Urban Fantasy Author
Book Bling Blog
Winner of the Sunday Times' Best Crime novel of the year, Desmond Cory returns with a near-perfect mystery novel , written with intelligence and laced with wit.
For John Dobie, absent-minded maths professor, the death of a student provokes bewilderment, but little else. Who was Sammy Cantwell, after all?
But being drugged, tied up and made witness to another murder forces his usually dormant curiosity, especially when the murdered woman turns out to be his errant wife.
With the discovery of a second murdered woman in his bed in the space of a few hours, it is obvious he needs help. The police? No, help from someone with sense. Who better than the ex-student's agreeable landlady, pathologist Kate Coyle, to mould him, albeit unwillingly, into amateur sleuth?
"Rich in wonders of computers and intangibles. Wry, scatty with a decisive byte" SUNDAY TIMES
"A gas - even for high-tech dunces" THE GUARDIAN
"Cory goes in for complex plots, but the joy of the book lies in the wit of its writing" TABLET
The main character of this story reminded me of the Tell-Tale Heart narrator. Not that math prof John Dobie is crazy (or the killer), but Shaun McCarthy (aka Desmond Cory) gets the reader so solidly into his head they can actually experience the intellectual genius personality of a man who is so engrossed in his mathematical world-view he is out of step with the rest of the world, or the norms by which others perceive and react. It makes him the perfect logic-only amateur sleuth, and his no-clue bumbling and odd social quirkiness.
When one of his students commits suicide, he can't even recall the student, but finds it interesting that there seems to be no logical reason for the act. The total irony of how and why he is motivated reflects nerd to today's audience. Though this book was published in 1991, readers can still relate to the mystery and plot. Some characterizations may seem a bit outdated, but when one recalls Cory wrote during the reign of the 007 series, it makes sense.
Cory did, in fact, help spawn the "Spy Novel" genre, with his Johnny Fedora novels - spy thrillers set in the world of the secret agent. His Lindy Grey novels - detective puzzlers featuring a charismatic protagonist were preceded by his Mr. Pilgrim novels - which introduced Cory’s readers to life behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War. Then there were some of my favorites, his Psychological thrillers – which achieved great success, some being made into TV series and movies by 20th Century Fox (featuring international celebrities such as Michael Caine in "Deadfall"). Which brings us to his Prof. John Dobie series- a Mathematics professor embroiled in many ingenious (and humorous) mystery murders.
Cory wrote over 45 thriller/detective novels published in over 10 languages (winning accolades such as the Sunday Times' Best Crime novel of the year, and Crime Critic’s choice of the year).
The Strange Attractor is the first in Cory's 3 book Prof. John Dobie mystery series. It's witty dialogue, and entertaining nerd sleuth have me eager to read the next two.
Book Bling gives this FIVE STARS!
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Elizabeth Alsobrooks's books on Goodreads
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