a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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Twisted (2004)
Jonathan Kellerman

Contributed by Bart Holland (Assoc. Prof. of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, New Jersey Medical School)

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, i.e. the probability that they are unrelated is very small indeed. The key deduction that the murders were carried out by one individual leads the student and the police to focus on figuring out the characteristics of the killer -- "what do these victims have in common and who would have the motive to kill all of them?" -- and eventually allows them to locate and stop the criminal.

The mathematical content of the book is pretty sparse. However, the one statistical deduction is central to the plot, and the life and mind of the ever-present graduate student adds a nice touch and is central to the atmosphere of the book, which is sort of in the airport thriller/mystery genre rather than having great literary pretentions (as far as I am concerned). Nonetheless, a fun read.

More information about this work can be found at
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Works Similar to Twisted
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Magpie Lane by Lucy Atkins
  2. Los crímenes de Alicia [The Alice Murders / The Oxford Brotherhood] by Guillermo Martinez
  3. The Madness of Crowds by Louise Penny
  4. Murder by Mathematics by Hector Hawton
  5. Trueman Bradley: Aspie Detective by Alexei Maxim Russell
  6. The Invention of Zero [Die Erfindung der Null] by Michael Wildenhain
  7. The Crimson Cipher by Susan Page Davis
  8. Law and Order: Criminal Intent (Episode: Inert Dwarf) by Renee Balcer (story) / Warren Leight (script) / Alex Chapple (director)
  9. NUMB3RS by Nick Falacci / Cheryl Heuton
  10. The Oxford Murders by Guillermo Martinez
Ratings for Twisted:
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:
2/5 (1 votes)
Literary Quality:
3/5 (1 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)