a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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The Body Outside the Kremlin (2020)
James L. May

This novel is a combination of historical fiction and a murder mystery, with literary ambitions. The narrator is a former math student who is sent to an island prison in the early days of the USSR. There he is ordered to help a retired detective find the killer of a common acquaintance, an art restorer working on icons at the island's former monastery.

The narrator's crime was to have owned a book of Plato's philosophy in German, which he brought out after lecturing to his college friends about non-Euclidean geometry. Later, he mentions non-Euclidean geometry again in the context of a discussion of whether logic is helpful in solving murder mysteries. And, various descriptions of objects, places, and scenarios are also given in mathematical terms. But, the fact that he was a mathematician does not otherwise seem especially relevant to the plot.

The narrator, at least initially, is portrayed as being naive and inexperienced. Perhaps those are part of a stereotype of a math student, but the more noticeable stereotypical traits of mathematicians in fiction are not present here.

So, unlike most of the other works listed in this database, there really is not much to say about the math in this book. It is a nicely written piece of fiction in which the main character just happens to have studied math.

More information about this work can be found at
(Note: This is just one work of mathematical fiction from the list. To see the entire list or to see more works of mathematical fiction, return to the Homepage.)

Works Similar to The Body Outside the Kremlin
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. The Trachtenberg Speed System by Buzz Mauro
  2. The First Circle by Alexandr Solzhenitsyn
  3. Murder in the Great Church by Tefcros Michaelides
  4. Spherical Mirrors, plane murders by Tefcros Michaelides
  5. Krise [Crisis] by Helga Königsdorf
  6. Murder at Queen's Landing by Andrea Penrose
  7. The Bangalore Detectives Club by Harini Narendra
  8. The Fourth Quadrant by Dorothy Lumley
  9. Murder and Mendelssohn (Phryne Fisher Mystery) by Kerry Greenwood
  10. An Elegant Solution by Paul Robertson
Ratings for The Body Outside the Kremlin:
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:
1/5 (1 votes)
Literary Quality:
4/5 (1 votes)

GenreHistorical Fiction, Mystery,

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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)