
1 to 999 (1981) 
 Isaac Asimov 

When cryptologists try to break a simple code, one of the key clues is
the frequency with which letters appear. In English, the letter "a"
is one of the most frequently used letters. It is therefore... (more) 


Advanced Calculus of Murder (1988) 
 Erik Rosenthal 

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... (more) 


Adventure of the Final Problem (1893) 
 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 

This first Sherlock Holmes story about Professor Moriarty (later to be
viewed as Holmes' arch enemy) introduces him as a professor of
mathematics who won fame as a young man for his extension of the
binomial... (more) 


The Adventure of the Russian Grave (1995) 
 William Barton / Michael Capobianco 

Even in the old Arthur Conan Doyle stories, Sherlock Holmes' archnemesis was a mathematician. Moriarty was said to be a math professor who (when he wasn't being evil) worked on the binomial theorem and... (more) 


The Adventures of the Parrot (2008) 
 Gary Brown 

Gary I. Brown, chair of the math department at CSBSJU in St. Joseph MN, has written two detective stories in which "The Parrot" uses mathematics (specifically, nonzero sum games and fair division problems) to solve the mysteries. The stories appear together in a new book from North Star Press which is available from Amazon.com .
(more) 


After Math (1997) 
 Miriam Webster 

The ghost of math professor Ray Bellwether tries to solve the mystery of
his own murder in this `first novel' by Amy Babich (Webster is just a
pseudonym). Babich has a Ph.D. in mathematics (and a Master's... (more) 


After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall (2012) 
 Nancy Kress 

The last 26 humans alive resort to kidnapping children from the past in order to save themselves from the oppressive aliens who keep them in "The Shell". Mathematics enters in the form of Julie Kahn,... (more) 


All Cry Chaos (2011) 
 Leonard Rosen 

When a mathematician is killed in an explosion immediately before presenting his paper on the inevitability of a oneworld economy to the World Trade Organization, the case falls to Interpol agent Henri... (more) 


And Be a Villain (1948) 
 Rex Stout 

Rex
Stout and his seventy some Nero Wolfe novels are generally regarded as
amongst the greatest mystery novels ever written. They read as fresh today
as when the series started in 1934, and they... (more) 


Bad Boy Brawley Brown (2002) 
 Walter Mosley 

This is the sixth book in the highly praised Easy Rawlins mysteries
that began with DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS. They are set in postWWII
black Los Angeles, and unfold over the years. (The... (more) 


The Barking Clock (1947) 
 Harry Stephen Keeler / Hazel Goodwin Keeler 

Tuddleton T. Trotter, author of a book which claims that all criminal mysteries can be solved mathematically, has only hours to save Joe Czeszczicki, a death row inmate soon to be electrocuted for the... (more) 



Bianca (1984) 
 Nanni Moretti (director and screenplay) 

A math teacher (played by Nanni Moretti himself) has odd obsessions and compulsions in this film, including his crush on colleague Bianca. Although his antisocial behavior seems to be destroying his... (more) 


The Bird with the Broken Wing (1930) 
 Agatha Christie 

The Harley Quin stories (this collection, plus two later stories) are amongst the most peculiar mysteries ever written. (They certainly are Dame Agatha's most peculiar. They were also her personal... (more) 


The Bishop Murder Case (1929) 
 S.S. van Dine (pseudonym of Willard Huntington Wright) 

Our hero, Vance, says at the end of this mystery novel: "At the outset I was able to postulate a mathematician as the criminal agent. The difficulty of naming the murderer lay in the fact that nearly... (more) 


A Calculated Demise (2007) 
 Robert Spiller 

A high school math teacher, Bonnie Pinkwater, solves the mystery surrounding the murder of a PE teacher, a student, and the family of the boy suspected in the killing.
This sequel to The Witch of Agnesi... (more) 


Calculus of Murder (1986) 
 Erik Rosenthal 

"The hero is a parttime instructor and
researcher at Berkeley and moonlights as a PI. He solves his cases
using calculus. The narrative is excellent, humorous, and believable."
Actually, I just... (more) 


The Cambridge Theorem (1990) 
 Tony Cape 

It is a BritishRussian spy novel in the style of Le Carre that is set in Cambridge, UK. If you like that sort of thing, fine. It is true that the murdered genius is a math graduate student, and he leaves... (more) 


Cardano and the Case of the Cubic (2005) 
 Jeff Adams 

This parody of early 20th century "Hard Boiled Private Detective" novels is instead a short story about 16th century mathematician Gerolamo Cardano.
Its opening paragraphs clearly set the tone:
It... (more) 


Case of Lies (2005) 
 Perri O'Shaughnessy 

An old, unsolved casino murder becomes mathematical when three of the witnesses turn out to have been math students using their skills to win at gambling. Quite a bit of detailed discussion of number... (more) 


The Case of the Flying Hands (2001) 
 Harry Stephen Keeler / Hazel Goodwin Keeler 

Quiribus Brown, a 7 1/2 foot tall man raised on a farm by a retired mathematician who taught him nothing but math, must solve four crimes using mathematics or be imprisoned on charges of perjury by his... (more) 


The Case of the Murdered Mathematician (2001) 
 Julia Barnes / Kathy Ivey 

This story is actually a fictionalized account of the "Murder Mystery" game
played by the MAA Student Mathematics Club at Western Carolina University.
Clues provide insight into possible motivations... (more) 


The Catalyst (1991) 
 Desmond Cory 

Mathematics professor John Dobie gets caught up in a truly mindboggling
mystery when one of his former students, his wife's best friend, and then
his own wife wind up dead, and the police consider him to be a prime
suspect.
This is the first, my personal favorite, of the three "Professor Dobie
Mysteries" written by British author Desmond Cory. (See also "The Mask of Zeus" and " (more) 


Chasing Vermeer (2004) 
 Blue Balliet 

A mystery novel for 6th graders. The first of a set of 3 separate “mystery” books in the “Hardy Boys / Nancy Drew“ genre. Two children, Calder and Petra, are neighbors and classmates at a school... (more) 


Child's Play (1986) 
 Isaac Asimov 

Young Griswold uses something he just learned
in elementary school math class to solve a minor stumper. (Be
warned: the problem has a minor bug. Change "mix" to "nix".)
Published in the... (more) 


Christmas at Cardwell Ranch (2013) 
 B.J. Daniels 

In keeping with my expectations of a Harlequin Romance novel, Christmas at Cardwell Ranch does have an improbable love affair, between a modernday cowboy and a female mathematician. However, this one... (more) 




Crimes and Math Demeanors (2007) 
 Leith Hathout 

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... (more) 


The Crimson Cipher (2010) 
 Susan Page Davis 

A code breaker seeks to solve the mystery of the murder of her father, a math professor who had been working on an encryption device at the beginning of World War I in this "Christian adventure/romance". (more) 


The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime (2003) 
 Mark Haddon 

This book is a delightful read. You won't want to put it down. It is
like nothing you have ever read. A murder mystery where the victim
is a dog. A lead character with autism that is passionate... (more) 


The Da Vinci Code (2003) 
 Dan Brown 

The last act of a dying curator at the Louvre is an attempt to pass on, in code, a secret that he did not want to take to the grave. Among the things needed to "decode" this secret message is a recognition... (more) 


Dark Matter: The Private Life of Sir Isaac Newton (2002) 
 Philip Kerr 

A multiplemurder mystery which outlandishly casts Newton in the role of Sherlock Holmes during his tenure as Warden at the British Royal Mint (Watson is played Christopher Ellis, nephew of mathematician... (more) 


Dark of the Moon (1995) 
 John Dickson Carr 

The crime novel "Dark of the Moon" by John Dickson Carr has as one of its characters a female "mathematician", Camilla Bruce. (She is called a mathematician and is enthusiastic about the subject but... (more) 


Death and the Compass (La Muerte y La Brujula) (1968) 
 Jorge Luis Borges 

This is considered one of Borges' greatest short stories, and was even made into a film by "RepoMan" director Alex Cox. The following review from Alejandro Satz explains the mathematical content, but... (more) 


Death of a Doxy (1966) 
 Rex Stout 

The murder victim's brotherinlaw is a high school math
teacher. Nero Wolfe believes this to be relevant at one
point, even quoting some mathematical history from an
encyclopedia.
I... (more) 


Death Qualified: A Mystery of Chaos (1992) 
 Kate Willhelm 

The book only becomes science fiction towards the end. For most of it, it follows the format of a mystery in which there are several murders (which remain mysterious to the reader until near to the end)... (more) 


Deep Lay the Dead (1942) 
 Frederick C. Davis 

This is a decent but familiar and unremarkable murder mystery, the kind in which an odd assortment of people are trapped together in a house, not knowing which of them is the killer. In this case, they... (more) 


The Devotion of Suspect X [Yôgisha X no kenshin] (2005) 
 Keigo Higashino 

Reclusive high school math teacher Tetsuya Ishigami is "devoted" to two things: his math research and his neighbor, Yasuko Hanaoka. When Hanaoka and her daughter kill her abusive exhusband, they are... (more) 


Do the Math #2: The Writing on the Wall (2008) 
 Wendy Lichtman 

In this sequel to Do the Math: Secrets, Lies and Algebra, a middle school student who likes to think of things in terms of mathematical notation (for example, calling her friend Miranda "m" because she... (more) 


Do the Math: Secrets, Lies, and Algebra (2007) 
 Wendy Lichtman 

A mathloving eighth grader applies mathematical concepts to problems in her social life.
According to the book jacket, the author has a degree in mathematics and writes pieces for many periodicals.... (more) 


The Dobie Paradox (1993) 
 Desmond Cory 

Another Professor Dobie mystery (see also The
Catalyst and The Mask of Zeus) in which the socalled "Columbo with a chair in mathematics" solves the mystery of the murder of a young girl. There is less... (more) 


Echoes from the Past (2006) 
 Edward MichelBird 

A young mathematics professor becomes involved in a mystery and a love affair when the identity of his true biological father is called into question. No mathematical ideas or results are discussed in... (more) 


Electric (2004) 
 Chad Taylor 

Three of the characters in this novel are mathematicians. Sam is a former statistician who now works at a successful Auckland data retrieval company. Because he is attracted to the hydrodynamic equations... (more) 


An Elegant Solution (2013) 
 Paul Robertson 

A fictionalized account of the life of Leonhard Euler, focusing on his relationship with the Bernoullis and told from the perspective of Christian theology. The novel also takes on aspects of a murder... (more) 


Elementary (Episode: Solve for X) (2013) 
 Jerry Levine (director) /
Jeffrey Paul King (screenplay) 

In this episode from the second season of Elementary featuring a modern version of Sherlock Holmes with a female Watson, the duo discover equations in invisible ink on the walls in a murdered mathematician's... (more) 


The Elusive Bullet (1931) 
 John Rhode (aka Cecil John Charles Street) 

Dr. Priestly is a professor whose hobby is "the mathematical detection of crime". In this story, he must convince the police inspector that the man he plans to accuse of murder is, in fact, innocent.
The... (more) 


The Elusive Chauffeur (2008) 
 David H. Brown 

This mystery novel appears to have been conceived as a means for the author to "spread the word" about two things that are important to him: mathematics and his Christian faith. In it, a private detective... (more) 


The Escher Twist (2002) 
 Jane Langton 

Part of the author's Homer/Mary Kelly series of mysteries based in
Concord MA. The plot centers on a crystallographer falling in love
with a stranger at an exhibit of Escher work, and... (more) 


Evariste and Heloise (2008) 
 Marco Abate 

This contribution to the collection The Shape of Content is difficult to classify. Combining fiction and fact, essay and comic book, fantasy and philosophy, it essentially takes the form of a proposal... (more) 


The Fatal Equation (1933) 
 Arthur Strangeland 

This is a very wellcrafted murder mystery executed quite ingeniously. A mathematical physicist  Jan Friede  sets up a system of 20+ equations which eliminate the time variable from Einstein's equations... (more) 


Fermat's Room (La Habitacion de Fermat) (2007) 
 Luis Piedrahita / Rodrigo Sopeña 

In this Spanish thriller, four mathematicians are invited to a booby trapped room where they must solve mathematical puzzles to prevent the walls from closing in and crushing them. This leaves them little... (more) 


Flame War: A Cyberthriller (1997) 
 Joshua Quittner / Michelle Slatalla 

A brilliant math professor invents a code that even the government will not be able to break. When he dies in an explosion, his daughter and the law student who (unknowingly) delivered the bomb that killed him work together to bring the killers to justice. (more) 


Flowers Stained with Moonlight (2005) 
 Catherine Shaw 

In this sequel to The ThreeBody Problem, Vanessa Duncan is called upon to save an innocent young woman, falsely suspected of murdering her older and unlikable husband. Although there is no mathematics... (more) 


The FourColor Puzzle: Falling Off the Map (2013) 
 Lior Samson 

A math professor becomes intrigued with a high school student he meets at an online tutoring site when she presents him with what appears to be a short and very clever proof of the fourcolor theorem.... (more) 


The Fractal Murders (2001) 
 Mark Cohen 

In this award winning (Top Ten Mysteries on the Book Sense 76 Fall List for 2002) mystery novel "HardBoiled" Detective Pepper Keane is hired by a tall and attractive math professor (with whom he of course... (more) 


A Frayed Knot (2009) 
 Felix Culp 

Culp takes a classic mystery by Poe and retells it with knotted ropes taking the place of people. For example:
Tyler Trefoil was a Bowline knot....Saltyfibered seafaring knots such as Trefoil  as... (more) 


Furuhata Ninzaburô (Episode 13) (1995) 
 Kôki Mitani 

In the last episode of the first season of this popular Japanese detective show, the inspector must solve the mystery of the murder of an awardwinning mathematician. It turns out that the murderer was... (more) 


The Future Engine (1995) 
 Byron Tetrick 

Charles Babbage's son calls on Sherlock Holmes to investigate the
theft of the Analytic Engine from its warehouse. The son gives a
description of its importance to mathematical calculations. But
it's his mention of the role of the binomial theorem in its working
that arouses Holmes's interest.
Published in Mike Resnick and M H Greenberg (eds) SHERLOCK HOLMES IN ORBIT.
(more) 


Getting the Combination (1982) 
 Isaac Asimov 

Griswold figures out a combination by correctly guessing
the next number in a sequence.
AKA "Playing the Numbers". Published originally in the June 1982 issue of Gallery.
(more) 


Go, Little Book (1972) 
 Isaac Asimov 

Combinatorics is used to break a "matchbook code".
One of the "Black Widower" mysteries written for Ellery Queen magazine.
See also these [2, 3] other BW stories. (more) 


Hickory Dickory Shock! The Tale of Techies (2010) 
 Sundip Gorai 

This novel, which the author tells me is a bestseller in India, is a mystery thriller whose protagonist is a young man named "210". In the first chapter, which is available for free at the book's official... (more) 


Hidden in Glass (1931) 
 Paul Ernst 

A murder mystery involving a mathematical physicist. One Professor Brainard, who is claimed to have mastered "the secret of the fourth dimension" (haven't they all in the pulps?), has a serious professional... (more) 


Holy Disorders (1945) 
 Edmund Crispin 

Edmund
Crispin, pseudonym of Bruce Montgomery is generally considered the last of the British high literate mystery writers. He wrote a series of mysteries starring Gervase Fen, Oxford don, highly... (more) 


Ibn Hakkan alBokhari, Dead in his Labyrinth (1951) 
 Jorge Luis Borges 

Two friends, a poet and a mathematician (who is described as the author of a study on "the theorem which Fermat did not write in the margin of a page of Diophantus") arrive at an abandoned house in the... (more) 


The Image in the Mirror (1933) 
 Dorothy Leigh Sayers 

Lord Peter Wimsey, while staying at an inn, finds a stranger is
completely rapt in reading and rereading from a book of Wimsey's.
It turns out to be H G Wells' story of a man inverted via the
fourth... (more) 


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.
Gifted in math, Sarah had just begun her fourth year in Columbia's graduate... (more) 


The Ingenious Mr. Spinola (1924) 
 Ernest Bramah 

Max Carrados is a blind amateur detective genius, quite popular in the early 20th century, but mostly forgotten since then. (Such is also the fate of E.B.'s Kai Lung fantasy stories.)
... (more) 



An Instance of the Fingerpost (1999) 
 Iain Pears 

A murder mystery set in Oxford in the 1660's. Mathematician John
Wallis plays a major role as a character in the book (and Newton a
small role). See the review at MAA
online.
A very fine piece... (more) 


The Investigation (1959) 
 Stanislaw Lem 

In investigating a bizarre case of missing  and apparently resurrected bodies  an investigator at Scotland Yard consults mystics, philosophers, and (most significantly to the book as well as to this... (more) 


Invisible (2014) 
 James Patterson / David Ellis 

The (somewhat unlikeable) protagonist of this thriller is an FBI agent who loved numbers as a little girl and still prefers statistical analysis of data to time spent with other people. Combining this antisocial behavior with an obsessive desire to find a pattern among a huge number of unsolved murders leads her to begin her own investigation. (more) 


Irrational Numbers (2008) 
 Robert Spiller 

Another mystery about high school math teacher Bonnie Pinkwater by the author of Witch of Agnesi. Like the others in this series, this is a murder mystery with adult themes (violence, homosexuality, etc.)... (more) 


The Jester and the Mathematician (2000) 
 Alan R. Gordon 

A short historical fiction piece involving Leonardo of Pisa ("Fibonacci"). Interesting story which features Fibonacci talking briefly about his rabbitseries/sequence, his abacusduel with Pisa's foremost... (more) 


A Killer Theorem (2007) 
 Colin Adams 

Mangum, P.I. returns in this mystery in which the unproven Gauss' Last Lemma is wielded as a murder weapon. Apparently, a certain approach to proving it is so enticing that merely showing it to mathematicians... (more) 




Lewis (Episode: Reputation) (2006) 
 Russell Lewis (Story) / Stephen Churchett (Screenplay) 

In this pilot episode of the spinoff from the popular Inspector Lewis television series, a female math student is murdered while she participates in a sleep study. Perfect numbers show up in the form... (more) 


The Library Paradox (2006) 
 Catherine Shaw 

Vanessa Duncan returns as the skilled amateur detective of Victorian England in this third mystery novel by "Catherine Shaw". (See The ThreeBody Problem and Flowers Stained with Moonlight for the earlier... (more) 


Lord Darcy (1966) 
 Randall Garrett 

The stories in this collection of fantastical murder mysteries take place in an alternate universe where magic rather than science has become the primary human tool for manipulating the world. Frequent... (more) 


Maid of Murder (2010) 
 Amanda Flower 

Like the author of this murder mystery, protagonist India Hayes is a librarian at a small midwestern college. Presumably unlike the author, Hayes must prove the innocence of her mathematician brother... (more) 


Mangum, P.I. (2004) 
 Colin Adams 

A parody of the hardboiled private detective genre in which ``P.I.'' stands for ``Principal Investigator'', a phrase familiar to anyone who has applied for a research grant. In this hilarious story,... (more) 


The Mask of Zeus (1992) 
 Desmond Cory 

Math is discussed a lot in this "Professor Dobie Mystery" novel because both the `detective' (Dobie) and the victim (his former Ph.D. student) are mathematicians. Of course, the math doesn't have much... (more) 


The Math Code (2005) 
 Alex Kasman 

A friend of mine once told me that he believes that mathematicians invented intentionally confusing notations to keep others from understanding what they were saying. I'm sure this is not true. We mathematicians... (more) 


Math is Murder (2012) 
 Robert C. Brigham / James B. Reed 

This is a murder mystery cowritten by an emeritus math professor and a retired crime scene investigator. The victim was an egotistical and (almost unbelievably) unpleasant mathematics department chair... (more) 


Mathematical Goodbye (1999) 
 Hiroshi Mori 

Mori is a popular author of mystery novels in Japan and a former professor of engineering at Nagoya University. LiChang Hung, who has read the books translated into Chinese, has suggested that I add... (more) 


The Mathematicians of Grizzly Drive (1988) 
 Josef Skvorecky 

A detective story, in the "hard boiled" genre, featuring Eve Adam, a sexy nightclub performer who solves crimes in her free time. In this story, she visits a house where mathematicians gather to entertain... (more) 


Maths à mort (1990) 
 Margot Bruyère 

This murder mystery which takes place at the IHES in Paris was originally entitled "Dismoi qui tu aimes (je te dirai
qui tu hais)". However, it has just been
be republished (Fall of 2002) with a change... (more) 


Mirror Image (1972) 
 Isaac Asimov 

A robot volunteers the aid of his human, Earthling friend to settle a
dispute between a pair of feuding "spacer" mathematicians. It seems that an
old mathematician (over 270 years old in fact) and a... (more) 


Moriarty by Modem (1995) 
 Jack Nimersheim 

A cyberversion of Sherlock Holmes is created to track down an accidently
released cyberversion of Moriarty. The big clue involves both the binomial
theorem and binomial variables.
Published in... (more) 


Murder and Mendelssohn (Phryne Fisher Mystery) (2014) 
 Kerry Greenwood 

As a fan of the Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries TV Series, I was pleased to see that the 20th novel in the series that inspired it features a mathematician, giving me an excuse to read it.
Phryne Fisher... (more) 


Murder at the Margin (1978) 
 Marshall Jevons 

This is the first of the Henry Spearman murder mysteries (the others
being THE FATAL EQUILIBRIUM and A DEADLY INDIFFERENCEthey can be read
in any order). These unusual murder mysteries star Harvard... (more) 


Murder, She Conjectured (2005) 
 Alex Kasman 

A police psychologist attending a conference in Cambridge, England is pulled into an unsolved murder mystery by her mathematician boyfriend. An important theme of the story is the oppresive sexism that... (more) 


The Murdered Mathematician (1949) 
 Harry Stephen Keeler 

This book is probably the least believable thing I've ever read, but lots of fun!
Quiribus Brown is a 7 1/2 foot tall man who was raised by his father on a farm in Indiana. His father was a math professor... (more) 


Musgrave Ritual (1893) 
 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 

A tiny bit of mathematics is used by Sherlock Holmes
to solve this mystery. In it, he ties together the disappearance of a
housemaid, the discovery of the dead body of the chief butler and a strange
poem... (more) 


The Mystery of Khufu's Tomb (1935) 
 Mundy Talbot 

A rapidread, reasonably entertaining novel about the real location of the Pharaoh Khufu’s (Cheops) tomb and the fabulous treasury buried therein. An old, Chinese mathematician spends decades decoding... (more) 


The NPlus1thDegree (1968) 
 Stephen Barr 

A mathematician is accused of murdering a man who flirted with his wife. Her faith in him (which is so strong, she describes it as being to the nplus1th degree) allows her to figure out how and by... (more) 


Naked Came the Postmodernist (2013) 
 Sarah Lawrence College Writing Class WRIT3303R / Melvin Jules Bukiet 

Written as a group project by the students in a creative writing class at Sarah Lawrence College, this wacky academic farce takes the form of a whodunit, trying to identify the murderer of a math professor. (more) 


The Name of the Rose (1980) 
 Umberto Eco 

A mystery novel which takes place in a 14th Century monastery by the brilliant Italian author, Umberto Eco. This book only has a small amount of math in it, but I frequently receive recommendations to... (more) 


The Nine Tailors (1934) 
 Dorothy Leigh Sayers 

This Lord Peter Wimsey novel is often considered Sayers' best. The plot revolves around the art of change ringing, often called "campanology" by noncampanologists. As usual with Sayers, she makes... (more) 


No One You Know (2008) 
 Michelle Richmond 

Having felt overshadowed by her mathematician older sister when she was alive, the main character becomes obsessed with her murder after the sister is killed. Using her sister's notebook describing her... (more) 


Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less (1976) 
 Jeffrey Archer 

A mathematics professor who lectures at Oxford on group theory is among four clever people who plot to get revenge on the con artist who duped them in this, the first novel by politician and now bestselling... (more) 


NUMB3RS (2005) 
 Nick Falacci / Cheryl Heuton 

This TV crime drama (premiered January 2005) follows the adventures of a pair of brothers, one a mathematics professor and the other an FBI agent, as they combine forces to solve mysteries.
Cool effects... (more) 


Oh, Brother (2007) 
 Stanley Hart 

A serious mystery/adventure novella from an author better known as a script writer for the old Carol Burnett show. A professor solicits the help of his brother, a retired police detective, in order to... (more) 


The One Best Bet (1911) 
 Samuel Hopkins Adams 

The story is about an amateur detective who uses some elementary geometric triangulation to foil an assassination. The last paragraph is a great touch, “Why, Governor, you’re giving me too much credit.... (more) 


Out of the Sun: A Novel (1996) 
 Robert Goddard 

Harry Barnett (first introduced in the novel Into the
Blue) investigates the circumstances that lead to
his son's accident. The son, 33 year old math genius, lies in a coma
and the accident is somehow... (more) 


The Oxford Murders (2004) 
 Guillermo Martinez 

A young, Argentinian mathematician visiting the UK is drawn into a murder mystery when his landlord (a woman who had worked as a code breaker during World War II) is killed. A clue and the words "The... (more) 


The Parrot's Theorem (2000) 
 Denis Guedj 

This is an ambitious novel, a magical fantasy about a talking parrot bought at a flea market in France who, with the help of the personal library of a reclusive mathematical genius, teaches some children... (more) 


A Piece of Justice (1995) 
 Jill Paton Walsh 

The mathematics of tilings and quilting play background roles in this mystery in which a graduate student attempts to write a biography of the (fictitious) mathematician Gideon Summerfield. Summerfield... (more) 


Powerball 310 (2007) 
 K.T. Reid 

The premise of this amusing crime caper is a gang of experts who pull of a successful theft of a $310 million Powerball lottery jackpot by generating a winning ticket just after the numbers have been... (more) 


Princess Elizabeth's Spy: A Maggie Hope Mystery (2012) 
 Susan Elia MacNeal 

Maggie Hope is assigned to stay with the royal family. As we know from her first appearance in Mr. Churchill's Secretary, Maggie has an undergraduate degree in mathematics from Wellesley and was about... (more) 


The Problem of Cell 13 (1907) 
 Jacques Futrelle 

"The story which introduces Professor S. F. X. van Dusen,
professional scientific supergenius, who lends his talents
to solving baffling mysteries. He is described as primarily
... (more) 


Professor and Colonel (1987) 
 Ruth Berman 

In this unusual story, we get to see another side to Sherlock Holmes' arch enemy, the brilliant but evil mathematician Professor Moriarty. Here, rather than perpetrating a crime, Moriarty is merely visiting with his brother, discussing the significance of his research into asteroid dynamics. (See also Asimov's take on this same subject.) (more) 


Professor Conundrum Mysteries! (2008) 
 Bill Streifer 

My book, Professor Conundrum Mysteries!...combines math education (nonfiction) and historical fiction.
The book consists of five stories that take place during important events in 20th century U.S.... (more) 


The Purloined Letter (1845) 
 Edgar Allan Poe 

"This is the third and last C. Auguste Dupin mystery. The
Prefect of Paris police explains a very delicate situation
to Dupin, involving a royal letter whose possession grants
its bearer great... (more) 


Pythagorean Crimes (2006) 
 Tefcros Michaelides 

This murder mystery takes place amid the exciting developments occurring in the mathematical and artistic communities in Europe between 1900 and 1931. Much of what one will learn by reading this book... (more) 


Qui perd gagne! (2003) 
 Laurent Bénégui (Director) 

In this French film, a math teacher claims to have a system for winning the lottery.
I tracked this down after seeing the page on your site a couple of days ago. It is a very enjoyable movie, but... (more) 


Reading by Numbers (2009) 
 Aidan Doyle 

Elementary number theory and some superstitious numerology underlie this story, which appeared in the November 11, 2009 issue of the online Fantasy Magazine (though I would never describe this story as... (more) 


The Return of Moriarty (1974) 
 John Gardner 

The British spy thriller novelist, perhaps now best known
for his 007 novels, wrote three novels starring Professor
Moriarty, THE RETURN OF MORIARTY (UK title MORIARTY),
THE REVENGE OF MORIARTY... (more) 


Secrets to the Grave (2011) 
 Tami Hoag 

Mathematician Zander Zahn is suspected of having murdered an artist in this followup to the novel "Deeper than the Dead". Almost no mathematics is actually discussed, not even the tiny amount one often... (more) 


Serial Killer Sudoku (2009) 
 Shelley Freydont 

In this sequel to The Sudoku Murder, the former government mathematician who has taken over the puzzle museum in her old hometown catches a serial killer who leaves a sudoku at each crime scene. There... (more) 


The SevenPerCent Solution (1974) 
 Nicholas Meyer 

Meyer presents an alternative view of Sherlock Holmes in this surprising novel: that of a deluded drug addict. In particular, and of interest to those who visit this Website, we learn that Professor Moriarty is only a kindly mathematician who once tutored Holmes in mathematics. The idea that he is a criminal mastermind (as we learn in Conan Doyle's stories) is just part of Holmes' paranoia.
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Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011) 
 Guy Ritchie (director) 

There is not much actual mathematics in this sequel which, like its predecessor, features a version of Sherlock Holmes portrayed by Robert Downey Jr. as more of an action hero than the one in Sir Arthur... (more) 


Sine of the Magus [aka The Magicians] (1954) 
 James Gunn 

A private detective is hired to track a magician who turns out not to be an expert at "tricks", but a real and powerful wizard. This is one of those works (see the "similars" list below) in which magic... (more) 


Sixty Million Trillion Combinations (1980) 
 Isaac Asimov 

Tom Trumbull, one of Asimov's regular "Black Widower" mystery
characters, wants to convince an eccentric mathematician (working on
Goldbach's conjecture) that his secret password is not safe.
Combinatorics... (more) 


Songs My Mother Never Taught Me (2007) 
 Selçuk Altun 

After his mother's death, a young Turkish man seeks his father's killer. His father was a very charismatic, conceited and famous mathematician, but aside from that there is little math in the book. The... (more) 


The Square Root of Murder (2002) 
 Paul Zindel 

A murder mystery written for a middle school aged audience in which a calculus professor is found pinned to a chalk board by a bolt fired from a crossbow. A formula on the board turns out to be an essential clue (though it involves only elementary arithmetic).
This novel for young readers should not be confused with the adult mystery novel with the same title by Ada Madison.
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The Square Root of Murder (2011) 
 Ada Madison 

Math professor Sophie Knowles turns amateur detective when an unpopular colleague is found dead in his office in this entertaining but light mystery novel.
From reading comments at Amazon, I have learned... (more) 


The Stranger House (2005) 
 Reginald Hill 

Sam is a young math student from Australia who travels to England seeking information about her grandmother. She finds that her quest becomes intertwined with that of a Spanish historian investigating... (more) 


Strip Search (2007) 
 William Bernhardt 

A detective is aided by an autistic child in capturing a serial killer who leaves equations written in the blood of his victims at the scenes of the grisly crimes.
In your MathFiction entry for William... (more) 


The Sudoku Murder (2007) 
 Shelley Freydont 

With the current popularity of sudoku puzzles, it is not surprising that a mystery novel with this title would appear. As a mystery, this one is quite decent. A mathematician who works for a government... (more) 


Summa Mathematica (2002) 
 Sean Doolittle 

Not really a mystery, but more of a "crime drama" in which a former math professor gets two offers he can't refuse: one from a crime boss who wants to hire him as his accountant and another from the police... (more) 


The Symbolic Logic of Murder (1960) 
 John Reese 

Through a combination of biblical mnemonics and Boolean algebra, our
heroes are able to solve a mysterious murder. Appears in Mathematical Magpie.
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Ten (1986) 
 Isaac Asimov 

We might argue that the particular words and symbols we use to express
mathematical concepts are not as important as the concepts themselves...and
mathematically that may well be the case. However,... (more) 


The Theory of Death (2015) 
 Faye Kellerman 

The apparent suicides of a math student and math professor at Kneed Loft College are investigated by a detective, his wife, and a former detective now studying law. It was sufficiently engrossing and... (more) 


Thirteen Diamonds (2000) 
 Alan Cook 

A murder mystery set in a retirement community in Chapel Hill, NC. During a bridge game at the club, one of the members, a Nobellaureate in Economics, keels over and dies after receiving a perfect hand... (more) 


The Three Body Problem (2004) 
 Catherine Shaw 

A cleverly titled novel that uses a historical mathematical contest
and several characters based on real mathematicians as the basis for a
murder mystery. Of special interest is the novel's presentation... (more) 


The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage (2015) 
 Sydney Padua 

This graphic novel starts out as a basically realistic fictionalized biography of the 19th century mathematicians Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage, even if it is a biography with a snarky sense of humor.... (more) 


Thursday Next: First Among Sequels (2007) 
 Jasper Fforde 

As Vijay Fafat points out, the eponymous heroine of this series of humorous, fantasy mysteries has a daughter who is a math prodigy. Among other things, in this novel she finds a counterexample to Fermat's... (more) 


TouchMeNot (2010) 
 Cynthia Riggs 

In this installment of a series of mystery novels set on Martha's Vineyard, an electrician accidentally murders an employee who was blackmailing him and then is killed himself. Throughout most of the... (more) 


The Translated Man (2009) 
 Chris Braak 

Since the horrific Excelsior disaster, the subject of aetheric geometry has been banned. The ethical dilema for a young psychic is whether he should reveal to the detective he is assisting the tremendous... (more) 


Twisted (2004) 
 Jonathan Kellerman 

One of the main characters is a graduate student pursing a Ph.D. in biostatistics, who notes to police detectives that coincidences in the circumstances of several murders are statistically significant,... (more) 


The Twisted Heart (2009) 
 Rebecca Gowers 

An English graduate student solves a 19th century murder mystery involving Charles Dickens with the help of her boyfriend, a mathematician.
This book is not yet available in the US and so I have not... (more) 


Ultima Dea [The Last Goddess] (1994) 
 Gianni Riotta 

Unfortunately this book does not appear to have been
translated from the original Italian. One of the central
characters in the book, Alfred Diognetus (described as a
"saint mathematician") is the... (more) 


The Ultimate Crime (1976) 
 Isaac Asimov 

We all know that Sherlock Holmes' arch enemy was a mathematician,
right? (If not, check out Sherlock Holmes.)
In fact, his second famous paper was on the dynamics of an asteroid.
Now, you may ask,... (more) 


The Unknowns: A Mystery (2009) 
 Benedict Carey 

A novel for middle school children which aims to teach mathematical concepts as the young protagonists try to solve the mystery of the disappearances in their neighborhood.
I thoroughly enjoyed the... (more) 


The Valley of Fear (1916) 
 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 

Having introduced Sherlock Holmes' most famous enemy, Professor
Moriarty, as a mathematician in an earlier
story, Doyle provides us with just a small glimpse of his
mathematical genius (as opposed to... (more) 


The Visiting Professor (1994) 
 Robert Littell 

Lemuel Falk, a ``randomnist'' from the Steklov Institute in Russia
gets a visiting position at a chaos research institute in Upstate New
York in this academic farce. He meets a drunkard who studies... (more) 


Who Killed the Duke of Densmore? (1994) 
 Claude Berge 

The murder mystery in the title took
place many years ago and the only witnesses are a group of women who each
visited the crime scene for a single stretch of time. They each remember
whom they met... (more) 


The Witch of Agnesi (2006) 
 Robert Spiller 

Solid murder mystery in which a high school math teacher finds the murderer of three of her best students.
My favorite thing about this book is the way that Bonnie Pinkwater and her boyfriend  the... (more) 


Without a Trace (Episode: Claus and Effect) (2007) 
 David Amann (writer) /
Alicia Kirk (writer) / Bobby Roth (Director) 

In this Christmas special episode of the TV crime drama, a department store Santa turns out to be a mathematical prodigy who has quit his job as a mathematician/programmer due to ethical concerns that his work will cause others to lose their jobs. He becomes involved in a scheme to make money by applying mathematics to gambling.
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The Wright 3 (2006) 
 Blue Balliet 

This is the second mystery book with Calder, Petra and Tommy, where the events take place after those in “Chasing Vermeer”. The main theme in the book is the impending destruction / teardown of... (more) 


The Zero Clue (1952) 
 Rex Stout 

Nero Wolfe can't stand Leo Heller, a mathematician who uses operations research to solve mysteries and seems to be superseding Wolfe's own reputation. But then Heller is murdered by one of his clients.... (more) 
