a list compiled by Alex Kasman (College of Charleston)

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The Valley of Fear (1916)
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
(click on names to see more mathematical fiction by the same author)

Having introduced Sherlock Holmes' most famous enemy, Professor Moriarty, as a mathematician in an earlier story, Doyle provides us with just a small glimpse of his mathematical genius (as opposed to his criminal genius) by mentioning his thesis "The Dynamics of an Asteroid" which brought him acclaim in the mathematical/astronomical community. Three other stories (by other authors) probe the content of this thesis a little further: Isaac Asimov's "The Ultimate Crime", "The Adventure of the Russian Grave" and Ruth Berman's "Professor and Colonel".

This book is available for free online at Online-Literature.Com.

Contributed by Anonymous

Contributed by the Wendell Urth Society: I recommend very highly "Sherlock Holmes as Chemist" by Isaac Asimov from his book The Roving Mind, published 1983, page 127. This is a brilliant essay on Arthur Conan Doyle's numerous bloopers in mathematics, astronomy, and chemistry in many Holmes stories, including The Valley of Fear.

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Works Similar to The Valley of Fear
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. Adventure of the Final Problem by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  2. Musgrave Ritual by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  3. Murder by Mathematics by Hector Hawton
  4. Magpie Lane by Lucy Atkins
  5. The Return of Moriarty by John Gardner
  6. The Ultimate Crime by Isaac Asimov
  7. The Beekeeper's Apprentice: Or the Segregation of the Queen by Laurie R. King
  8. The Bishop Murder Case by S.S. van Dine (pseudonym of Willard Huntington Wright)
  9. The Invention of Zero [Die Erfindung der Null] by Michael Wildenhain
  10. The Madness of Crowds by Louise Penny
Ratings for The Valley of Fear:
RatingsHave you seen/read this work of mathematical fiction? Then click here to enter your own votes on its mathematical content and literary quality or send me comments to post on this Webpage.
Mathematical Content:
1/5 (3 votes)
Literary Quality:
3.67/5 (3 votes)

MotifEvil mathematicians, Sherlock Holmes,
MediumNovels, Available Free Online,

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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)