The Square Root of Murder

( 19 )

Overview

Dr. Sophie Knowles teaches math at Henley College in Massachusetts, but when a colleague turns up dead, it's up to her to find the killer before someone else gets subtracted.

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The Square Root of Murder

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Overview

Dr. Sophie Knowles teaches math at Henley College in Massachusetts, but when a colleague turns up dead, it's up to her to find the killer before someone else gets subtracted.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Dr. Sophie Knowles is a fortysomething math professor teaching summer session at a small Cape Cod women's college. Her close-knit academic community is suffering through a sweltering summer heat wave when, out of the blue, a much-despised chemistry professor is poisoned in his lab. Wanting to help the graduate student who's been fingered as the killer, Dr. Knowles begins her amateur investigation. Along the way, she learns about the darker side of academia. The ensemble cast includes the requisite wacky best friend (who owns a bead shop) and the action boyfriend (an emergency medical responder), making this a comfortable read with forays outside the science building. It takes time and math to find out why murder was the final grade for Dr. Appleton in this leisurely paced cozy. VERDICT Veteran series author Camille Minichino, also known as Margaret Grace, introduces an engaging new protagonist with a fresh venue for her fans. This mystery is a puzzler designed for word problem skill building. Puzzles and brainteasers included.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425242193
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/5/2011
  • Series: Professor Sophie Knowles Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 490,378
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 19 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2012

    Just Doesn't Make Sense

    The problem I am having these days as I attempt to find a new mystery series, is that the main character ends up deeply involved in the investigation of these heinous crimes, for no apparent reason. The standard British "cozy" presents us a small village with a meager police presence, so naturally Miss Marple must step in. We have private detectives that somehow always manage involved in "assisting" the police in their inquiries, but that almost makes sense. A retired lawyer turned shopkeeper who is living with the Chief of Police; that makes sense (more or less). But why is it necessary for a fully-equipped police department near a major metropolitan area to need to assistance of a Maths professor?? I don't get it.
    Leaving that aside, I picked this book up as it seemed similar to Donna Andrew's Meg Langslow books, which I enjoy. There are similarities. The small private liberal arts college and the surrounding community make a charming ambiance. The obviously intelligent main character has just enough foibles to make her not too annoyingly perfect and possesses the requisite understanding and supportive boyfriend and quirky side-kick.
    A nice, light, quite pleasant little read ... if one doesn't THINK about it too much!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 8, 2011

    An Engrossing New Mystery

    Ada Madison has come up with a winner, with her book, The Square Root of Murder. Dr.Sophie Knowles is a member of the Mathematics faculty of Henley College, who is hoping for a promotion to full professorship. She's dedicated to making Math enjoyable for her students--however, one of her colleagues is found dead in his office and the main suspect is Sophie's grad assistant, Rachel. Sophie, convinced that Rachel is innocent, and since Dr. Appleton was deeply unpopular with students and faculty alike, she knows there are others who had motives to kill him aside from Rachel.Sophie is an engaging protagonist, and the plot line moves quickly enough to keep the reader engrossed throughout the novel. There are also brain teasers and math problems included at the end of the book, which are fun to look over. I look forward to reading the next book in the series. Highly recommended. --Jane Fricker

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 29, 2011

    Moderately Recommended

    I purchased this book because the protagonist is a female math professor. However the author doesn't know much about either the life of a mathematician or a university professor. It was an easy read and was enjoyable but I expected something more in tune with university life.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A WONDERFUL DEBUT

    Henley College in Massachusetts is quite a place and Dr. Sophie Knowles teaches math there. She also makes math puzzles and brain teasers for several publications. Her students love her. She also has a hunky boyfriend who is a helicopter pilot for a medical evacuation and transfer group, MAstar.

    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.

    This is my first experience with this author but will be working some of her other works into my reading schedule. I also will be anxiously awaiting the next edition to the Professor Sophie Knowles Mysteries. They are off to a marvelous start.



    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from The Berkley Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    An enjoyable new academic mystery series

    At Henley College in Massachusetts, Professor Sophie Knowles is a student favorite as she makes math easy to understand. She also, under a pseudonym, publishes puzzles and brain teasers in various publications. In her microscopic spare time, she does craftwork in the form of beading at her friend Ariana's store. The one description she never thought would apply to her is amateur sleuth, but that is what happens when the college's most unpopular professor, who is disliked by students and teachers alike, is murdered.

    The police are looking at Sophie's assistant Rachel as their prime suspect. Keith Appleton was giving Rachel a hard time with her thesis and she was heard saying terrible things about him. The cops find a report on yellow paper that Rachel wrote all marked in red saying sarcastic things about her research. Sophie believes Rachel is innocent so she sets out to prove her assertion. However, she soon realizes that Rachel and three other students lied about what they knew about the crime scene. Sophie keeps digging, but almost digs her owngrave.

    Although an amateur sleuth placing herself in peril being a sub-genre recurring scenario, and a puzzle solver lead has been done by Parnell Hall (see The Puzzle Lady series); Ada Madison provides a fresh entertaining whodunit due to the college setting and the fortyish mathematician. Sophie is an intelligent person who works her investigation using the same skills she applies to math problems and puzzle making. The heroine lives a full life with her significant other, has good friends and a job she loves; and though her days are jammed, she makes time to search for the killer in this enjoyable new academic mystery series.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2013

    Shelljay

    Terrible

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2012

    Dissapointment

    I was surprised that I didn't like this book. It was about as boring as, well as a college math class is for a lit major.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2012

    Fast Read

    I am a very slow reader but I flew through this book. I give it a 10 out of 10. I couldn't put it down. I can't wait to start her next book and hope it's as good as this one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2012

    Bramblethorn

    Lept at braveheart and pummeled his belly.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2012

    Sootpaw

    *used his hindlegs to launch Bramblepaw across the clearing. Then Sootpaw nipped Bramblepaw's tail* this reminds me when we used to play in the nurersery.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted August 30, 2011

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    Posted September 4, 2011

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    Posted July 12, 2011

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    Posted May 29, 2012

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    Posted October 20, 2011

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    Posted May 7, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2011

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