Publication Date: 11/05/2013
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Cozy Mystery
(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound
Ada Madison (aka. Camille Minichino) on the WEB: Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads
Books in the series:
The Square Root of Murder (2011), The Probability of Murder (2012), A Function of Murder (2012), The Quotient of Murder (2013)
Coverart: Click the image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.
Excerpt from The Quotient of Murder, courtesy of the author's website.
Dr. Sophie Knowles loves using puzzles to make math fun for students. But when winter seizes Henley College, she must thaw out a cold case to track down a killer—her most difficult puzzle yet . . .
Winter Intersession is in full swing, and campus is buzzing over the concert celebrating the bell tower’s reopening. The building has been shuttered for twenty-five years, and Sophie’s shocked to learn why—a student leapt from it to her death. But she’s even more troubled by the secrecy surrounding the case. After Sophie performs some quick calculations, she’s left with a nagging question: Was it really suicide?
When one of Sophie’s favorite students, a performer in the concert, is brutally beaten and left in a coma, Sophie’s mind kicks into overdrive. The horrific incidents seem too coincidental to be unrelated, but can Sophie put together the pieces from a twenty-five-year-old murder before any other students get hurt?
Who better to be a great amateur sleuth than a math professor? The Quotient of Murder is the fourth book in the Sophie Knowles Mystery series by Ada Madison. Madison's main character Sophie Knowles is a Math professor at a small New England college and she dabbles a bit in puzzles, brain teasers and murder. Her powers of deduction will challenge readers who enjoy deductive reasoning, probabilities and even a bit of science. But you don't have to be a Math geek to be entertained by this great mystery. A great addition to a very intelligent series!
I'll be the first to admit that I am not good at math. I struggled with it during my whole school career, basically because I thought it was boring. Had Sophie Knowles been my professor things might have been different. One of the things that I like so much about this character is that Knowles makes Math fun. She gives her students puzzles and brain teasers that show how the mechanics of Math works but still keeps it interesting. I liked that whole idea along with the puzzles Ada Madison puts in the back of each of her books in this series. Great food for thought!
The mystery is this one was quite original. Apparently, Henley college's bell tower has been boarded up for over 20 years. Now that the tower is to be reopened there is a lot of speculation as to why it was closed in the first place. When one of Sophie's students who is supposed to be one of the new bell ringers is beaten and left for dead, Sophie starts to listen a little closer to the gossip about a long ago suicide. I thought Madison crafted a very thoughtful and well plotted mystery here. Sophie is trying to correlate the data on the suicide from the past and figures out that is can't have been a suicide, it was murder and it is related to this latest incident as well.
Madison does a fantastic job of keeping readers off balance with this one. There is a lot of information and evidence, but it takes someone with a mind like Sophie's to figure it all out. I love the way her mind works in this series. You can see those gears turning as she uses Math to put two and two together. This series will appeal to readers who love Math, as well as, those of us who are more challenged...LOL.
One of the things I like about this series is the relationships that Madison has created for Sophie, not just with her students but with others as well. I like Sophie's relationship with her boyfriend, Bruce. Bruce is a medivac pilot and that adds not only a romantic element to the stories at times, but also creates tension with is vocation. I also like how she interacts with Vigil. Sometimes amateur sleuths have issues with the police and sometimes they get on rather well. I like the way these interact with each other and essentially help each other solve the crime.
This is a great series that you have to try if you haven't read anything by this author. It's intelligent and challenging and most of all, it's a series that is a lot of fun trying to figure out. I didn't get this one til the very end. I had no clue and that's rare. I generally have an inkling of who is at fault in most cases, but not this one. It was a total surprise.
The Quotient of Murder is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
About the Author:
Ada Madison is the pen name of Camille Minichino. Camille is a retired physicist and math teacher and the author of eight other mysteries as well as short stories and articles. She’s also Margaret Grace, the author of the Miniature Mysteries.
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