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The Probability of Murder

(Sophie Knowles #2)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  357 ratings  ·  57 reviews
Dr. Sophie Knowles is a professor with a way of making even the most complex math problems fun for her students. But when the school's beloved librarian is found shot to death in the stacks, Sophie learns that her friend was more complex than she ever knew. Now, Sophie must take on some rigorous deduction homework before the chances for another murder on campus increase ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published March 6th 2012 by Berkley
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Mar 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2012
Dr. Sophie Knowles is a rare college professor who has a way of making the most complex math problems fun for her students. She hosts weekly parties celebrating famous scientists and mathematicians. They are quite popular with the students.

The fun quickly ends when Charlotte Crocker, Sophie’s friend and college librarian, is found dead in the stacks. Everyone loved Charlotte until it was learned that her entire life was just a web of lies. Sophie can’t believe the woman she knew had such a
Oct 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: challenge
3.5 stars. Very enjoyable 2nd book in the series. It's been a while since I read book 1 and that didn't make any difference in reading this book. This was well written and I went right along with Sophie following the clues. Looking forward to the next one.
Oct 08, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, cozy-mystery
I really enjoyed this at first, but I feel like it sort of fell apart by the end. Sophie is at one of her weekly science and math parties when everyone's phones starting ringing, and she hears there's been an incident at the school library. It turns out that Sophie's good friend the librarian has been murdered. Of course, it soon also turns out that the librarian wasn't who Sophie thought she was, and Sophie feels betrayed and yet compelled to find out the truth of who killed her "friend". All ...more
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
May 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Dr. Sophie Knowles, a mathematician and scholar is enjoying the weekly department food/drink party at Benjamin Franklin Hall at Henley College, where she is the Math department head. Sophie is also looking ahead at some quality time with her boyfriend, Bruce, a med-evac with MAStar rescue.

As they head out for a quick trip to Boston, they walk into crime scene tape. Sophie learns her friend, Charlotte Crocker, the schools librarian has been murdered. As the shock pours through her mind, Sophie
May 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Probability of Murder by Ada Madison is the second book in A Professor Sophie Knowles Mystery series.When her friend, librarian Charlotte Crocker , is found murdered, Sophie learns that there is a lot her friend had kept secret and there were many that wanted her dead. Sophie gets caught up in the investigation which helps take her mind off her boyfriends hazardous mountain climbing. I enjoyed the book which focused as much on the dangers of mountain climbing as it did on the murder as well ...more
Wendy Koscierzynski
Feb 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
I have a child in college right now and I loved the setting. I enjoyed the math professor being female as well.
Nov 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-cozy
For the most part I enjoyed this mystery, the second in the series featuring mathematics professor Sophie Knowles. Once again Sophie becomes involved in the murder investigation of someone in the small college town, this time the victim is a friend and college librarian.

The ultimate murderer wasn't completely obvious to me from the beginning, and this time there were plenty of intermediary villains. That being said, I had issues with some stupid things Sophie did withholding information from the
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
First I was bored, then I liked it, then the ending was just a bad cliche. It's a basic cozy mystery, a mild read, with some interesting characters and others based on inaccurate and annoying stereotypes.
Jun 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Not as many puzzles.
Feb 26, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
"The Probability of Murder" is a mix of cozy mystery and suspenseful general fiction. Sophie decides to solve a murder mystery (which takes only half of the pages) while worrying about her boyfriend who may have been hurt while engaged in a dangerous sport activity. This is the second novel in a series, but you don't need to read the previous book to understand this one and this novel didn't spoil the mystery in the first book.

I should warn you that Sophie does not use logic to solve this case.
Feb 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-blog
Another Friday party in the Benjamin Franklin lounge and Professor Sophie Knowles is looking forward to her weekend getaway with her medevac pilot boyfriend Bruce Granville when everyone’s cell phones start going off at once. Someone’s being carried out of the library on a stretcher, dead. Sophie’s friend Charlotte Crocker has been murdered and it looks like the librarian everyone loved might not have been as squeaky clean as Sophie thought.

Ada Madison’s The Probability of Murder is a good
Mary Ronan Drew
Mar 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Probability of Murder, the second book in the Professor Sophie Knowles mystery series, was released yesterday. It arrived at about 1:30 (pre-ordered) and I had finished it by 1:30 today. Delightful!

Sophie teaches math at a small New England college. Her beau, Bruce, is a helicopter pilot for MAstar, a rescue and transport service, and he is an ice climber. She has a delightful sidekick, Ariana, who is New Age personified and owns a bead store. And Sophie is friends with the librarian at
Rachel Kramer Bussel
Feb 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I wasn't sure if I would like this series, because I'm not quite the math or puzzle whiz professor Sophie Knowles is. Indeed, I didn't know what some of the puzzles she references are, but I liked the story anyway, especially the cozy campus world Madison introduces us too, as well as Sophie's relationship with her boyfriend, Bruce, who is off climbing a mountain for much of the plot, which becomes its own subplot. Sophie is ultra logical, yet the puzzle she has to unwrap of her friend, or ...more
Victoria Wright
Mar 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is the second book in this series, and I enjoyed it as much as the first. I probably would have done much better in college stats and probability if Sophie Knowles had been my instructor.

This book, set on a small college campus in Massachusetts and the surrounding town, is well-written and well-plotted. I found myself feeling the surprises at the twists and turns the same way the main character felt them. The subplot featuring the character's significant other was exciting, too. Again, I
Aug 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-cozy
Thanks to this book, I'm adding a new shelf to my Goodreads library for the first time in years: "mystery-cozy." Until now, all mysteries were shelved under "mystery-suspense" (one term or the other being descriptive of some books, with a few best described with the combined term).

It occurs to me, though, that the kind of "suspense" offered by a good cozy is different than the suspense offered by a mainstream murder mystery (such as those by Jonathan Kellerman) or an action-adventure novel (like
Jul 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
The Probability of Murder is a fine mystery about the death of a college librarian. Sophie Knowles, the main character, was friends with the victim only to find out she hardly knew the woman as she kept many secrets. I felt like the story revolved more around Sophie's worries about her rock climbing boyfriend being stuck on a mountain during a snowstorm then it did about the murder, and also the authors obsession with math and probabilities, which dragged the story down. But the reveal of the ...more
May 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2015
I found DR Sophie Knowles to be a compelling and likable amateur sleuth and college professor. And of course when it's the librarian that is murdered I pay attention. But Charlotte is not the person she pearled to be, as Sophie soon learns: multiple identities, a rap sheet several pages long, and con schemes based on the lottery. Sophie investigates to learn more about her friend, and to help bring the killer to justice. The personal story of her ice-climbing boyfriend lent a nice balance and ...more
Nancy Rogan
Jul 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a nice, slightly geeky cozy. It revolves around a college math professor and, since the murder occurs on campus, most of the action involves students and other faculty. The exception is the protagonist's boyfriend who goes missing in a mountain climbing accident. That storyline was the only part I didn't like since I felt her reaction and the way it played out was totally unrealistic. It seemed disconnected. There are recurring characters (but not enough)in this series and I think they ...more
Wonderful second addition to the series. I'm still feeling a connection with Sophie from the "nerd" aspect (although she doesn't act nerdy). Looking forward to the next book in this series. Don't worry, if math was not your favorite or best subject there is no need to be afraid of this series. Sophie is more of an emotional solver when it comes to finding this murderer not analytical problem solving.
Jul 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really enjoy the Sophie Knowles mysteries. There is just enough mathematics (since she is a Math professor) to show Sophie's field and I really liked it when it described some of the math she was doing in her head as she drove and my mom (who is NOT mathematically inclined) said "I don't get this, but I'm sure you do" to which I responded "but I can't do it in my head". The mystery was well thought out and presented, and I now want to read the author's Periodic Table mysteries.
May 31, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries
Camille Minichino, Ada Madison's real name, never disappoints. Her first series featured the chemical elements, but not in a threatening way for non-scientists. Then she did a doll house series, which I passed on, and now here is her second book featuring a math professor at a small New England college. The librarian is murdered, and, while the details of the plot don't compute terribly well, Madison's setting and dialog are spot on.
Bob Olson
Feb 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
In her latest appearance as a college professor with a penchant for getting involved in murders, Sophie Knowles tackles a case close to her school and her personal friendship. And, she has to do this while worrying about her mikssing love interest -- an amateur mountain climber stranded in a storm. Ada Madison (or Camille Minichino) keeps both plots moving forward (intertwined, of course) to hold the reader until the (college-conncted, of course) villian is unveiled.

A fun Academic read.
Feb 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I love mysteries and this is a series I started awhile back. I also love math so it covers two of my likes! I thought I had the answer right up till the end and then wham! not the person I thought. While I like being able to figure it out before the end it is still nice to be surprised too. I hope the author has Sophie and Bruce have their talk about his hobby in the next book. It will be interesting to read.
Feb 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Having read all of Camille Minichino's mysteries, I was surprised to learn that Ada Madison is one of her aliases. I am not sure why authors make it hard to find their books. Like her mysteries written under Minichino, this story was an interesting cozy mystery and the characters were down to earth.
Mar 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
I rated this book higher than the first one in the series. I think it is still a very pulpy series, but I think this second book reads a bit more maturely than the first. The main characters progressed a tiny bit, which is also good.

Anyway, I should just admit that I'm a sucker, and I like making room in my reading for books like this.
Aug 19, 2014 rated it it was ok
a cozy murder, set on a fictional college campus in Henley, Mass, near Boston. The campus librarian is murdered, in her library. She had been friends with Sophie Knowles, math professor, but we find out not such close friends as she thought.
Too much worry about her boyfriend, off ice climbing. What is that all about?
Math professor Sophie Knowles is crushed when the college librarian--who has become her dear friend--is murdered. But Sophie finds that she doesn't really know much about the victim or her past. Already in turmoil because of the murder, Sophie really worries when she learns that a freak snowstorm has disturbed her boyfriend's mountain climbing expedition.
Jul 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozies
After enjoying the first book in this series I was looking forward to reading book 2 and it didn't let me down. The story and the complexity of it was just as much fun as book 1. I think that Ms. Madison has a definite winner on her hands.
Susan Parks
Feb 02, 2013 rated it liked it
Good cozy mystery set at a small college in MA, featuring a mathematics professor who creates puzzles on the side. Perfect for solving mysteries! This is the second book in the series, and Sophie didn't venture too far into TSTL territory this time. Looking forward to book 3
Sep 21, 2013 rated it liked it
Enjoyable book that had enough little things to keep me reading. For some reason the author's use of descriptive words for the main character's cell phone ringtones were a riot! I will definitely pick up more books from Ada Madison.
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Camille Minichino writes the Sophie Knowles mysteries under the pseudonym Ada Madison, and Geraldine Porter "Miniature" mysteries under the pseudonym [author:Margaret Grace. She writes the Postmistress Mysteries as Jean Flowers.

Other books in the series

Sophie Knowles (4 books)
  • The Square Root of Murder (Sophie Knowles, #1)
  • A Function of Murder (Sophie Knowles, #3)
  • The Quotient of Murder (Sophie Knowles #4)