a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Crimes and Math Demeanors (2007)
Leith Hathout
Note: This work of mathematical fiction is recommended by Alex for young adults.

The short mysteries in this book remind me of "Encyclopedia Brown". After a brief description of a sometimes contrived dilemma facing our young detective -- 14 year old Ravi -- you are given an opportunity to solve the mystery yourself and then presented with the clever solution discovered by "our hero". However, in this case, the explanations of the solutions are very detailed, involve serious mathematics (or occasionally physics), and even offer suggestions for pursuing the mathematical discoveries beyond what is necessary to merely address Ravi's immediate situation.

The intended audience is high school students, and we are told that the author is a high school student himself. The stories, although not high literature, are well written enough. But, the appeal of the book is the mathematics itself. Those young adult readers nerdy enough (and I mean that as a compliment!) to enjoy clever mathematics will thoroughly enjoy this book. And, for those less mathematically inclined, this book may still serve to "sugar coat" the word problems and textbook explanations enough to make this a useful supplement for teachers trying to find unorthodox ways to motivate students.

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Works Similar to Crimes and Math Demeanors
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. The Puzzling Adventures of Dr. Ecco by Dennis Shasha
  2. Codes, Puzzles & Conspiracy [a.k.a. Dr. Ecco, Mathematical Detective] by Dennis Shasha
  3. L.A. Math: Romance, Crime and Mathematics in the City of Angels by James D. Stein
  4. The Case of the Murdered Mathematician by Julia Barnes / Kathy Ivey
  5. The Locked House of Pythagoras [P. no Misshitsu] by Soji Shimada
  6. Puzzles from Other Worlds by Martin Gardner
  7. Science Fiction Puzzle Tales by Martin Gardner
  8. Let's Consider Two Spherical Chickens by Tommaso Bolognesi
  9. The Unknowns: A Mystery by Benedict Carey
  10. NUMB3RS by Nick Falacci / Cheryl Heuton
Ratings for Crimes and Math Demeanors:
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:
4/5 (1 votes)
Literary Quality:
3/5 (1 votes)

GenreMystery, Didactic, Young Adult,
MediumShort Stories,

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Exciting News: The 1,600th entry was recently added to this database of mathematical fiction! Also, for those of you interested in non-fictional math books let me (shamelessly) plug the recent release of the second edition of my soliton theory textbook.

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)