Mount Readmore Book Review, 2017 30/100
The CS Detective By Jeremy Kubica
Finished on 3/20/2017
Genres: Fantasy, Mystery, Noir, Educational, Comedy, Police Procedural
1 Out of Work PI is Hired by the Police to Track Down Stolen Documents. He is Aided by 1 Rookie Detective and 1 Crackpot Wizard in an Adventure of Algorithmic Proportions out of 5
I wish I had books like this in middle school, high school and college. This is an educational novel which teaches basic algorithms to its readers, using a fantasy noir mystery as it’s backdrop. It teaches everything from exhaustive searches to data heap analysis in a fun story. I wish I had learned statistics or algebra in a similarly fun manner.
This story is filled with algorithm puns and jokes (for example the main character’s name is Frank Runtime and he lives in the city Usb), but they never outstay their welcome. Additionally there are numerous drawings inside the short book, of both the characters and the data structures demonstrated. In this setting algorithms are performed by magic instead of computers, so wizards are required for database searches. It’s a pleasantly educational book to read which doesn’t outstay it’s welcome.
Frank Runtime is a fairly generic Noir detective (‘down on his luck’, ‘trusts no one’), but since this is a happy setting I can’t truly call this a noir mystery novel. Socks Repellent the wizard and Officer Notation are his two sidekicks, and they fill the role of bumbling wizard and straight-laced rookie to the T. The author didn’t try anything new character-wise, which is for the best considering how bizarre the rest of this book was.
Net total, if you’re open to reading a book about algorithms I highly suggest you check this book out.