the fractal murders
Three victims, three different states, and three apparently unrelated cases. When Boulder, Colorado, math professor Jayne Smyers discovers each victim had been an expert in fractal geometry, she knows their deaths can't be a coincidence. That's where Pepper Keane comes in. Hired by Jayne after the FBI dismisses the cases, he's a Marine JAG turned private eye, with a vast knowledge of rock and roll and a trace of existential angst. From Hawaii to Harvard, Pepper searches for proof that the deaths were murders committed by the same person. As the evidence mounts and he fears that his favorite professor may be the next target, Pepper begins to see that there's a pattern to everything, especially murder. And that makes him more than qualified to die.
Read A Review:

University of Colorado math professor Jayne Smyers hires Pepper Keane, former Marine JAG turned PI, to investigate the deaths of three other math professors. The Feds have investigated and found no link between the deaths. Jayne is convinced there's a link. Pepper is skeptical at first but agrees to look into it.

There's plenty of bad blood between Pepper and FBI agent Polk who did some of the investigating. This history adds to Pepper's determination to investigate these deaths.

As Pepper digs deeper into the deaths, he begins to see some similar threads that continue to propel him forward. With romance in the air, Pepper worries that Jayne may be the next victim.

Can he decipher the pattern and unmask the killer before anyone else is killed? Can he protect Jayne as well?

I thoroughly enjoyed this refreshing mystery. Pepper is a fabulous character, even with his baggage. It is explained throughout the book, so we aren't left floundering. His interactions with Polk, Jayne, detectives where each mathematician was killed, his brother, his neighbors, and his best friend really help us to get to know him.

I found the math to be explained in plain English so that it was easy to understand.   It also didn't detract from the investigation; it actually enhanced it.  I am not a mathematician, but I really enjoyed this book.  I hope he writes more in this series.  I can't wait to read them.  I highly recommend this book

Dawn Dowdle

Witty, smart, and inventive...Cohen is a terrific new voice on the mystery scene.

Stephen White, author of The Best Revenge

A clever mystery...Keane has a past that fleshes out his motivation, a wry wit, and an enemy who does everything to keep him permanently clueless...a consistently absorbing first novel.


A surprising premise and an extraordinary theme equal an accomplished debut...Cohen's writing style is direct and amazingly lucid...Readers looking for something refreshingly different should be well satisfied.

Publishers Weekly