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Thirteen Diamonds (2000)
Alan Cook

Contributed by Vijay Fafat

A murder mystery set in a retirement community in Chapel Hill, NC. During a bridge game at the club, one of the members, a Nobel-laureate in Economics, keels over and dies after receiving a perfect hand of 13 diamonds. An old mathematician, Lillian, who is present at the table, suspects this was a well-planned murder and starts unraveling the mystery (which turns out to be related to embezzzled funds and death bequests). Along the way, she explains a bit of combinatorics, a game of strategy involving toothpicks and binary arithmetic, a ball-weighing problem, a substitution code and remarkably, the Konisberg Bridge problem which is part of the solution to identify the murderer (spelled out using City of Bridgeton).

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Works Similar to Thirteen Diamonds
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Magpie Lane by Lucy Atkins
  2. The Four-Color Puzzle: Falling Off the Map by Lior Samson
  3. Murder by Mathematics by Hector Hawton
  4. The Madness of Crowds by Louise Penny
  5. 4.50 from Paddington by Agatha Christie
  6. Los crímenes de Alicia [The Alice Murders / The Oxford Brotherhood] by Guillermo Martinez
  7. The Crimson Cipher by Susan Page Davis
  8. Trueman Bradley: Aspie Detective by Alexei Maxim Russell
  9. Murder at Queen's Landing by Andrea Penrose
  10. The Invention of Zero [Die Erfindung der Null] by Michael Wildenhain
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MotifFemale Mathematicians,
TopicReal Mathematics,

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Exciting News: The 1,600th entry was recently added to this database of mathematical fiction! Also, for those of you interested in non-fictional math books let me (shamelessly) plug the recent release of the second edition of my soliton theory textbook.

(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)