The Fractal Murders

by Mark Cohen


Year published: 2004
Category: mystery; series (#1)

SUMMARY:

University math professor Jayne Smyers notes the improbability of three experts in the small field of fractal geometry all dying in a short time. She asks Boulder, Colorado private investigator Pepper Keane to look into the deaths, which appear to have nothing else in common.

REVIEW:

First, let me explain that I’m not giving this book a star rating because it’s a mystery through and through, with nary a nod to the thriller genre. I don’t normally read mysteries, so I am not qualified to compare this book to others in its genre.

I chose to read and review The Fractal Murders, however, because math is a central part of the plot. Don’t be scared—author Mark Cohen keeps the technical stuff at a level that everyone can enjoy, while also using/explaining fractals correctly. If you like popular science, popular math, or puzzles, this is a good mystery for you.

The Fractal Murders is a nicely constructed, straightforward mystery spiced with lots of local Colorado color. In this book, sentences are short, speech is direct; every male character is described by height and weight; connections between characters are simply defined by blood or school attendance. There is a mild love interest between Pepper Keane and the professor. Plenty of good old-fashioned detective work steadily leads to the truth. Ultimately, Cohen’s book does not disappoint.

Great choice for: expatriates from Boulder, Colorado

Mark Cohen’s Pepper Keane mysteries:
The Fractal Murders (2004); Bluetick Revenge (2005)

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