Review: Bad Day in Minsk, Mathematical Mystery #4 (Jonathan Pinnock)

Tom Winscombe is having a very bad series of days, although the title refers only to one. Perhaps it refers only to the first day,when a planned heist go terribly wrong.

This is book four in the Mathematical Mystery series, and although I have not read the first three books, it can work as a standalone on some rather shaky legs. I’d highly recommend reading the books in order, if only to become acquainted with Winscombe’s team and the relationships between them. While there are shot talks given that reference the first three, I believe reading those would have lent far more depth to the characters I was meeting for the first time.

That said, this book is of the madcap, how can things possibly get worse genre. Winscombe seems to be a bad luck magnet,first kidnapped in the above referenced heist, then sent into Belarus,then kidnapped by Belarus mafia types, and then standing on the top floor of a building that’s on fire,with a firefight of the gun variety going on below as well.

It was quite funny in places, and not as serious as I think it should have been in others, but that’s simply my preference in books in the mystery/thriller genre, and I can’t ding it for that reason, as the writing tells me this is just the nature of this particular beast, and the story knows what it’s doing.

Beyond saying that the first three books would be of immense help to read before this, I’m still giving it three out of five stars.

Thanks to Duckworth Books/Farrago Books and NetGalley for the reading copy.