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Book Review: The Probability of Murder by Ada Madison


I never thought that I would finish this book, but it was my fault to begin with.

As the second installment begins, Thanksgiving is approaching in a week or so, and with guys now attending Henley College, things have changed greatly for the once all girls school.

Dr. Sophie Knowles has been having weekly parties celebrating famous mathematicians and scientists (always on Friday of course) and after this party, she and her boyfriend, Bruce, are planning a weekend getaway. Well, they had been until everyone's cellphone's starting going off.

And the distant sirens that started to grow closer.

The first rumor to go around was that there was an active shooter on campus, but that was squashed when the students and faculty learned of the discovery of the body of Charlotte Crocker, the head librarian. With the discovery of her body, the second rumor was that she had been shot.

Since Sophie and Charlotte had been good friends since Charlotte's hire two years earlier, she and Bruce cancel their plans as she tries to figure out who would want to kill her. Especially since she wouldn't hurt a fly.

Or would she?

Bruce ends up going out of town with two of his co-workers to go mountain climbing and Sophie opens up a duffel bag that Charlotte had left in her office. After opening it, she finds a large sum of money and four names with codes.

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Sophie begins to wonder if maybe the cash was from a lottery payout, but not being a lottery player, she doesn't know what to make of it and begins researching the different lottery games that Massachusetts has to offer. Thus her independent investigation begins.

After she cracks a numerical code, she takes a drive to a convenience store and learns that one of the employees has up and quit saying that he's won the lottery. The clerk at the store tells her that he had to go to Henley College.

She also discovers that one of the financial administrators was a part of a lottery club which Charlotte ran and she begins to become suspicious of him since the now ex-employee of the store is staying with him.

When she arrives home later that day, she's met with a crowd of neighbors and onlookers and learns that someone has broken into her house. The reason being that whoever killed Charlotte may be thinking that a) Sophie still has the duffel bag and b) that Sophie may have skimmed some money off the top before turning the duffel bag over to the police.

Meanwhile, Bruce and his co-workers are caught in a blizzard on top of the mountain and without any communication, Sophie begins to think the worst.

While I was able to figure out the killer in the first installment early into it, this installment threw me off. I thought for sure that I knew who it was, but maybe my suspect could be the killer in the third installment. You never know.

Anyway, the characters are well written and believable and I do find it boring when Sophie is lesson planning or the subject of math comes up. I hate math and was never good at at, so, I tune out during those parts.

The subplot with Bruce and his co-workers was a good way of adding tension, but I think it would have been better if there had been more to this side story. It would have been good to know what was going on up on that mountain, since one of Bruce's favorite movies is The Eiger Sanction and it's brought up a few times.

Now I need to take a deep breath and push aside my fear of math and move onto the next installment.

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