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The Fractal Murders: A Pepper Keane Mystery    by Mark Cohen order for
Fractal Murders
by Mark Cohen
Order:  USA  Can
Mysterious Press, 2004 (2002)
Hardcover, Paperback
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Before reading The Fractal Murders, I knew nothing about fractal mathematics. After reading The Fractal Murders, I still know very little about fractal mathematics. But that's okay. The fault was with me and not the author. Mark Cohen does a great job of explaining and, even without completely understanding, it all makes sense as the story unfolds.

This is obviously a first novel. There still isn't the feel of the flow of a second or third book. But that's okay too. It's a good book, witty, and with lots of suspense. Pepper Keane is an ex-JAG, who has set himself up in business as a private eye. His Diet Coke addiction makes the man human, as does his vast knowledge of rock 'n roll. Three brutal murders of people with expertise in fractal mathematics has Boulder mathematics professor Jane Smyers convinced the killings are not random or unconnected. Enter Pepper.

His sleuthing is inspirational and amusing. The list of suspects grows, the trail crossing mathematics, economics, and philosophy. The mystery is at times violent and at times very funny. The ending has you holding your breath until the last page. I look forward to more of Pepper Keane.

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