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The Sudoku Murder

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“This intriguing first in a new series from Freydont (A Merry Little Murder and four other mysteries featuring dancer Linda Haggerty) introduces mathematician and Sudoku whiz Katie McDonald. Katie, a self-professed geek who works for a hush-hush government think tank, returns to her hometown of Granville, NH, at the behest of her former mentor, P.T. Avondale. Katie is shoc “This intriguing first in a new series from Freydont (A Merry Little Murder and four other mysteries featuring dancer Linda Haggerty) introduces mathematician and Sudoku whiz Katie McDonald. Katie, a self-professed geek who works for a hush-hush government think tank, returns to her hometown of Granville, NH, at the behest of her former mentor, P.T. Avondale. Katie is shocked to find Avondale frail and preoccupied, his beloved puzzle museum in serious disrepair and dire financial straits. Before Katie can make sense of the situation, she discovers Avondale murdered in his office—slumped over an unfinished Sudoku puzzle that may provide a clue to the killer’s identity. She tops the brash new police chief’s suspect list and decides to solve the case on her own, not only to clear her name but to save the Avondale museum from the wrecking ball.


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“This intriguing first in a new series from Freydont (A Merry Little Murder and four other mysteries featuring dancer Linda Haggerty) introduces mathematician and Sudoku whiz Katie McDonald. Katie, a self-professed geek who works for a hush-hush government think tank, returns to her hometown of Granville, NH, at the behest of her former mentor, P.T. Avondale. Katie is shoc “This intriguing first in a new series from Freydont (A Merry Little Murder and four other mysteries featuring dancer Linda Haggerty) introduces mathematician and Sudoku whiz Katie McDonald. Katie, a self-professed geek who works for a hush-hush government think tank, returns to her hometown of Granville, NH, at the behest of her former mentor, P.T. Avondale. Katie is shocked to find Avondale frail and preoccupied, his beloved puzzle museum in serious disrepair and dire financial straits. Before Katie can make sense of the situation, she discovers Avondale murdered in his office—slumped over an unfinished Sudoku puzzle that may provide a clue to the killer’s identity. She tops the brash new police chief’s suspect list and decides to solve the case on her own, not only to clear her name but to save the Avondale museum from the wrecking ball.

30 review for The Sudoku Murder

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    An enjoyable mystery with some unusual characters. You do not need to play Sudoku to understand the plot.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Burgess

    When I saw this book in the library, it immediately caught my eye. It seemed like an interesting concept for a great book. Inside the back cover there were reviews from others that had read it. One of the ratings caught my eye. It was a 2 star rating saying the writing was “rather juvenile", and I would say that I have to agree. The book had a slow start, but I decided to give it a chance as the murder does not happen till later in the book. The writing seemed to be rather unorganized and random When I saw this book in the library, it immediately caught my eye. It seemed like an interesting concept for a great book. Inside the back cover there were reviews from others that had read it. One of the ratings caught my eye. It was a 2 star rating saying the writing was “rather juvenile", and I would say that I have to agree. The book had a slow start, but I decided to give it a chance as the murder does not happen till later in the book. The writing seemed to be rather unorganized and random. I had a hard time putting myself in the shoes of the character. The emotions of the characters were unrealistic as they were not super concerned or saddened. That being said, this book might be a good read for a younger demographic. The other ratings in the back of the book were a four and five out of five. Just because this book was not my favorite does not mean it was an overall bad book. The end of the book was by far the best part. The story is about a murder that happens to Professor Avondale, a longtime friend of Katie Macdonald. Don’t be deceived by the cover, Sudoku is only a small portion of the plot. There are times of action like in the part they caught the murder in the house. Harry, who was the police that Katie did not get along with at first, heroically saves her from the murderer.“ ‘You killed the professor,’ Harry cried and launched at him. The barrel of the postal caught him on the temple (Freydont 326)”. When the murderer is caught, the book picks up phase and starts unraveling quickly.  In the end the book was hard to put down and want more. It was both predictable and surprising at the same time. After investing the time into reading the book, and giving it a chance I was glad to see it come together. If the rest of the book was as good as the ending it would have kept my attention. I have read mystery books in the past that were astonishing. I know that mystery books have the potential to tell an amazing story from beginning to end. Overall I'm glad I got to read the book and am interested in reading more mysteries in the future.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    I haven't been putting many books on Goodreads lately; despite my new year's resolution to keep track of my reading this way I must confess I haven't seen much benefit in it. But this time I'm going to, and it's because when I pull a random book off of the shelf it is ALWAYS with trepidation. The last time I did it I ended up feeling dirty as I finished the book--filled with drunkenness and sex--and I am embarrassed to even admit that I finished it just to see what happened. Well this time was a I haven't been putting many books on Goodreads lately; despite my new year's resolution to keep track of my reading this way I must confess I haven't seen much benefit in it. But this time I'm going to, and it's because when I pull a random book off of the shelf it is ALWAYS with trepidation. The last time I did it I ended up feeling dirty as I finished the book--filled with drunkenness and sex--and I am embarrassed to even admit that I finished it just to see what happened. Well this time was a different, and happier, story. I found this book entertaining and completely un-objectionable. There was hardly a swear word in it, and nothing else to bother me either. I figured that as rarely as that happens I should shout to the world that this book is worth reading!!!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Bev

    Geeky, smart Kate returns to her home town after receiving a request from her mentor and friend Professor PK Avondale. She needs to rely on all her mathematical and intuitive skills to solve the murder she finds. The puzzle component to this mystery was interesting but I don't think I'll pursue others in this series at this point.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    I am so glad that I found this "new to me" author at the library. The cover and title grabbed my attention. The story did that from the very first page. The characters were well developed and certainly made me look forward to see what is happening in future books in this series.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    A really good start to the series. I thought the story moved along nicely and there were plenty of twists and turns to keep things interesting. I look forward to reading more.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Patty Sutton

    enjoyed this. Not the deepest, but fun quick read.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    I enjoyed the puzzle aspect, but what I like most are the characters. Quirky and fairly well developed. A fun, light read

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kindell

    Found this while browsing the library and decided to give it a try. I liked the premise and the characters were endearing but overall it was just an easy read.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Frey

    Good mystery. Had me guessing till close to the end.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Skyqi

    Katie didn't have any friends when she was a little girl. After her mother died in an accident, she met Professor Avondale, owner of the Avondale Puzzle Museum, who was kind to her and became her mentor. Twenty years later, she receives a letter from the professor requesting her help. She immediately returns to her hometown and finds that the museum is rundown and close to foreclosure. As she begins to figure out how to save the museum, the professor is killed. Since she is found at the scene re Katie didn't have any friends when she was a little girl. After her mother died in an accident, she met Professor Avondale, owner of the Avondale Puzzle Museum, who was kind to her and became her mentor. Twenty years later, she receives a letter from the professor requesting her help. She immediately returns to her hometown and finds that the museum is rundown and close to foreclosure. As she begins to figure out how to save the museum, the professor is killed. Since she is found at the scene reaching for the murder weapon, she becomes the prime suspect. She decides to investigate the murder herself to find justice for the professor. This is the first book of a series from 2008. The character of Katie was likeable and the story was well-written. You immediately are shown that Katie really cared for the professor and the puzzle museum. There are mandy clues and leads for her to follow. Several people had a motive to kill the professor. The museum and several homes are in the proposed location of a new mall. A relative of the professor is extremely anxious to take ownership of the museum property. The professor and other owners have been pressured and possibly threatened to sell. Also, there is the new chief of police who is investigating the murder and needs to close this case to secure his position. Kate grapples with her loneliness and possibly taking on a new career in the town. Her Aunt Pru is desperate to find her a husband and pesters her throughout the book, but Katie may be interested in a certain police chief. There are even sudoku puzzles throughout the book you can solve. The author juggles a lot of topics and it all blends well for a great read.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Levy

    I liked it. It was a fun read. Not too complex, but no way you could have figured out some of the clues and puzzles. Characters were somewhat compelling. I might give a Katie McDonald mystery a second chance.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I wrote in 2009: I admit. I'm addicted to Sudoku. It has gotten even worse now that I have it on my iPhone. While this is pretty much par for the course for small town murder mysteries. It was fun to play the Sudoku's throughout.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Becca

    A very nice cozy with a fun mathematical twist. Good character development and plot. On to the next one in this series.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    It's a puzzle museum and the curator is killed and leaves the clue in the Sudoku. Some mighty improbable characters and actions. A fast read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Cat.

    OK, I admit: I picked this up when I cataloged it, strictly because of the connection with Sudoku. It's a relatively formulaic intro to a potential mystery series: hapless heroine thrown into unusual danger, fortitude in the face of danger, a hint of attraction to someone who she would prefer not to be attracted to.... Yep. There'll be sequel. And by the way, with the exception of the Killer Sudokus that I've started doing this year, there is absolutely no math skill needed for solving sudoku. It' OK, I admit: I picked this up when I cataloged it, strictly because of the connection with Sudoku. It's a relatively formulaic intro to a potential mystery series: hapless heroine thrown into unusual danger, fortitude in the face of danger, a hint of attraction to someone who she would prefer not to be attracted to.... Yep. There'll be sequel. And by the way, with the exception of the Killer Sudokus that I've started doing this year, there is absolutely no math skill needed for solving sudoku. It's about LOGIC, not math; they could be solved with the letters A-J instead of the numbers 1-9. The author says she does sudokus, but then she make them into the Math Puzzle, which they aren't. OK, the idea is that the former Geek of the Century of Granville, NH, is asked by her mentor, Professor P.T. Avondale (the "P.T." is enormously misleading--the man shares no personality characteristics with P.T. Barnum whatsoever!) to come back to her home town and help him save his Puzzle Museum. Then he's killed. Then someone tries to kill, or at least scare, her. And the police chief is out of his element, but has melty brown eyes and a beautiful smile. And her aunt keeps setting her up with "eligible" men (which the chief isn't because he gave Aunt Pru--I kid you not!--a traffic ticket). And she's plucky, although I'm almost sure that word isn't actually used. I liked the book, actually. It had a nice, fresh take on some of the dusty stereotypical formula-heroine books. But don't expect Dostoevsky.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Evelyn

    Curator of the Avondale Puzzle Museum, Professor P.T. Avondale is found murdered at his desk. Katie McDonald, who has returned home to help save her childhood mentor’s museum from being auctioned off, becomes the number one suspect. Meanwhile, she finds herself interim curator of the museum and in charge of Harry, a fourteen-year-old runaway and the professor's latest protege. Katie is now faced with working with the town's new police chief to solve the puzzle of the Professor’s murder and prove Curator of the Avondale Puzzle Museum, Professor P.T. Avondale is found murdered at his desk. Katie McDonald, who has returned home to help save her childhood mentor’s museum from being auctioned off, becomes the number one suspect. Meanwhile, she finds herself interim curator of the museum and in charge of Harry, a fourteen-year-old runaway and the professor's latest protege. Katie is now faced with working with the town's new police chief to solve the puzzle of the Professor’s murder and prove her innocence. First in a planned series. Fun and exciting with charming, odd-ball characters typical of a small town. Nice touch of romantic interest between Katie and the police chief. Highly recommen

  18. 5 out of 5

    Scilla

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book is somewhat formulaic, but with a few new twists. Brilliant, female mathematician returns to childhood home to help her childhood mentor, the professor who runs the puzzle museum, to save the museum. Shortly after she returns she finds the professor shot. The police chief arrives and she is his first suspect. The young boy the professor has been mentoring has disappeared. The woman tries to solve the murder and she and the policeman begin to like each other. The boy returns and togethe This book is somewhat formulaic, but with a few new twists. Brilliant, female mathematician returns to childhood home to help her childhood mentor, the professor who runs the puzzle museum, to save the museum. Shortly after she returns she finds the professor shot. The police chief arrives and she is his first suspect. The young boy the professor has been mentoring has disappeared. The woman tries to solve the murder and she and the policeman begin to like each other. The boy returns and together he and the mathematician solve the puzzles. The killer is about to kill the mathematician when police chief saves her.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    So puzzley! Not only does the murder take place in a puzzle museum, the clues are in puzzles, and the plot climax occurs in a maze - wow. I very much liked the main character Kate McDonald, as well as the supporting cast - Harry, Chief Brandon, and the Granny Activist Brigade. I'll be checking out the next book in this series shortly and hoping that Ms. Freydont is working on number three right now.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Mathematician and puzzle master Katie McDonald takes some time off from her job at the Institute of Theoretical Mathematics to return to her hometown and help her mentor try to save the Avondale Puzzle Museum. When Katie finds the him dead at his desk, she becomes the de facto curator of the museum and the brash new police chief's chief suspect. Unfortunately, the author is not nearly as clever as her character and the use of an unfinished Sudoku as a clue falls short.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Brittney

    This is actually one of the first murder mysteries I have ever read. I really enjoyed it. It wasn't gruesome, and I thought the plot went along well. The author does go on some tangents, but I don't think it was overly descriptive. It is a surprise (for me anyway) till the end, because the details are selective.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Shelley

    I enjoyed all of the math and Sudoku references in this book. I picked this book based entirely on it's title, because I love Sudoku. It was lacking a little excitement at times, and I found quite a few typos (here instead of hear, misspelled words), but I really enjoyed watching the relationship between Kate and Brandon evolve. I also loved reading about all of the puzzles.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Breanna

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I would've rated this higher, but the ending made me mad! I felt that the killer was obvious the whole time, and the only reason I didn't put them as my number one suspect was because I thought "if this book were any good, it wouldn't be someone that obvious" but then it was that person so...yeah, I wanted to be more shocked I guess.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sharmila

    This book is very entertaining for those who love mysteries and puzzles, and I love both. However, the very end didn't really live up to the rest of the book! Perhaps that is because it is going to become a series so it was left a bit open.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Alyson Cline

    An excellent murder mystery - with a twist! There are a number of sudoku puzzles included in the book, you don't have to complete the puzzles to enjoy the book - but if you like to try them - they are a fun addition. This is the first in the series, I am looking forward to book 2

  26. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Coates

    Not a particularly complex or dense mystery, but fun. The puzzle museum itself was a nice touch. And though some of the characters were grating and stereotypical, some of them (and fortunately some of the main ones) were, well, not.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    A pretty good story, though with some loose ends left. I don't generally go for mysteries, but I like a good puzzle story, so I gave it a shot. Other than Freydont's editor clearly needing to be fired, it wasn't bad.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ashley (mac\u0026chip)

    I enjoyed this book, but I didn't find it to be anything wow-worthy. I picked the book up because of the title – I am a fellow sudoku lover. It was a nice, quick read – but only other mysteries, this one doesn't go too deep.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jami

    I got this book because I love Sudoku puzzles, but I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised. In addition to having a good mystery tied in with the puzzle theme, there were some fun characters!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    Not too graphic, enough suspense and twists to keep me interested. Loved the setting of a puzzle museum and the intriguing "solution". Just enough hints of romance without what so often seems the gratuitous sex scenes. Enjoyed.

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