An Elegant Solution

An Elegant Solution

3.5 7
by Paul Robertson

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Robertson's Latest Mix of Rich History
and Deadly Murder

For young Leonhard Euler, the Bernoulli family have been more than just friends. Master Johann has been a demanding mentor, and his sons have been Leonhard's allies and companions. But it is also a family torn by jealousy and distrust. Father and sons are engaged in a ruthless competition for


Robertson's Latest Mix of Rich History
and Deadly Murder

For young Leonhard Euler, the Bernoulli family have been more than just friends. Master Johann has been a demanding mentor, and his sons have been Leonhard's allies and companions. But it is also a family torn by jealousy and distrust. Father and sons are engaged in a ruthless competition for prestige among the mathematical elites of Europe, especially the greatest prize: the Chair of Mathematics at the University of Basel, which Johann holds and his sons want. And now, their aspirations may have turned deadly.

Lured into an investigation of the suspicious death of Uncle Jacob twenty years ago, Leonhard soon realizes there's more at stake than even a prominent appointment. Surrounded by the most brilliant--and cunning--minds of his generation, Leonhard is forced to see how dangerous his world is. His studies in mathematics have always been entwined with his thoughts on theology, and now, caught in a deadly battle of wills, he'll need both his genius and his faith to survive.

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Baker Publishing Group
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Meet the Author

Paul Robertson is a full-time software developer and the author of five novels, including Dark in the City of Light, Road to Nowhere, and The Heir. He is also a former Christian bookstore owner (for 15 years), who lives with his family in Blacksburg, Virginia.
Paul Robertson is a computer programming consultant, part-time high-school math and science teacher, and the author of The Heir. He is also a former Christian bookstore owner (for 15 years), who lives with his family in Blacksburg, Virginia.

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An Elegant Solution 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Teresa_Konopka More than 1 year ago
Set in the time of Euler and Bernoulli, this book follows the complex life of intellectuals.  As each character vies for a spot in the Basel University, sparks fly.  Things get even more intense as murder and the plague emerge.  Is a professor killed so his job is open, or was he merely a victim of the plague?  Such questions abound.  The writing style of Robertson really puts readers back in time.  The problem is that modern readers are not used to the style.  This book is a great read, but it is a slow read.  The old style of speaking can be choppy and takes some time.  Still, there are nice intricacies in this story that make it interesting.  Architecture, theology, trade work, societal norms, fashion, and more are discussed.  The way mathematics and physics ties in is fascinating.  There is enough detail to follow along but not so much detail as to confuse readers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Intellectual Intrigue and Mathematics Make a Deep Mystery If you like intellectual intrigue then Paul Robertson’s An Elegant Solution is the book for you. Young Leonhard is a math student of Master Johann, the stern Chair of Mathematics at the university in Basel, Switzerland in the eighteenth century. By morning Leonhard works for Mistress Dorothea, wife of Master Johann, to pay for his afternoon mathematics lessons. By routine and by accident Leonhard finds himself at the heart of Master Johann’s family intrigue when the local coach driver disappears. As devoted as Leonhard is to mathematics and elegant formulas, he is likewise devoted to Nicolaus and Daniel, the highly competitive sons of Master Johann, who have unexpectedly returned to Basel leaving behind prestigious university chairs in foreign countries. Leonhard finds himself inextricably drawn into a mystery of spirals, deaths, and unanswered questions as he seeks to understand what is happening to the quiet town of Basel he knows so well. Paul Robertson is methodical as he sets the scene and provides the history surrounding the mystery behind university chairs at Basel. He spends a lot of time describing what young Leonhard’s world in Basel was like, and he is effective in transporting his readers to that same world. On the downside, Robertson takes his time creating Leonhard’s world, and I found myself at 100 pages into his novel still waiting for that pull that would take me completely into the book. Yet, I found Robertson’s writing, descriptions, and meticulous research compelling because he introduced me to a new world of intellectual intrigue and jealously. And I even found myself not minding the mathematical discussion that gave credibility to his plot. Bethany House Publishing sent me a complimentary copy of An Elegant Solution by Paul Robertson to review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received a copy of AN ELEGANT SOLUTON by Paul Robertson from Bethany House. Once again, Bethany House published a winner. From the first page to the last, you encounter danger and excitement. Throw in some murder. Mix in some history. Add a pinch of scholarly advice (it is a university town, after all). I should also add a note about the intriguing dedication: “I believe that, if there was no other proof, that because of Mathematics, I would still believe in God. I’ll let Leonhard tell you why.” The main character, Leonhard Euler, is a “math prodigy.” That actually put me off a little at first. I have always disliked math, so I was afraid some parts might go over my head or cause me to lose interest. While his being a math wizard does come into play, it only adds a new dimension to make the story more well rounded. Basically, the story is about how Leonhard Euler gets to solve a mystery regarding the death of his master’s brother. I don’t want to say nothing goes right for him, but the story doesn’t dance in a straight line. Instead, you get to experience the ups and downs, the fear, right along with Leonhard. As a writer, I enjoyed seeing how Paul Robertson wove realistic dialogue around action and natural characters. I highly recommend this to murder novel fans.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MadeusBooks More than 1 year ago
Come for the mystery, but stay for the writing. In two words: Just Beautiful Best paired with: A Highlighter (you will want to mark every beautiful line) I did not know what to expect when I began this journey. I have never been interested in mathematics or its history, apart from what I have learned in Literature classes; but I was immediately swept into the language of the novel and its compelling story. I don’t care what anyone else says about it, this novel is a must read. The language Robert uses is just perfect.  His writing is very detailed, and filled with movement. You can actually feel the “sliding and twisting of the house and streets” as you read.  Robertson covers so many topics with skill and ease; religion, the supernatural, philosophy, social class and finding ones voice in a social hierarchy. The story takes place in the small town of Basel, Switzerland, probably around the 1720’s(lots of clues). Robert skillfully uses his description of the environment and architecture to relay the emotions of the inhabitants of Basel.  This novel brings together the two worlds of faith and philosophy. Leonhard Euler is a young man of low social status whose special talents and genuine love for math give him the opportunity to study under a great teacher and mathematician, Master Johann Bernoulli. Leonhard becomes your companion through the entire story. As we read, we are immersed in a  thrilling tale of power struggles, murder and genuine love for learning. I have never read any of Paul Robertson’s works before, but I am very impressed. This book is the perfect read for any lover of literature. My own copy is filled with passages I marked just of their beauty. I urge you to give this book a chance; it is so much more than a mystery novel. Come for the mystery, but stay for the writing. Bethany House Publishers were kind enough to send me a free copy of the book for an honest review.
Bethers More than 1 year ago
An Elegant Solution is the first book by Paul Robertson that I have had the pleasure of reading. Leonhard Euler( a real person) is a math prodigy who is taken in by his master's family,The Bernoulli. They have been a source of love and support to him for many years. The Bernoulli's are family but they are also constantly in competition of one another for high honors in the mathmatical elites of Europe. Leonhard finds himself a suspect in the murder of Jacob Bernoulli, who has been like a brother to him. As Leonhard starts investigating this murder he finds himself in the middle of something he had no idea about. An Elegant Solution is a cerebral book. Paul Robertson weaves a beautiful story of murder, blackmail and greed within a society of its own. I found myself drawn in from the beginning and I truly kept guessing until the end. I am not a math genius by any stretch but this book really caught a hold of me. Paul Robertson writes with authority on 18th Century Europe, Basal Switzerland, and Leonhard Euler. Paul Robertson writes this latest book in the first person and does it beautifully. I may not have understood some of the math concepts but I never felt lost in this book. The characters in this book are fascinating especially with how their minds work within this mathematical society. It was very interesting to read the historical facts about Leonhard Euler. I look forward to reading more from Paul Robertson. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys this kind of cerebral mystery. You will not be disappointed. I give this book 4 STARS.
Bri23327 More than 1 year ago
Let me start off with saying this is a completely new author to me. I never would have picked  this book up if it wasn't part of Bethany house's review program. So I got this book for free to review.  This book is written in first person. Not many authors write in first person; even less do it well. Paul Robertson does it well. He has amazing character development. You are constantly on your feet, so  to speak, observing each character. You feel like you are looking through the eyes of  Leonhard and seeing exactly what he sees; as if you were there.  Unfortunately for me the subject of this book didn't hold my interest. I think it was the mathematics aspect of it. However, the author did a fabulous job recounting the history of Basel.  I learned so much about an area that I had scarcely heard of before. You can tell he did a lot of research and really did his best to get the details right.  While I didn't necessarily get grabbed by the subject matter, this was a very well written book. I would recommend this book.  There was a lot more than just mathematics; history, murder,  intrigue, suspense, and divided loyalties. I would defiantly try reading another book by this  author. I'm very glad I took the opportunity to broaden my horizons. -Bri