MATHEMATICAL FICTION:

a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Death of a Doxy (1966)
Rex Stout
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Contributed by "William E. Emba"

The murder victim's brother-in-law is a high school math teacher. Nero Wolfe believes this to be relevant at one point, even quoting some mathematical history from an encyclopedia.

Contributed by Bruce Howe

I first read Death of a Doxy in the early '70s. Just picked it up by chance in a bus station. It was my first Nero Wolfe story. I liked it... until the end when I felt that Saul turned up magically from nowhere with the solution......Mathematics, itself, was pretty much non-existant in the book. The character taught Math and there was a clue in the name of an ancient Mathematician-- which eludes me at the moment [Note: It was Thales of Milton -alex] -- but the purpose of Mathematics was to provide that clue. Mathematics, itself, contributed nothing to the story.

Contributed by Jeff Barnett

I really like the Nero Wolfe books. I find it refreshing that Stout (the author) occasionally drops some math/arithmetic as well as basic science in the stories and expects that to be no unusual burden on the reader. He even uses words that chase us ordinary mortals to the nearest dictionary. In other words, your intelligence is not insulted and that is a good thing.

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Works Similar to Death of a Doxy
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. And Be a Villain by Rex Stout
  2. The Zero Clue by Rex Stout
  3. Lord Darcy by Randall Garrett
  4. The Return of Moriarty by John Gardner
  5. Murder at the Margin by Marshall Jevons
  6. Holy Disorders by Edmund Crispin
  7. Case of Lies by Perri O\'Shaughnessy
  8. The Dobie Paradox by Desmond Cory
  9. The Mask of Zeus by Desmond Cory
  10. Death and the Compass (La Muerte y La Brujula) by Jorge Luis Borges
Ratings for Death of a Doxy:
RatingsHave you seen/read this work of mathematical fiction? Then click here to enter your own votes on its mathematical content and literary quality or send me comments to post on this Webpage.
Mathematical Content:
1/5 (4 votes)
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Literary Quality:
3.25/5 (4 votes)
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Categories:
GenreMystery,
Motif
Topic
MediumNovels,

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May 2016: I am experimenting with a new feature which will print a picture of the cover and a link to the Amazon.com page for a work of mathematical fiction when it is available. I hope you find this useful and convenient. In any case, please write to let me know if it is because I would be happy to either get rid of it or improve it if that would be better for you. Thanks! -Alex

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)