|Math professor Sophie Knowles turns amateur detective when an unpopular colleague is found dead in his office in this entertaining but light mystery novel.|
From reading comments at Amazon, I have learned that the author has an undergraduate degree in mathematics, a PhD in physics and personal familiarity with academia. Also, apparently she has written other mysteries under the name Camille Minichino. If so, this would explain why, in this highly readable book, she seems to be able to present the professors in the science building at a small New England college believably. However, I would think someone with this background could have made better use of her training. As it is, the mathematics and science in the book is just window dressing. I agree with Gary Miller who wrote to say:
Gary R Miller|
The author knows mathematics. Yes, it is often mentioned only in passing, but there are no silly gaffs or any meaningless juxtaposition of mathematical terms.
The genre might be more narrowly described as "cozy mystery". I just finished reading it on Kindle.
More specifically, we hear Sophie (whose parents named her after Sophie Germain) mentioning more than a few times that she does research in differential equations and publishes in research journals. This is pretty good (both for a character in a mystery novel, and for a professor at a little college), but there are no details beyond this and math never becomes relevant to the main plot. It is relevant to the plot, and a nice change from the stereotype, that Sophie is a well liked math professor who goes out of her way to help her students and believes that everyone can learn to do math. Sophie is supposed to create puzzles as a hobby (published under a pseudonym, at the request of her dean) and the book cover claims that there a few puzzles at the end for the reader. However, the puzzles that appeared at the end were a bit disappointing.
Thanks to Sarah Greenwald for suggesting that I add this to the database.
(BTW There is also an unrelated mystery for kids with the same title. See here for my entry on that.)