Advanced Calculus of Murder

Erik Rosenthal, Author St. Martin's Press $18.95 (263p) ISBN 978-0-312-01726-2
In this second appearance (after Calculus of Murder) of mathematician-sleuth Dan Brodsky, Rosenthal's mystery does not pass the test. Attending a mathematics conference at Oxford University where he is to deliver a paper, Brodsky also intends to find a missing person. A client in California has hired him to track down an adult-film actress, whom he has traced to London. At the conference, a 15-year-old dispute over stolen mathematical ideas flares up; some hours later the alleged thief is murdered. Paul Hobart, Brodsky's mentor (and originator of the disputed work) has been framed and is being held by the police. Brodsky is certain that one of the conferees is the killer. His investigation takes the form of endless, redundant interrogations of a handful of people about the night of the crime and of events 15 years past. When Brodsky supplies a more plausible suspect, Hobart is released. Brodsky trots off to London and locates his missing actress, but when he returns to Oxford his suspect has been murdered and Hobart is, again, implicated. The plot is thin and the resolution is disappointingly obvious. Rosenthal's portrayal of ``wild mathemeticians'' playing cards, sleeping around, speaking and acting like drunken frat boys is an embarrassment, and his casual gay-bashing is inexcusable. (July) UFunder
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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