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. |