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A Function of Murder
Professor Knowles Mystery
Ada Madison

Berkely Prime Crime
January 2013/ ISBN 0425251756

Reviewed by Cheryl Green

Ever since I was little, I have always loved books that provide floor plans, charts or maps. When I find a book with one of these extra special features, I know I am in for a great read. A Function of Murder is one of those books, it came with a map of Henley College.

It is graduation time at Henley College and Professor Knowles is bored to tears listening to the keynote speech given by Mayor Edward P. Graves. The original speaker bowed out due to a medical problem. Sophie Knowles has taken to texting her boyfriend Bruce Granville, a medevac pilot and her co-worker, to keep busy during the never ending speech.

The day is filled with other celebrations. There was a gathering, at the Math and Science Dept. building, for a breaking of bread and after to hand out gifts to the 25 Math and Science majors. Each received a very nice letter opener with the college logo on it. A blow up between students caused this party to break up early. Later that night there was a dinner for some of the students and faculty. People were very opinionated when it came to the Mayor and his positon of not supporting the funding of charter schools.

Finally, Sophie is able to meet up with Bruce, they get some ice cream and stroll across the campus, ending up at the fountain. They sit and compare notes on how the day went. As they were leaving they hear someone cry “help me”. A man comes into view and staggers into the fountain face first. Bruce pulls him out and Sophie wonders why he didn’t put the man on his back. That is hard to do with a blade in your back. The man turns out to be the Mayor!

Things to ponder: Why did the Mayor call out to Sophie? Why was he spending so much time at Zeeman Academy, one of the charter school? Will Sophie be able to add up the clues and find out whodunit?

This is a very fast read. It’s a real pager turner and the characters kept me reading to find out what was going to happen to them. I am a big fan of Camille Minichino and her Periodic Table Mystery series. I also enjoy the Margaret Grace series with miniatures. So finding yet another pen name for Camille Minichino is like getting an extra birthday. If you like your mysteries with an academic flavor, then A Function of Murder is the book for you.

Reviews of other titles in this series

Square Root of Murder, # 1
The Probability of Murder #2
A Function of Murder #3

Reviewer's Note: Ada Madison is also known as Camille Minichino and Margaret Grace
Reviewed 2013