The Last Equation of Isaac Severy by Nova Jacobs
Hazel’s beloved adoptive grandfather has died, apparently by suicide. She is devastated by his death and perplexed by the legacy he left behind…to her. Her grandfather was working on an equation when he died and a lot of people are very interested in acquiring his math but he left her the first clue to finding the equation in a letter he posted before his death. Hazel is a (failing) bookstore owner with no aptitude for mathematics but it seems that the clues he left are for her and her alone. As she tries to locate the equation she is also dealing with family drama in all its forms and trying to figure out who to trust with Isaac Severy’s last equation when she finally finds it.
If you are not a fan of math don’t worry, neither is Hazel and it is she we follow, for the most part through the book. When a mathematician is the focus of a chapter it is their personal life that is the focus, not their aptitude with equations. This is a mystery that is steeped in family drama, ethics and puzzles which make for a great combination. Most characters are well formed and there are shocking developments along the way. What’s really shocking is the nature of the equation itself. I love that the characters muse about the danger and the potential of the math yet don’t actually name the dangers; that is left for the reader to ponder.