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The Square Root of Murder (Professor Sophie Knowles) Mass Market Paperback – July 5, 2011
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“FitzSimmons has come up with a doozy of a sociopath.” —The Washington Post Learn More
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Top Customer Reviews
A tradition at the Math/Sciences Building, Benjamin Franklin Hall, is to celebrate birthdays of famous scholars with the students. Something terrible happens at the latest party that changes everything for several party attendees. Dr. Keith Appleton, without a doubt the most disliked member of faculty at Henley, is found dead in his office.
All the evidence points to Sophie's assistant Rachel, as the prime suspect, for several reasons including the fact that he refused to recommend her for medical school. Sophie knows there is absolutely no possibility or probability that Rachel could have killed the professor. Sophie decides to do a little investigating of her own trying to factor out just who the actual killer is, while being careful not to get herself subtracted completely out of the equation.
This is a wonderful debut to a really smart new series. The setting is intriguing, the plot complex but not over the top and the characters span the gambit. These are characters that I am sure to fall in love with as the series continues.
Ada Madison knows her subject matter very well. She has a Ph. D. in a Physics and a BA in Mathematics. She is also a fantastic storyteller so even those of us who did not excel in math or science still feel at home with this story. She has published other series, under different aliases and her Web Page tells you all about them, plus even has puzzles too.Read more ›
Perhaps its her familiarity with the world of academia and the suburban Boston setting or her experience developing cozy mysteries that intrigue, amuse and delight, but "Square Root" provides a great way to begin sampling this author or renewing a previous acquaintance.
The plot is well-covered in previous reviews. The characters are well-developed and interesting, covering the gamut of personality types to be expected at a small New England college facing change. To me, the college itself is the most intriguing character in the book and I look forward to renewing my acquaintance in what I hope will be a soon-to-follow second installment in this series.
I can understand why I would have picked this book. It has elements that I enjoy enormously- a cozy mystery, intelligent, mature protagonist, New England college setting. Plus the heroine is a math and puzzle freak like me. I should have loved it but... not so much.
There were a number of things throughout the book that I found very irritating. All of the characters seemed flat, almost caricatures. The prose was frequently awkward and situations unrealistic (You drop by a friend's store and then, without explanation, suddenly start cleaning it like Merry Maids?) Some short passages that are good examples of prose/dialogue problems:
I called my boyfriend and invited him on a date. "Unless you're completely exhausted," I added. He flexed his muscles. "Not me," he said. "And anyway, I'm moving in until this situation is resolved, remember?" I took that as a date. (He flexed his muscles on the phone?)
"I hoped you'd see it that way."
"That doesn't mean I don't agree with her."
Two negative words, like multiplying two negative numbers, gave a positive. Too bad. I'd counted on Bruce's support as I continued to work out the scenario for xxxx's murder. (OK, we get it. You're a math geek)
"I mentally rolled up the imaginary sleeves of my sleeveless knit top. Not a problem; I'd taught a whole course in imaginary numbers last year." (imaginary sleeves/imaginary numbers.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good read, but as many do, too much was wrapped up in the last few pages.Published 13 months ago by Janne M. Rice
There’s not much to say really because this is a cozy mystery and they kind of always follow the same rules, you know. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Isa @ Words in a Teacup Reviews
Academic politics is usually conducted with verbal barbs, but in this novel, poison is employed to murder chemistry professor Keith Appleton at fictitious Henley College in... Read morePublished on January 1, 2014 by D. E WARD
Enjoyable read - interesting characters - liked the campus locale and the fact that the heroine is a math professor.
Professor Sophie Knowles is a mathematician professor at Henley College. In her spare time she likes to create brain teasers and solve puzzles. Read morePublished on September 16, 2013 by Cozy Reader
It was quite enjoyable having a "nerd"-such as a math professor- for a main character, who is not your usual conundrum amateur sleuth- police aren't knocking on her door... Read morePublished on July 16, 2013 by Avidreader4fun
I needed a break from dark, angsty thrillers and this was perfect. I'm a big science nerd, and I liked the characters and setting a lot. Didn't stop reading until the end. Read morePublished on June 25, 2013 by greyhound
The Square Root of Murder is the first book in the Professor Sophie Knowles series. Sophie Knowles is an associate math professor at Henley College in Massachusetts. Read morePublished on February 2, 2013 by Lynn T.