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# The Oxford Murders

by

Gödel's Theorem of Incompleteness is familiar territory to the young South American mathematician who arrives in Oxford. Murder, however, is not. Yet barely has he greeted his elderly landlady - and her rather luscious granddaughter - when he is bidding her a posthumous farewell. Mrs Eagleton is murdered in her wheelchair. The only clue to the crime is a cryptic symbol and
...more

Paperback, 197 pages

Published
2005
by Abacus
(first published 2001)

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## Community Reviews

Showing 1-30

Oct 21, 2016
Orient
rated it
liked it
·
review of another edition

Recommends it for:
people who like math and mystery

This book combines logic, philosophy and criminal law. It is quite an interesting mystery with a twisty end. The author provided some clues, but even then I was shocked to read the solution. Also I liked the mathematical stuff, like Godel's Theorem, the Pythagorean sect and other. Though as a not so-much-experienced-in-math, I would have wanted some explanations at the end of the book, maybe some notes, made by the author. But I confess, it was interesting to search more info in the Net for furt
...more

But that's OK because I like novels that throws you off and keeps you guessing. Even if some of the herrings are obvious, there are always a few that swim by when you are not expecting them.

*The Oxford Murders*is a nifty mystery about two Oxford academics that are trying to solve a murder and if it seems a little...well...academic. it's because it is. Martinez mixes a nice share of mathematics, Wittgensteinian philosophy and even ...more

I watched about one third of the film (starring Frodo Baggins and Winston Smith) and I found the story quite good and interesting enough to switch over to the book before being spoiled by moving pictures.

A series of murders in Oxford, seemingly based on a logical sequence of symbols with some Wittgenstein philosopy, Gödel incompleteness and Heisenberg uncertainty added to the mix.

What’s not to like when mathematics meets murder and logical reasoning solves mysteries? Well, finding the one single “ ...more

Sep 23, 2013
Anni
rated it
really liked it
·
review of another edition

Shelves:
my-whichbook-reviews

SLEUTHING BY NUMBERS

This is a deceptively easy page-turner and more challenging than it first seems. The intriguing links between mathematics, magic and crime-solving make for a tongue-in-cheek take on the traditional cosy English murder mystery. What's more, the reader can enjoy the added bonus of painlessly absorbing some interesting philosophical concepts along the way.

Extract:-

'The mechanism for corroborating the truth that goes all the way back to Aristotle and ...more

This is a deceptively easy page-turner and more challenging than it first seems. The intriguing links between mathematics, magic and crime-solving make for a tongue-in-cheek take on the traditional cosy English murder mystery. What's more, the reader can enjoy the added bonus of painlessly absorbing some interesting philosophical concepts along the way.

Extract:-

'The mechanism for corroborating the truth that goes all the way back to Aristotle and ...more

Jul 23, 2010
Christine
rated it
did not like it
·
review of another edition

Shelves:
mystery-agrentine

I like watching Inspector Morse and Inspector Lewis. (Okay, for Inspector Lewis it's because I like Hathaway, but still). I liked

I didn't like this book.

Sometimes I don't mind when you can figure out the solution by page 30. The Blood Doctor is somewhat like that but it is still a good read because of the characters.

Not interesting characters here.

And boy, did I mind.

And the book is like

*Numbers*for a bit.I didn't like this book.

Sometimes I don't mind when you can figure out the solution by page 30. The Blood Doctor is somewhat like that but it is still a good read because of the characters.

Not interesting characters here.

And boy, did I mind.

And the book is like

*Numbers*but after the first season and a half, you ...more*The Oxford Murders*is probably about 3.5 stars because Guillermo Martinez is a good writer. But I would describe this book as a novel written by a mathematician for mathematicians. Almost all the characters, except for the detective, are either professional or amateur mathematicians--including the first victim. And a significant percentage of the 197 pages of the novel consist not of story, but of one mathematician talking to another mathematician about some other mathematician or ...more

**...more**

There are puzzles within puzzles throughout this book, which should keep most people guessing until the denouement, even those eminent mathematicians out there. I recently watched the film adaptation starring John Hurt and Frodo. A good job was done on said adaptation. Both book an ...more

Mar 01, 2010
Valerie
rated it
really liked it
·
review of another edition

Recommends it for:
Kathleen

Recommended to Valerie by:
Book Club

Shelves:
math,
borrowed-from-me

Rant, possibly with spoilers,

As a young girl, I read with my grandma all the Agatha Christie books, and I really enjoyed the ABC Murders, the idea of a logical series being used as a smokescreen was very alluring to me. I am irritated that this book, which takes nearly the same idea, with the same twist, does not in any way allude to or acknowledge, the brilliant Agatha Christie.

I am now going to reread the ABC Murders, perhaps the author paid such delicate homage to her, ...more

As a young girl, I read with my grandma all the Agatha Christie books, and I really enjoyed the ABC Murders, the idea of a logical series being used as a smokescreen was very alluring to me. I am irritated that this book, which takes nearly the same idea, with the same twist, does not in any way allude to or acknowledge, the brilliant Agatha Christie.

I am now going to reread the ABC Murders, perhaps the author paid such delicate homage to her, ...more

Jan 04, 2012
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
rated it
it was ok
·
review of another edition

Shelves:
bookcrossing,
mysteries-thrillers-suspense

This was an ok read but I don't think I'd pick up another Guillermo Martinez in the future. The plot was interesting enough but the characters were quite flat. One word of advice for those who haven't seen the film adaptation: don't watch it, it's one of the worst book adaptation I've watched!

When an Argentine math student at Oxford (presumedly based on the author's own experience) discovers the smothered body of his landlady, conventional wisdom points to a family member with the most prosaic of motives. However a famous logician, Arthur Seldom, and author of a book on the mathematics of serial killers, shares the appearance o ...more

For the big screen version of "The Oxford Murders" is far from being brilliant, but still better than the original version of the story on print. I think this should tell you a lot regarding this novel. And when you do prefer the big ...more

Jan 12, 2014
Zuberino
rated it
liked it
·
review of another edition

Shelves:
murder,
oxford,
latin-american-literature,
england,
fiction,
oxford-university,
translation,
crime,
detective,
argentina

The year is 1993, and a young Argentine mathematician arrives in Oxford to continue his graduate studies.

Martinez's descriptions of Oxford will ring a bel ...more

*The Oxford Murders*begins with so much promise - and yes, so much familiarity! The plane flies across the Atlantic and descends through cloud cover to emerge over the rolling green fields of England. 10 years after the narrator, I took that same plane, took the SAME BUS in fact from Heathrow Airport to the eternal city - the City of Dreaming Spires.Martinez's descriptions of Oxford will ring a bel ...more

Mar 26, 2007
Roisin
rated it
liked it
·
review of another edition

Recommends it for:
crime enthusiast commuters

I have had to give this book three stars because, essentially, it was a really enjoyable read [as most crime novels of this kind are]. However, although its a classic example of a who-dunnit I felt hampered by the fact that it seemed so incredibly badly written and equally poorly edited. I am aware that it is a translation and perhaps this goes some way to excusing it. The fact that the writer is himself a mathmetician and not some kind of writer can barely be seen as an excuse, plently of good
...more

Also I am 30 pages in and it is clearly your man the pathologist. Nobody can pinpoint time of death that accurately, while still at the crime scene, unless they're the one that did it. Just saying.

**Now that I've finished it:**

Let's face it. This is not a great crime novel. It falls into all the traps - De/>Now ...more

Again I owe a sincere thank you to the person who recommended it though I can't remember who it was or whether the recommendation was due to the maths or the Oxford location.

It is always difficult to good the writing style in translation but it was clear and perfectly pitched to the style of the book. At times it seemed to touch on magical realism.

The math was an important element of the story but it didn't take over and the ...more

It annoyed me even more because it pretends to be a book about mathematics but it's really a book about (magical) misdirection. I was expecting the plot to mirror a mathematical theory. What I got was a few random, lazy, and poorly explained analogies very loosely based on the uncertainty p ...more

Jun 07, 2013
Judy
rated it
really liked it
·
review of another edition

Recommends it for:
mystery readers not scared of a little math

Recommended to Judy by:
Naomi Jensen

Shelves:
my-2013-books

I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery that has two mathematicians as the main characters. As a mathematician, it just tickled that part of me, because I don't find a lot of math in novels. As another reader noted, it loses some of its credibility when one mathematician explains to the other something they both already should know, but in reality it is being elucidated for the reader. This usually works better when written in the third person for that reason. On the other hand, I know when this is ha
...more

I'm not sure who recommended this one, but I couldn't put it down until I was done. It wasn't so much the events, really, although I enjoyed the plot. It was style and the fact that I really had no idea what would ...more

topics | posts | views | last activity | |
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possible endings | 1 | 28 | Sep 12, 2009 04:30PM |

Guillermo Martínez is an Argentine novelist and short story writer. He gained a PhD in mathematical logic at the University of Buenos Aires.

After his degree in Argentina, he worked for two years in a postdoctoral position at the Mathematical Institute, Oxford.

His most successful novel has been The Oxford Murders, written in 2003. In the same year, he was awarded the Planeta Prize for ...more

After his degree in Argentina, he worked for two years in a postdoctoral position at the Mathematical Institute, Oxford.

His most successful novel has been The Oxford Murders, written in 2003. In the same year, he was awarded the Planeta Prize for ...more

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