The Square Root of Murder (Professor Sophie Knowles)
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
THE SQUARE ROOT OF MURDER
A Berkley Prime Crime Book / published by arrangement with the author
Berkley Prime Crime mass-market edition / July 2011
Copyright © 2011 by Camille Minichino.
Brainteasers by Camille Minichino.
Interior map by Dick Rufer.
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.
For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
ISBN : 978-1-101-53812-8
BERKLEY ® PRIME CRIME
Berkley Prime Crime Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
BERKLEY ® PRIME CRIME and the PRIME CRIME logo are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
This book is dedicated to my former agent,
the late Elaine Koster,
who saw me through fourteen books.
Thanks as always to my dream critique team: mystery authors Jonnie Jacobs, Rita Lakin, and Margaret Lucke.
I can’t say enough good things about Dr. Jeanne Trubek, mathematics chairwoman at Emmanuel College in Boston. Jeanne, an amazing teacher, allowed me to attend her class, answered many questions, read a draft manuscript, and is still talking to me. I hope the final product is worthy of her input.
Thanks also to Dr. Sally Dias, woman of many titles at Emmanuel, including vice president, who welcomed me back to my alma mater and has been a constant resource as well as a friend.
A special word about my good friend and medevac pilot Mark Ramos. Mark submitted to interviews straight from twelve-hour shifts. He fielded my questions, no matter how “obvious” the answers should have been, and toured me through his Northern California facility. Mark introduced me to a whole crew of generous coworkers who shared fascinating stories. In particular, I’d like to thank Ernie Acebo and Sim Mason. Flight nurse Acebo was especially helpful with details of the story. No one at the facility is responsible for my errors or literary license.
Thanks also to the extraordinary Inspector Chris Lux for continued advice on police procedure. My interpretation of his counsel should not be held against him.
Thanks to the many writers and friends who offered critique, information, brainstorming, and inspiration; in particular: Gail and David Abbate, Judy Barnett, Sara Bly, Margaret Hamilton, Eileen Hotte, Peg McPartland, Suzanne Monaco, Ann Parker, Mary Solon, Sue Stephenson, Jean Stokowski, Karen and Mark Streich, and Ellen Twaddell.
My deepest gratitude goes to my husband, Dick Rufer, the best there is. I can’t imagine working without his support. He’s my dedicated webmaster ( www.minichino.com ), layout specialist, and on-call IT department.
Finally, how lucky can I be? I’m working
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