Friday, May 23, 2014

The Oxford Murders by Guillermo Martinez

The Oxford Murders by Guillermo Martinez

A grad student from Argentina goes to Oxford to carry on his mathematics education. He stays with an elderly lady and her granddaughter in their basement. Shortly after arriving, he finds his landlady dead and famous mathematician Arthur Seldom arriving with a note that tells of her death. This note has a mathematical symbol on it and states the time and place of the death. More murders are expected, with more notes to follow, and the series to be continued.

Given that the premise of this book is mathematical, there is a lot of explaining that needs to be done on series and the theorems behind them. I have a Math degree, and even with that I found that at times I was getting bored with all the math information being thrown out. I did like the discussion about how even with three numbers in a series there are many different solutions, which was causing the standard test creator problems. They gave a sample series with a few sample answers and I had thought that the answer was something that wasn't even presented, but was completely plausible.

This book is rather short and there wasn't really anything in the book that didn't need to be there. There weren't any major plot twists but I enjoyed this book, the mystery, and the math.

First Line: "Now that the years have passed and everything's been forgotten, and now that I've received a terse e-mail from Scotland with the sad news of Seldom's death, I feel I can break my silence (which he never asked for anyway) and tell the truth about events that reached the British papers in the summer of '93 with macabre and sensationalist headlines, but to which Seldom and I always referred - perhaps due to the mathematical connotation - simply as the series, or the Oxford Series."


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