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The Square Root of Murder (Professor Sophie Knowles) Mass Market Paperback – July 5, 2011
"The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10 comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, The Lying Game. Pre-order today
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About the Author
Ada Madison is the pen name of Camille Minichino. Camille is a retired physicist and math teacher and is the author of the Professor Sophie Knowles Mysteries, as well as short stories and articles. She's also Margaret Grace, the author of the Miniature Mysteries.
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Top customer reviews
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. Uh huh)
Worst of all, there were major logic fails that are unforgivable in a mystery. It's difficult to talk about them without including spoilers. A minor non-spoiler example: I don't think every character needs to behave in a perfectly logical way- people don't. But if you were very worried about something that could be resolved by spending a couple of dollars on reverse look up, wouldn't you do it? (Not to mention possibly solving a murder while you're at it)
This wasn't the worst mystery I've ever read by any means and I don't want to go so far as to say I didn't like it at all. I did finish it and the author included a few very simple puzzles at the end. Basically, just another book in crying need of a strong editor.
Normally I'm obsessive about reading every book in a series. If it were a freebie, I might pick up a later book to see if they get any better, but other than that I have no interest in pursuing.
Most recent customer reviews
Enjoyable read - interesting characters - liked the campus locale and the fact that the heroine is a math professor.