a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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In the Shadow of Gotham (2009)
Stefanie Pintoff

A murder mystery in which the victim is a female math grad student at Columbia University working on the Riemann Hypothesis.

(quoted from In the Shadow of Gotham)

Gifted in math, Sarah had just begun her fourth year in Columbia's graduate program in mathematics, having finished her undergraduate degree at Barnard. She was apparently doing well in her work, and had even published tow papers -- the primary criterion for succeeding in academic work. According to Abigail, Sarah had seemed content and happy and while certainly she had experienced the usual difficulties on would expect a woman to encounter in graduate education -- especially in a man's field such as mathematics -- Sarah had never complained.

(quoted from In the Shadow of Gotham)

There was a modern Hammond typewriter at the desk, next to which was a notebook. On its cover, Sarah Wingate had written her name, as well as a title -- THE RIEMANN HYPOTHESIS. Inside, line after line was filled with mathematical symbols and equations that resembled mere gibberish.

This book was strangely reminiscent of No One You Know, also about a murdered sister whose notebooks reveal that she was working on the Riemann Hypothesis. However, this book is more of a standard murder mystery where the primary focus is on capturing the killer.

Contributed by Jeanne Clelland

The novel is set in New York in the early 20th century, where the murder victim is a female graduate student in mathematics at Columbia. Her work in mathematics is described briefly as part of the murder investigation.

Mathematics or no, the book was an enjoyable read. I guessed who the murderer was fairly early on, but not his/her motive, so there were still enjoyable twists at the end. (The next novel in the series, "A Curtain Falls," involves no mathematics but is also an entertaining mystery novel.)

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Works Similar to In the Shadow of Gotham
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. No One You Know by Michelle Richmond
  2. The Devotion of Suspect X [YĆ“gisha X no kenshin] by Keigo Higashino
  3. The Four-Color Puzzle: Falling Off the Map by Lior Samson
  4. A Calculated Demise by Robert Spiller
  5. The Sudoku Murder by Shelley Freydont
  6. Case of Lies by Perri O\'Shaughnessy
  7. Irrational Numbers by Robert Spiller
  8. Murder, She Conjectured by Alex Kasman
  9. Powerball 310 by K.T. Reid
  10. Lewis (Episode: Reputation) by Russell Lewis (Story) / Stephen Churchett (Screenplay)
Ratings for In the Shadow of Gotham:
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:
2/5 (1 votes)
Literary Quality:
4/5 (1 votes)

MotifAcademia, Proving Theorems, Female Mathematicians,
TopicAlgebra/Arithmetic/Number Theory,

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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 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)