a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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The Romanian Gambit: A Statistical Spy Novel (2020)
Elliott Ostler
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)

This espionage novel attempts to teach the reader about statistical analysis.

Contributed by Allan Goldberg


The Romanian Gambit, A Statistical Spy Novel (2020) by Elliott Ostler, is now available on Amazon, and IMHO belongs on your website.

The novel heavily employs statistical methods and actual statistical exercises in the development of the plot of this fictional narrative of the spy genre. An epilogue both furthers the plot and provides introductory explanations of the statistical methods used by the characters.

Statistical eponyms and puns are employed throughout the book.

This intellectually dense narrative can be enjoyed by anyone with an interest in mathematics or the fictional spy genre. It can also be employed as a teaching aid in the classroom.

A spoiler plot point makes this novel particularly relevant.

This novel may be one of the most mathematical entries to be considered for inclusion on your website.


Thanks to Allan, a frequent contributor to this website, for bringing this book to my attention and writing the review above. I have not read it myself, but I notice that it seems to be disappearing from the usual book sellers' websites. I might think that means it is selling well, but I am having trouble finding any information about it online. That seems mysterious, perhaps like something that would happen in a novel like "The Romanian Gambit" about secrets being kept by spy organizations!

More information about this work can be found at
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Works Similar to The Romanian Gambit: A Statistical Spy Novel
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Pythagoras' Revenge: A Mathematical Mystery by Arturo Sangalli
  2. The Chimera Prophesies by Elliott Ostler
  3. Bone Chase by Weston Ochse
  4. Tetraktys by Ari Juels
  5. The Banana Girls by Karim F. Hirji
  6. Imaginary Numbers by Seanan McGuire
  7. Night of the Eerie Equations by Robert Black
  8. Math Patrol by TV Ontario
  9. Magic Squares by Paul Calter
  10. Zero Sum Game by S.L. Huang
Ratings for The Romanian Gambit: A Statistical Spy Novel:
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GenreDidactic, Adventure/Espionage,

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(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)