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If only Inspector Morse and Sergeant Lewis were on hand to investigate these Oxford murders an already fine puzzler, inspired by G.K. Chesterton's The Sign of the Broken Sword, would be near perfect. Guillermo Martinez is an Argentine mathmetician who studied at Oxford. In this neat little mystery he has a student, very much like he must once have been, join forces with a famed professor of logic to solve what starts out as the killing of an elderly woman who was a code-breaker during the war, but soon turns into a baffling series of murders. And the series is very much the point. Taken in isolation the initial murder is well nigh inexplicable, even though the murderer left a written clue to his/her motive. But the working supposition is that, as additional clues are added (which unfortunately means more victims), the series -- like a mathematical progression -- will begin to make sense. The enjoyment for the reader lies in seeking out the meanings along with the Oxonians. It probably helps to know more math than this reader does, but relative ignorance does not seem much of a hindrance. I gobbled it down in one sitting despite getting lost in the thickets a couple times. Suffice it to say, the book is already a bestseller in a variety of languages on several continents and has been optioned for film.


Grade: (B+)


Guillermo Martinez Links:

    - Guillermo Martínez - CV
    -FILMOGRAPHY: Guillermo Martinez (IMDB)
    -Guillermo Martinez (Wikipedia)
-EXCERPT: Chapter One of The Oxford Murders
    -INTERVIEW: Fiction by numbers: Interview with Guillermo Martinez (Michael Williams on Friday 27 January 2006, Cherwell24)
    -INTERVIEW: The Reason for My Life: Guillermo Martínez (Held in the historic Café Tortoni, Buenos Aires, 1998)
    -REVIEW: of The Oxford Murders by Guillermo Martinez (The Complete Review)
    -REVIEW: of The Oxford Murders (Marcus du Sautoy, The Guardian)
    -REVIEW: of The Oxford Murders (Seamus Sweeney, The Nth Position)
    -REVIEW: of The Oxford Murders (Kate Ayers, Bookreporter)
    -REVIEW: of The Oxford Murders (Alex Kasman, MathFiction)
    -REVIEW: of The Oxford Murders (Emma Hagestadt, Independent uk)
    -REVIEW: of The Oxford Murders (Rosemary Herbert, Washington Post)
    -REVIEW: of The Oxford Murders (Bill Wallo,
    -REVIEW: of The Oxford Murders (David Lazarus, SF Chronicle)
    -REVIEW: of The Oxford Murders (Lisa Ryers, SF Station)
    -REVIEW: of The Oxford Murders (Sue Magee, The Book Bag)
    -REVIEW: of The Oxford Murders (Marcel Berlins, Times of London)
    -REVIEW: of The Oxford Murders (Andrew Stickland, Plus)
    -REVIEW: of The Oxford Murders (Marilyn Stasio, NY Times Book Review)

Book-related and General Links: