dalton Winthrop is just the most recent of a string of privileged men with money in Cambridge! He has the ease that comes with belonging.Desp 
The Ancient Nine
A Novel
by Ian Smith, M.D.
St. Martin's Press
General Fiction (Adult)
Pub Date 18 Sep 2018
I am reviewing a copy of The Ancient Nine through St. Martin's Press and Netgalley:
Spencer Collins is not your likely Harvard prospect, although he is smart and funny, he's also strapped for cash, but he's determined to succeed so he calls his Mom for help!Dalton Winthrop is just the most recent of a string of privileged men with money in Cambridge! He has the ease that comes with belonging.
Despite their differences Spencer and Dalton find enough in common to become friends. Spenser is ready to join the Delphic Club, one of the most exclusive all male final club that goes back to the nineteenth century. The Delpic had titans of industry as well as the Hollywood elite joining as well as heads of the states even power brokers among its members!Dalton knows firsthand that the Delphic just doesn't open membership to anyone! He knows this because his great uncle is one of the oldest living members, so he grew up with stories on club rituals, so why is his great Uncle so secretive about the Ancient Nine, a group of alums who are not known but who holds the power over the club, what they say goes. These men who are hidden in the shadows hold the oldest and darkest secrets of Delphic, including what happened to the student who snuck into the clubs large brick mansion in 1927 and was never seem again.Dalton leads Spenser deeper and deeper into the recesses of the club to try to make sense of everything. But with each piece of information they realize they are in more and more dangers themselves.I give The Ancient Nine five out of five stars!Happy Reading!
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  • Brittany Gardner
    January 1, 1970
    This book was just an ok read for me. I was intrigued by the idea of Spenser chasing down the secrets of the Ancient Nine and the Delphic club at Harvard, but the book didn't pan out quite like I thought it would.I loved the parts that focused on Spenser's life. His developing relationship with Ashley, his sports career, his academic life, and even his experiences with being punched for the Delphic club. Each piece that developed his character was interesting to me, and those were my favorite pa This book was just an ok read for me. I was intrigued by the idea of Spenser chasing down the secrets of the Ancient Nine and the Delphic club at Harvard, but the book didn't pan out quite like I thought it would.I loved the parts that focused on Spenser's life. His developing relationship with Ashley, his sports career, his academic life, and even his experiences with being punched for the Delphic club. Each piece that developed his character was interesting to me, and those were my favorite parts of the novel.The downside for me is that these parts of the novel got incredibly bogged down with the history parts of the novel. In Spenser's quest to discover more about the Ancient Nine, he has to do a lot of research about Harvard, the Delphic Club, and its members. The reader shares in so much of this research that there were parts of the novel where I felt like it was dragging. I skimmed a few parts that had long passages written in old type, only to be transcribed by Spenser immediately afterward. I think this novel could have been improved by a little less full-on history and maybe a little more of Spenser puzzling it out for the reader. I think I wouldn't have been so overwhelmed in that case and would have enjoyed the novel much more.This was just so-so for me, so it's hard for me to recommend it. I don't think I got enough out of the reading experience to push others to read this book.
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  • Anneke
    January 1, 1970
    Book Review: The Ancient NineAuthor: Ian Smith M.D.Publisher: St. Martin’s PressPublication Date: September 18, 2018Review Date: August 15, 2018I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From Amazon: "Pulls you into the depths of a secret world from the first page. Ian Smith’s novel is unmissable." ―Harlan Coben, author of Missing YouWell, not exactly unmissable. I found this book to be a boring slog. It is about the secret all-male clubs at Harvard, and Book Review: The Ancient NineAuthor: Ian Smith M.D.Publisher: St. Martin’s PressPublication Date: September 18, 2018Review Date: August 15, 2018I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From Amazon: "Pulls you into the depths of a secret world from the first page. Ian Smith’s novel is unmissable." ―Harlan Coben, author of Missing YouWell, not exactly unmissable. I found this book to be a boring slog. It is about the secret all-male clubs at Harvard, and that just isn’t very interesting to me. I found that the mystery petered out, and turned into something absolutely boring. I’m sure it’s probably me and my taste, but I give it 3 Stars and can’t recommend anyone read it, unless you are fascinated with Harvard and the trappings of the exclusive world of the male 1%. Halfway through, I just grew tired of it and wondered why the story stretched out so long, and more important, I did not care about the outcome or solving the mystery. So, thumbs down. This may be an interesting read if you’re a Harvard graduate or current student or a member of that elite East Coast snobbery-filled 1%. That’s not me and I have dozens of other wonderful books calling for my attention to waste any further time with this book. This review will be posted on NetGalley, Goodreads, Facebook, Instagram, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon after the publication date, as Amazon does not take reviews until publication.
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  • Peg
    January 1, 1970
    The Ancient Nine is a book about one of Harvard’s most private and elite society groups, known as the Delphic Club. This exclusive group had the most secrets and mysteries of all of the Harvard clubs. There were rumors of dark undercover happenings, missing persons, and murder. Within the Delphic Club was another secret society known as the Ancient Nine. Spencer Collins was from Chicago and had a single parent upbringing. He was attending Harvard to play basketball and study medicine. Spencer wa The Ancient Nine is a book about one of Harvard’s most private and elite society groups, known as the Delphic Club. This exclusive group had the most secrets and mysteries of all of the Harvard clubs. There were rumors of dark undercover happenings, missing persons, and murder. Within the Delphic Club was another secret society known as the Ancient Nine. Spencer Collins was from Chicago and had a single parent upbringing. He was attending Harvard to play basketball and study medicine. Spencer was astounded when he received an invitation to a private party for Delphic Club members. Spencer didn’t fit their mold. He wasn’t from a wealthy family, or live in a prestigious neighborhood. He never attended private schools and didn’t mingle in the same circles as the elite. So why him? His best friend Dalton Winthrop, however, who knew about Harvard’s exclusive clubs, said that Spencer’s invitation was the real deal. Spencer had no idea what he was getting into but was eager to find out. The underworld of secret Harvard societies was about to open up for him.The Ancient Nine is an intriguing story, well-written, and captivating.Thank you, St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.
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  • Julianne Berg
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of this book from a Goodreads Giveaway and I have to say it was pretty solid. It had me hooked from the beginning and was very hard to put down. While at some parts, there was a bit too much extraneous detail, I enjoyed the glimpse into the “hidden world” of these clubs. I also found myself liking the characters, especially Spenser. I can’t give this book 5 stars, however, because I feel like the ending wasn’t satisfying. There was such a build up of murder and other dark secre I received an ARC of this book from a Goodreads Giveaway and I have to say it was pretty solid. It had me hooked from the beginning and was very hard to put down. While at some parts, there was a bit too much extraneous detail, I enjoyed the glimpse into the “hidden world” of these clubs. I also found myself liking the characters, especially Spenser. I can’t give this book 5 stars, however, because I feel like the ending wasn’t satisfying. There was such a build up of murder and other dark secrets and then it was just thrown together in an unbelievable way for me. I’m also a bit confused as to how Moss Sampson became the owner of the clubhouse but I was finishing this up late into the night and may have missed something. Overall, I really enjoyed the book, but think some of the long winded explanations could be cut and have the climax feel more groundbreaking. Much thanks to St. Martin’s press for the Advanced copy!
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  • Avephoenix
    January 1, 1970
    The Ancient Nine is a mystery thriller about hidden dark secrets, privilege, power, history and secret societies. I got hooked from the very first page finding it hard to put my tablet down.The story is well-written and well research. A well-built plot and sub-plots and twists and turns when you least expected. Well rounded, and believable characters that will give you the chills after some google research (supposedly the story is based on real events). The one of the few things Spenser Collins The Ancient Nine is a mystery thriller about hidden dark secrets, privilege, power, history and secret societies. I got hooked from the very first page finding it hard to put my tablet down.The story is well-written and well research. A well-built plot and sub-plots and twists and turns when you least expected. Well rounded, and believable characters that will give you the chills after some google research (supposedly the story is based on real events). The one of the few things Spenser Collins and Dalton Winthrop have in common is that both are students at Harvard. However, they become good friends and while trying to uncover a mystery, they found themselves in danger. (I'm sorry, buit this is all you getting for me. I hate spoilers!)This was a very interesting and entertaining read and highly recommend it!
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  • Janell
    January 1, 1970
    If you enjoy the DaVinci Code or similar books, you are likely to appreciate 'The Ancient Nine,' a fictional story based on real facts by best-selling author Ian Smith. The setting is the campus of Harvard, where an unlikely student is nominated (punched) for membership into the Delphic club, one of the nine most exclusive clubs at Harvard. Things unravel from there as the character, Spenser, and another student in 1988 become obsessed with discovering the dark secrets of the Ancient Nine, a c If you enjoy the DaVinci Code or similar books, you are likely to appreciate 'The Ancient Nine,' a fictional story based on real facts by best-selling author Ian Smith. The setting is the campus of Harvard, where an unlikely student is nominated (punched) for membership into the Delphic club, one of the nine most exclusive clubs at Harvard. Things unravel from there as the character, Spenser, and another student in 1988 become obsessed with discovering the dark secrets of the Ancient Nine, a clandestine group within the Gas. The clandestine group of men is what the story evolves around and Spenser's search for the truth – some of which involves the history of his own predecessors. A good read.
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  • Terry Pearson
    January 1, 1970
    My thanks to St. Martin’s Press for the free copy. I receive zero compensation for my reviews.Ian Smith’s depiction of Harvard’s secret societies, the Final Clubs, rings true to what I heard about them many years ago from a friend. The book is fictional but Dr. Smith draws from his experience as a member which I think adds more credibility to the story.The book is well written and thought out and I enjoyed the history and mystery of these elite clubs and one young man’s journey into the depths o My thanks to St. Martin’s Press for the free copy. I receive zero compensation for my reviews.Ian Smith’s depiction of Harvard’s secret societies, the Final Clubs, rings true to what I heard about them many years ago from a friend. The book is fictional but Dr. Smith draws from his experience as a member which I think adds more credibility to the story.The book is well written and thought out and I enjoyed the history and mystery of these elite clubs and one young man’s journey into the depths of it. Fast paced to me, I read this book in three days. this was a nice change from psychological thrillers.
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  • Danielle Urban
    January 1, 1970
    The Ancient Nine by Ian Smith, M.D. is one very interesting mystery. A young man who appears to be the average guy, is soon chasing after clues to solve a disappearance. From there, it leads to a lot of intriguing connections like the Nazis and a college club society that leaves behind more questions than answers. Dark, edgy, and entertaining, I got lost within this novel. Ian Smith's main protagonist was easy to relate to and felt real. The plot was steady. Overall, I recommend this book full o The Ancient Nine by Ian Smith, M.D. is one very interesting mystery. A young man who appears to be the average guy, is soon chasing after clues to solve a disappearance. From there, it leads to a lot of intriguing connections like the Nazis and a college club society that leaves behind more questions than answers. Dark, edgy, and entertaining, I got lost within this novel. Ian Smith's main protagonist was easy to relate to and felt real. The plot was steady. Overall, I recommend this book full of secrets to all readers. I received this copy from the publisher. This is my voluntary review.
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  • Natasha du Plessis
    January 1, 1970
    This was a very interesting book, a book about Harvard and the final clubs there. I don't know much about Harvard and didn't even know what a final club was. This book was very informative and although fictional I learnt a lot. I loved the story as well as the characters and also the fact that there were not any real bad guys in this story. This was not a fast read for me and it took me a while to get through the book but at no stage whilst reading did I get bored. I also liked the ending of the This was a very interesting book, a book about Harvard and the final clubs there. I don't know much about Harvard and didn't even know what a final club was. This book was very informative and although fictional I learnt a lot. I loved the story as well as the characters and also the fact that there were not any real bad guys in this story. This was not a fast read for me and it took me a while to get through the book but at no stage whilst reading did I get bored. I also liked the ending of the story. I would definitely recommend this book.
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  • Sharon
    January 1, 1970
    The Ancient Nine is an entertaining romp w/a DaVinci Code meets The Skulls feel. The protagonist investigates a secret society at Harvard that might be hiding some dark truths they don't want revealed. An author's note indicates that the story is based on Smith's own experience- count me in!This ARC was provided by St. Martin's Press/Macmillan in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Sunit Anandwala
    January 1, 1970
    I think this was a very entertaining read, so much so that I finished the entire book in a single sitting! There were some twists and turns that made it very compelling to keep on reading. I hope that this is turned into a movie or TV show. In the meantime, turn of the TV or other streaming device and check out this book! It has plenty of entertainment value.
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  • Pam
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed reading this book, but it was too much of too many things, all at once. Does it really need extremely detailed descriptions of the punching process AND full text sections in Old English AND play-by-play of basketball games?
  • Rita
    January 1, 1970
    This is a very Interesting book. It takes you behind the scenes on the final clubs at Harvard. As the story goes on it uncovers so many secrets that have been held back for generations. Spencer finds out all the mystery and secrets. Good book
  • Robert
    January 1, 1970
    I have not read a book that quickly in a long time. Magnificent and riveting! Picked it up not knowing what to expect from Dr. Ian Smith and was transported to a tale that kept me on the edge of my seat.
  • Deb
    January 1, 1970
    I won this book on a goodreads giveaway., and I loved it. It was not at all what I expectedit, and although it tended to run a little long, it was exciting, inventive, and a wonderful thriller. I highly recommend it!
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