In the second book in the Dan Brodsky series (following Calculus of Murder by the same author), Brodsky is invited to COTCA (the Conference on Operator Theory and C*-Algebras at Oxford University). While attending, he handles a non-math related PI job in England and *also* attempts to prove the innocence of his mentor, Paul Hobart, who is accused of murder with the motive being tied to the supposed plagiarism of some of his research articles.
I think this book shows a significant improvement over his previous Calculus of Murder. The mathematics seems more realistic and the murder mystery more engaging. It was still sometimes a little too close to reality for me. No, there are not murders happening around me every day; I just mean the passages about what it is like to teach calculus at a university. There is even an ongoing subplot concerning the protagonist's efforts to find a job as a mathematics professor. The author's frustration over the academic job market is clearly visible in this reasonably honest description of hiring practices in mathematics.
I would recommend this as a decent mystery novel which gives the reader some sense of life as an academic mathematician. |