a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Death of a Doxy (1966)
Rex Stout
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)

Contributed by "William E. Emba"

The murder victim's brother-in-law is a high school math teacher. Nero Wolfe believes this to be relevant at one point, even quoting some mathematical history from an encyclopedia.

Contributed by Bruce Howe

I first read Death of a Doxy in the early '70s. Just picked it up by chance in a bus station. It was my first Nero Wolfe story. I liked it... until the end when I felt that Saul turned up magically from nowhere with the solution......Mathematics, itself, was pretty much non-existant in the book. The character taught Math and there was a clue in the name of an ancient Mathematician-- which eludes me at the moment [Note: It was Thales of Milton -alex] -- but the purpose of Mathematics was to provide that clue. Mathematics, itself, contributed nothing to the story.

Contributed by Jeff Barnett

I really like the Nero Wolfe books. I find it refreshing that Stout (the author) occasionally drops some math/arithmetic as well as basic science in the stories and expects that to be no unusual burden on the reader. He even uses words that chase us ordinary mortals to the nearest dictionary. In other words, your intelligence is not insulted and that is a good thing.

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Works Similar to Death of a Doxy
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. And Be a Villain by Rex Stout
  2. The Zero Clue by Rex Stout
  3. 4.50 from Paddington by Agatha Christie
  4. Magpie Lane by Lucy Atkins
  5. Murder by Mathematics by Hector Hawton
  6. Los crímenes de Alicia [The Alice Murders / The Oxford Brotherhood] by Guillermo Martinez
  7. Trueman Bradley: Aspie Detective by Alexei Maxim Russell
  8. The Invention of Zero [Die Erfindung der Null] by Michael Wildenhain
  9. The Madness of Crowds by Louise Penny
  10. The Return of Moriarty by John Gardner
Ratings for Death of a Doxy:
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 (4 votes)
Literary Quality:
3.25/5 (4 votes)


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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)