Upcoming Event

Michael Ponsor at Harvard Book Store


Point of Order: A Novel


June 3, 2024
7:00 PM ET


Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138


This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes MICHAEL PONSOR—Senior United States District Judge and New York Times bestselling author of The Hanging Judge and The One-Eyed Judge—for a discussion of his third Judge Norcross novel Point of Order.

About Point of Order

Dominic O’Connell is one of Boston’s most prominent businessmen. His rise from poverty to power as a successful contractor is the stuff of local legend. But it may all come to an end after he goes to court—a dying hitman has fingered O’Connell for the long-unsolved murder of a police officer.

The Hon. David S. Norcross reluctantly agrees to preside at the trial as a favor to a colleague. His generosity, unfortunately, draws him into a nightmare. His wife miraculously survives a deadly bombing at Harvard Yard. Then someone sends the judge photos of his infant son, along with an anonymous warning to get off the case . . . or else.

As the trial date approaches, the tension only continues to mount. The FBI believes terrorists are behind the bombing, and one of the suspects is tied to Norcross’s past. But what is their motive? Who is after Norcross’s family? Is O’Connell guilty? And just how many more people will die before all questions are answered?

Drawing on decades of experience as a trial judge, New York Times bestselling author Michael Ponsor crafts a gripping third Judge Norcross novel. The result is another page-turning mystery brimming with intrigue, fear, and courage, set in the real-life world of a federal court.

Praise for Point of Order

“The courtroom seen from the judge’s bench—a legal thriller both entertaining and morally nuanced, filled with telling insider details.” —Joseph Kanon, author of Leaving Berlin

Point of Order is that rarest of birds: an original legal thriller. Taking off from the profound idea that justice has something to do with who does the judging, this book will keep you on the edge of your seat even as it expands your mind. I couldn’t put it down.” —Noah Feldman, Felix Frankfurter Professor, Harvard Law School, author of To Be A Jew Today: A New Guide to God, Israel, and the Jewish People.

Masking Policy

Masks are encouraged but not required for this event.

Michael Ponsor
Michael Ponsor

Michael Ponsor

Michael Ponsor is a New York Times best-selling novelist and a Senior United States District Judge. He received his B.A. magna cum laude from Harvard College, went on to Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, and completed his law degree at Yale Law School. His law practice prior to his appointment to the bench specialized in criminal defense and civil trial work.

Judge Ponsor served as a United States Magistrate Judge from 1984 until his appointment in 1994 as a life-tenured United States District Judge by President Bill Clinton. His judicial career has encompassed a number of high-profile cases, including the first capital prosecution in Massachusetts in more than fifty years, United States v. Kristen Gilbert. At the conclusion of her five-month trial, Gilbert, a Veterans Administration nurse, was found guilty of murdering four of her patients. The jury declined to impose the death penalty, and Ponsor imposed a sentence upon Gilbert of four consecutive life terms. 

Ponsor’s opinion pieces have appeared in The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, and most recently in The New York Times.

In 2013, Open Road Media published Ponsor’s first novel, The Hanging Judge, a fictional account of a federal death penalty trial told from the viewpoint of a newly-appointed federal judge, David Norcross. Praised by The Washington Post as “a rarity . . . a story that grips the reader even as it teaches,” the book went on to be a New York Times bestseller. In 2017, Ponsor’s second Judge Norcross novel, The One-Eyed Judge, focused on the trial of an Amherst College English professor charged with possession of child pornography.  

Point of Order is Ponsor’s third novel featuring Judge Norcross. He lives in western Massachusetts with his wife, novelist Nancy Coiner, and continues to work as a Senior United States District Judge in Springfield.

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

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