Athens, 1929. Stefanos Kantartzis is found murdered, and Michael Igerinos, his best friend of 30 years, is being questioned by the police as the last person to see him alive.
While looking at his dead friend's body, Michael is immediately taken back to the late summer of 1900 when he and Stefanos first met in the crammed Sorbonne University lecture hall. The story of their friendship begins during the Second International Congress of Mathematics—an event that was to become a landmark for 20th century mathematical research.
At the root of this historically based work of fiction lies the question as to whether the solution to a mathematical problem could inspire such passion, so intense and perilous, as to drive someone to murder.
The story takes the reader behind the scenes of academia, into the world of Bertrand Russell, Hilbert, Poincaré, and Gödel, and through the streets of Bohemian Paris at the heyday of Montmartre, the Moulin Rouge, and the “Zut”—the infamous hangout of Toulouse-Lautrec, Picasso, Max Jacob, and many other colorful characters.
Pythagorean Crimesfollows in the tradition of popular mathematical fiction like Doxiadis'Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjectureand Martinez'Oxford Murders. Yet brings with it old-world charm and the cultural richness of the social, political, scientific and intellectual circles of early 20th century France, Germany, and Greece.