THE OXFORD MURDERS by Guillermo Martinez

PUBLISHED: 12:17 02 February 2006 | UPDATED: 09:32 06 May 2010

GUILLERMO Martinez is Argentinian and this is his first work to be translated. His old-fashioned formal style of writing is reminiscent of late Victorian detective fiction – in fact the whole exercise smacks of a world slightly removed from our own. The O

GUILLERMO Martinez is Argentinian and this is his first work to be translated. His old-fashioned formal style of writing is reminiscent of late Victorian detective fiction - in fact the whole exercise smacks of a world slightly removed from our own.

The Oxford Murders is narrated in the first person by a mathematician from Buenos Aires looking back at his experiences as a young student in the town.

He came to England expecting to examine complex theoretical problems but soon finds himself embroiled in a living puzzle set by a serial killer.

He becomes the Watson to Arthur Seldom's Holmes when they find the elderly Mrs Eagleton murdered in her living room. The culprit has left a cryptic symbol along with the words 'the first of a series.'

The resulting romp involves a daunting logical challenge that will leave crossword and mathematics fans panting with glee and those who can't even work a calculator will be engrossed.

We're not likely to see much more of Seldom, though - Martinez dispatches him in the first sentence.

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