a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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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 had a chance to read it. However, from reading reviews it appears that math (and the mathematician) do not play a large role here. However, it is notable that the author's brother, Timothy Gowers, has a Fields medal (considered by many to be the highest prize in mathematics). In his blog, Gowers plugs his sister's book by remarking on how realistic the mathematician character is, both in his talent and his sanity (in contrast to the Godlike but insane mathematicians who populate much of mathematical fiction.)

By all accounts, this book is well written and worth reading, despite being relatively non-mathematical. Thanks to Vijay Fafat for pointing out this book and Tim Gowers' blog to me.

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 Twisted Heart
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Murder, She Conjectured by Alex Kasman
  2. The End of Mr. Y by Scarlett Thomas
  3. The Mirror Has Two Faces by Barbra Streisand (director) / Richard LaGravenese (Writer)
  4. Magpie Lane by Lucy Atkins
  5. The Crimson Cipher by Susan Page Davis
  6. Trueman Bradley: Aspie Detective by Alexei Maxim Russell
  7. Los crímenes de Alicia [The Alice Murders / The Oxford Brotherhood] by Guillermo Martinez
  8. The Invention of Zero [Die Erfindung der Null] by Michael Wildenhain
  9. In the Shadow of Gotham by Stefanie Pintoff
  10. The Madness of Crowds by Louise Penny
Ratings for The Twisted Heart:
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:
1.5/5 (2 votes)
Literary Quality:
4/5 (2 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)