The Oxford Murders, Paperback Book
3 out of 5 (4 ratings)


On a balmy summer's day in Oxford an old lady who once helped decipher the Enigma Code is killed.

After receiving a cryptic anonymous note containing only the address and the symbol of a circle, Arthur Seldom, a leading mathematician, arrives to find the body.

Then follow more murders - an elderly man on a life-support machine is found dead with needle marks in this throat; the percussionist of an orchestra at a concert at Blenheim Palace dies before the audience's very eyes - seemingly unconnected except for notes appearing in the maths department, for the attention of Seldom.

Why is he being targeted as the recipient of these coded messages?

All he can conjecture is that it might relate to his latest book, an unexpected bestseller about serial killers and the parallels between investigations into their crimes and certain mathematical theorems. It is left to Seldom and a postgraduate mathematics student to work out the key to the series of symbols before the killer strikes again.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Crime & mystery
  • ISBN: 9780349117232

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Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews.

Review by

A good read but lacking a little in both atmosphere and depth of characters. A good story line with an interesting link to mathematical series.

Review by

I love a good murder mystery and this was an interesting read, most particularly because of how Guillermo Martinez perceives the British and how he uses a very British genre. However I did find the mystery itself less than compelling.

Review by

This was a bit of a disappointment to me.I had read some favourable reviews, but the chacters didn't appeal to me, the math was way above my head (Wittgenstein, Godel's Theorem anyone?) and the romance (such as it was) felt oddly flat.Actually I preferred the movie, but that must have been due to the images of Oxford, and the fact that quite some people I know were there as extra's.All in all, not a waste of money and time, but I'm not going to re-read it!

Review by

An interesting murder mystery set in Oxford and written by an Argentinean maths professor. A serial killer at work in Oxford leaves notes announcing the time and place of each murder where professor of logic Arthur Seldom will find them. Each note also includes a mathematical symbol as if the murderer is taunting him, so with the blessing of the police, Seldom and an Argentinean graduate student who was lodging with the first victim, take up the murderer's challenge and attempt to solve the problem of predicting what the next symbol will be and what the series means. Although I had some ideas about the murderer's identity, I didn’t guess the true motive for the crimes.Unfortunately, the characterisation was very one-dimensional and there were a few blatant mistakes about the way things work in the UK. For one thing, desperate parents whose children need organ transplants do not get to plead in person with the bereaved parents of possible donors. But if you are interested in maths, or like mysteries that are driven by plot rather than character, you should enjoy it.

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