a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)
"William E. Emba"|
Nero Wolfe can't stand Leo Heller, a mathematician who uses operations research to solve mysteries and seems to be superseding Wolfe's own reputation. But then Heller is murdered by one of his clients. He managed to leave a cryptic message that Wolfe eventually decodes, partly with the help of Lancelot Hogben MATHEMATICS FOR THE MILLION.
(Of nonmathematical interest is the background story of a terror bombing
of a hospital with over 300 lives lost. Such horrors were pretty much
unthinkable in the US in the 50s.)
This story appears in the (out-of-print) book Three Men Out (published in 1954) and was originally serialized in American Magazine as "Scared to Death" begining in 1952.
SPOILER WARNING: I do undertand why "Mr. Emba" who wrote the above review
did not want to say anything that would give away the solution of the
mystery. There may well be someone reading this now who wants to read the
story and figure it out for themselves. However, I would also like this
Website to serve a resource and someone may be looking for a story which
uses a particular mathematical idea. So, if you don't mind getting a very
big clue, please follow this link for just
a bit more information about the mathematical content of the story.
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|(Note: This is just one work of
mathematical fiction from the list. To see the entire list or to see more
works of mathematical fiction, return to the Homepage.)|
(Maintained by Alex Kasman,
College of Charleston)