Murder Times Nine is a detective Sudoku puzzle mystery set in present day Reno. When a young woman’s strangled body is discovered among the willows on the banks of the Truckee river, the autopsy reveals a Sudoku puzzle grid branded onto her. Within the grid, nine numbers are filled in.
When a second victim is found knifed through the chest with a Sudoku puzzle grid tucked neatly in his breast pocket with nine additional numbers, Detective Charles Lee fears a serial killer is stalking his city.
The vengeful and brilliant killer leaves only a single clue at each of the murders. That clue is a Sudoku puzzle devised to taunt and tease the detective. The murderer adds nine numbers to the puzzle left on the most recent victim’s corpse. The numbers are a code that identifies the next victim. Using antique and unusual weapons for each of the murders heightens the grisly killings. The bodies keep piling up as the murderer leaves an increasingly more complete puzzle on the latest victim.
Detective Lee knows he is running out of time. He must unravel how these sets of nine numbers target the next victim. Can he determine who will be the next victim before another dead body is found? Only then, will he be able to stop the killer before the puzzle is complete and the killer vanishes.
Fast paced action throughout. In the early chapters, a discerning and analytical reader can decode the killer’s added numbers by a careful reading of the chapter describing the next victim. No math skills required!
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J.F.Pratt, a retired marketing executive, lives in the Sierra Nevada foothills. This is his first book. Fascinated by puzzles for many years, he thought a Sudoku puzzle would be an ideal format for the novel. He is currently working on a second book, a scientific, historical thriller.