PhDeath: The Puzzler Murders by James Carse

PhDeath: The Puzzler Murders by James Carse is a murder mystery/thriller that is fast-paced and hard to figure out.

From the publisher:

PhDeath is a fast-paced thriller set in a major university in a major city on a square. The faculty finds itself in deadly intellectual combat with the anonymous Puzzler. Along with teams of US Military Intelligence and the city’s top detective and aided by the Puzzle Master of The New York Times, their collective brains are no match for the Puzzler’s perverse talents.

According to Carse, the book is directed toward four types of people – readers of the thriller genre or attracted to a novel of ideas, puzzle aficionados, and those concerned about the erosion of the university’s commitment to universal education. After reading the book, I can see all of those people enjoying this book.

The puzzles are intriguing (although I have to admit I skipped a few of them to get to the solution) and the way the puzzles are solved by the committee created to solve them is fascinating. Carse knows how to create a puzzle and how to explain how to solve it.

Carse also uses his insider knowledge of higher education (emeritus professor at New York University) in developing the characters and plot. The murder victims are composites of people who are very realistic. However, one of them apparently was based on a real person – he leaves it up to the reader to determine who that is.

An engaging and easy read.

Phdeath Book Cover Phdeath
James Carse
Fiction
November 1, 2016
320

(Book). PhDeath is a fast-paced thriller set in a major university in a major city on a square. The faculty finds itself in deadly intellectual combat with the anonymous Puzzler. Along with teams of US Military Intelligence and the city's top detective and aided by the Puzzle Master of The New York Times , their collective brains are no match for the Puzzler's perverse talents. Carse, Emeritus Professor himself at a premier university in a major city on a square shows no mercy in his creation of the seemingly omniscient Puzzler, who through a sequence of atrocities beginning and ending with the academic year, turns up one hidden pocket of moral rot after another: flawed research, unabashed venality, ideological rigidity, pornographic obsessions, undue political and corporate influence, subtle schemes of blackmail, the penetration of national and foreign intelligence agencies, brazen violation of copyrights, even the production and sale of addictive drugs.

About the author

Jeff Grim

Jeff Grim has been a reader all of his life. He has had a particular interest in military history, any war at any time. His fascination with military history has brought him to an interest in historical fiction where the history comes alive with fictitious heroes and villains. Recently, Jeff has become interested in historical mysteries set in various time periods.

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