FUN Books
For a lifetime of learning fun!

If you are unable to see the blue navigation buttons below, go to Contents for text links.


Click here or scroll down to the bottom of this page
for the Murderous Maths set.
Click here for the Murderous Maths Puzzle books.

Sure, you say, anyone can make history hysterical, or spelling silly. It doesn't take much effort to make chemistry comical or Latin laughable. It's nothing to make grammar goofy, astronomy amusing, or reading ridiculous. Even on a bad day, you can make physics pleasant, but make math fun? "No way" you say! There just isn't anything merry about math, frivolous about fractions, delightful about division, or absurd about algebra. It would be easier to make scrubbing the toilet the social highlight of the week!

Well, guess what - you're wrong and we have the books to prove it! If you're the kind of person who likes awful puns, sneaky tricks, outlandish names, fascinating facts, amusing illustrations and lots of games, puzzles and silly jokes, then the Murderous Maths series is for you. Every book has the author's personal promise that it is "Guaranteed to contain no nasty exercises and no boring sums!" These may just be the only math books you'll ever find that if you leave a few laying around the house, the kids will pick them up to read for fun! As the Brits would say, these books are simply "brilliant." They are published in the UK, so you will read lots of things that the British might say - starting with "maths" instead of "math."  But don't worry, the language differences are minor and only add to the charm of the series.

Even though these books are a lot of fun, they actually do cover a lot of math (but in such an enjoyable way your kids will hardly notice). If you simply must know what concepts and topics are covered, go to:

We thank the author, Kjartan Poskitt, for giving us permission to use some of his descriptions of the books.

See our special set of Murderous Maths books at the bottom of this page.

Murderous Maths: Guaranteed to Bend Your Brain by Kjartan Poskitt is the original book that started it all. It deals with a mixture of quirky items ranging from magic squares to card tricks, and it also has a section of some of the bizarre (and often quite nasty) maths geniuses of the world. It also covers time, short cuts, massive numbers, symmetry and how the invention of nothing made our number system possible!

Here is Max's review:

I thought that Murderous Maths was a great book. It is short, but packed with information. The book starts out by talking about the basics of math (+, -, =, x, -:-). Then, Murderous Maths moves on to discuss things like time, short cuts for problems, Roman numerals, calculators, time, clocks, right angles, the invention of nothing, mathematicians, and the magic square. Eventually the author talks a little bit about algebra and why it is useful. What I think I liked the best was the way the author put in little humorous anecdotes so as to keep your interest.
Here are 2 examples of problems from the book:

(1) If you have 1 bacteria particle, and if it multiplies 2 times every ten minutes, how many will you have in 24 hours? Answer: 22,300,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (a lot).
(2) You are locked in a bathroom with a fungus crawling toward you shooting deadly spores at you!!! You have a set quantity of different shaped sets of tiles in the room with you, but which set can cover the whole fungus without any spores left uncovered to fire at you?

As you can see, the problems in this book are strange and unusual, but the author uses common everyday mathematics to solve them. I think that this was a very enjoyable math book and recommend it to anyone who wants a fun read.
Max, age 12, reviewed 5/18/04.


#5888 $10.25

Murderous Maths: Guaranteed to Mash Your Mind
by Kjartan Poskitt will explain things like "How to be famous for ever," "One sided paper" and "Who can see you STARK NAKED as you read this book?" You also learn how mirror numbers can make a teacher's head explode, about dimensions, dominoes, speed and why Pythagoras had somebody murdered!

Here is Troy's review:

More Murderous Maths is more of the above, it differs only in that the art gets a little less sketchy, and the writer realizes that he's going to be doing an entire series and, therefore, brings up many topics that will be in later books in detail.

The front cover cartoon shows three men in prison, and one of them says, "So, if it takes 10 men 6 years to dig a tunnel using spades, how long will it take us 3 using this plastic spoon?" The entire book is packed with that kind of thing. The only way for this math to become murderous is for you to die laughing. It goes through geometry, critical thinking, volume, dimensions, measurements, impossible shapes, percentages and interest, speeds, etc, etc, etc. Compared to the first book, this book is a 10. I rate the first book a 7 out of 10 because the cartoons aren't as funny and the math is more boring (plus the evil Gollark aliens don't make their appearance until the 2nd book).

This book gives more insight as to what you already know if you have about 4th grade math. I recommend this book for 3rd grade and up to about 8th grade.


#5871 $10.25 (Formerly titled More Murderous Maths).

Murderous Maths - Awesome Arithmetricks by Kjartan Poskitt is the book that explains how maths all starts. You begin with counting, and by the end you'll be doing massive calculations in your head. The main thing is that it shows you how to tackle the toughest sums WITHOUT A CALCULATOR. As well as being funny, this book will show younger kids exactly how numbers work, and it will remind helpless adults who have forgotten!

Description below taken from the author's site at:

For people who aren't sure how sums work, this book explains the very basics. It starts with counting and then takes a hilarious tour through adding, subtracting, multiplying and even long division!
It's all made clear thanks to Pongo McWhiffy, the Gangsters, the utterly barmy pure mathematicians and there's a special guest appearance by Titus O'Skinty and his lovely assistant Gladys.

Note: This is the same book as The Essential Arithmetricks. The title is slightly different, and the cover has been changed, but the book content is the same. The Murderous Maths series is being redesigned cosmetically over the course of the next year, with cover artwork and some title changes, but the book content is staying the same.

For ages 7 and up. Paper. 

#1574XX 10.25

Murderous Maths - Desperate Measures: Length, Area and Volume, by Kjartan Postkitt, is one of the less entertaining books in my opinion, but it is definitely worth reading because of the 2-part Archimedes comics. These tell the classic story of when the king gets a new crown, but the goldsmith cheats him, and gives him 1/3 silver which is much less valuable. Archimedes figures out in the bath ("Eureka!" "Well, you don't smell so nice yourself!") that by adding himself to a full bathtub, the water that spills over is equal to his volume. So he runs to the king, takes a bowl of water, marks where the water line is, dunks the crown in the water, marks that, then puts a lump of gold in weighing the exact same as the crown in, marks that, and it turns out that the crown used up more space, or volume, than the lump of gold. Therefore it was proven that the goldsmith cheated him, and he was sentenced to death.

The second part is when the cheating goldsmith calls his lawyer, and his lawyer claims that the first proof was insufficient. Archimedes then proves his buoyancy laws by weighing the gold and the crown under water. All in all it is a worthwhile read, even though I rate it an 8 out of 10. For 4th grade and up to about 8th grade. (Description by Troy)

#3704 $10.25

Murderous Maths - Do You Feel Lucky? by Kjartan Postkitt, reviewed by Troy. If you were a pigeon flying over a railway station that could hold 200 people, but was only half full, and suddenly you had to go, what is the probability of you hitting a person down there? Work it out. Let's say, half of the people down there were men. What is the probability of you hitting a woman? Work it out. This book is about probability. Probability is saying, "There is a 50% chance of rain today with scattered hail to boot" (actually the weatherman's name is likely not Probability, but still . . .)

Then there's the coin toss with Professor Fiendish, your arch-nemesis. He offers you the chance to win a coin toss, toss 6 coins, win 60 pence (this is a British book remember). Using Pascal's triangle, you figure out that the probability of you getting all heads is more than one in 60. The Professor's electric meter runs on coins. How do you run him out of coins for his electric meter so that you can escape from his electrified titanium tent? The answer is, look at Pascal's triangle! By losing one coin at a time, you raise your chances of winning. Eventually you run the Professor out of coins, and you're able to walk outside, your pockets full of pence (money).

Then there's the probability of winning a million British pounds by tossing 3 coins in the air, waking somebody up and saying "I will bet you that if I toss these three coins in the air, at least 2 of them will land the same way!" If they take your bet, it's a sure thing you're going to win. Try it!

This books also goes through interesting numbers, such as the probability of winning the national lottery jackpot is one in 13,983,816. So winning the jackpot is actually easier than throwing 24 straight heads on 24 coins.

It goes through factorials, and there's combinations, permutations, "dice, dates and devious decks" - gambling. I rate this book an 8 out of 10. This book is for 5th and up to say 8th grade.

#7127 $10.25

Murderous Maths - Savage Shapes, by Kjartan Postkitt, reviewed by Troy. Vicious Circles and Other Savage Shapes starts off with a chapter called "The Secret Vault" where you get to go and see the most famous sand drawings ever. This zone doesn't use ANY numbers, unless you want to. All you need are one or two decent pencils, a ruler, scissors, a geometrical compass, clean paper, and a protractor. This book is obviously about geometry and throughout the book you see a furious judge yelling, "PROVE IT!" It talks about Pythagoras, Thales, and other fathers of geometry. It talks about angles, shapes, radii, perpendicular bisectors, and angle bisectors (how not to get splattered against the wall of a magnetically charged cave on your cosmic phazmacycle, watch spellcheck hiccup), impossible shapes, why triangles don't collapse, and then it talks about dimensions.

From the book: "Suppose there's 2 flies that are absolutely bugging you. You could borrow a laser beam that fires a very thin beam of light in a straight line. Using the laser beam, you could bore a hole in both flies at the same time, provided you pointed it in exactly the right direction." That is the first dimension.

"You don't have any choice, there is only one direction you can fire the beam in, and that depends on the position of the 2 flies. To put all this in mathspeak, 2 points define a line . . . The 2 flies call up reinforcements and to your horror a third tiny fly appears. If you're really lucky you might find all three flies in a straight line, but it's not very likely." Or probable. "However, our weapons depot can issue you a very long, very wide and very, VERY thin sheet of glass. Ha! Now you've got 'em." Complete with appropriate illustrations, (Chung! Eeeeek! from the flies . . .) And of course he shows you how to deal with 4 flies . . . I rate this book a 9 out of 10, for 4th grade and up to say 8th grade.

#7103 $10.25

Murderous Maths - Numbers, the Key to the Universe, by Kjartan Postkitt, reviewed by Troy.If you thought that any of the other books were good, you obviously haven't read this one. This book is my favorite because this goes into almost all of the other number subjects (minus geometry), and it's the thickest book yet, so there's more of the good stuff. It goes over such stuff as useless numbers, Fibonacci numbers, superstitious and lucky numbers, prime numbers, irrational numbers, triangular and square numbers, and my personal favorite, binary numbers and number bases. Amicable numbers whose factors add up to each other are in there.

It also goes over Fermat's Last Theorem, Euler, and other historical figures, and of course, the gangsters are in this book. Part of this book which is the funniest part in my opinion, is the classic riddle of the missing cent. Get the book to find out what that is.

The book has lots of number tricks for just about everything. I like it because it goes over so many subjects. I rate it a 10 out of 10, for 3rd grade and up.

#7110 $10.25

Murderous Maths - The Phantom X by Kjartan Postkitt, (reviewed by Troy) This is the newest book in the series and it is about Algebra. You may be asking "Who is she?" if you are in 3rd grade. But the rest of us kinda know what algebra is. It scares a lot of people, but there's really nothing to fear. The idea about algebra is, if you encounter a problem that is too hard, back out and tackle an easier problem.

It talks about the importance of positives and negatives, and the Phantom X (who looks almost exactly like Zorro) teaches you the five rules for adjusting equations. Interesting though is that the only thing it goes over is algebra (all the other books cover more than one subject), it's just different from the other books.

Here is the famous Diophantus riddle (Diophantus is considered the father of algebra): "Diophantus' youth lasted one-sixth of his life. He grew a beard after one-twelfth of his life, then after one-seventh more Diophantus married. Five years later he had a son who lived exactly half as long as his father. Diophantus died 4 years after his son." You may be able to do this, but I suggest you get the book to help you solve it!

It talks about how many numbers will fit into brackets, and how many brackets are allowed. And then it talks about your "algebra panic button" - "If you get stuck on an algebra problem, you reach under the desk and push the secret panic button! The curtains around your room will automatically close, an electronic sweeper will check for bugging devices, and the door will lock itself. When the system has verified that everything is secure, the picture of your great, great aunt Marina on the wall will slide open revealing a panel with a formula on it." I can't put the formula in because . . . I can't, it looks pretty hairy, but it has the power to solve almost any equation.

This is definitely for at least 5th grade and up, it has a lot of stuff in it I haven't learned yet totally (I'm 12). I just got the book and I usually read these four or five times before I get it all, so I'll wait until then to rate it.

#7134 $10.25

Murderous Maths - The Perfect Sausage by Kjartan Postkitt,

This book surprised me. I was not expecting all the formulas in here to turn up. Like the formula for why the Gollarks will be able to interpret with the Ploogs because the Ploogs can't understand them, so they need an interpreter who can speak both of their languages, and it goes on . . . They finally decide that they ended up needing over 1,000 interpreters just to get everybody to understand each other. The comics are hillarious. They end up all getting blown up and finally talking the same language as they scream "ARGHHH!"

Then we have formulas for pizzas, how to divide a crescent into three pieces with only one cut, how to divide a crescent into 6 pieces with only 2 cuts (hint, they are not all the same size) and why the pure mathematicians are probably on the wanted list forever.

Then we get into formulas for gravitational attraction of Pongo and Veronica (don't worry, it's G-rated). These include Einstein and Newton's famous formulas. Then there is money - formulas to figure out percentage markups to make 50% profit on resale. Then it goes backwards - they paid me this, how much did it cost me? It's all in English currency but who cares, the math is the same whatever currency you use as long as it's decimal based!
There are formulas for calendar algorithms, like what day your birthday fell upon. There are geometric formulas, like how to figure out the longest diagonal in irregular and regular figures. Hint: Once you get to a certain number of sides, use your ruler!
It covers sines, cosines and tangents, but not with the trig superheros this time. MM decided it was impossible to figure the area of a trapezoid without knowing the height. It IS possible, but there's only 3 known formulas for it - one includes 8 different variables, and another includes SEVEN LAYERS of imbedded brackets. Very scary - if you don't know what that is, this is an example of just three imbeddings:

{#- [%+(x-3)]-Z}

See? Spookyyyy . . .

And there's still more. The phases of the moon (and its affect on a were-sausage, whoo-ooooh!) are demonstrated in a formula, Archimedes makes another appearance in this book with his discovery of the formula for the volume of a sphere in a cylinder, and pure mathematicians LOVE pi squared :o)

Near the end, we have - At Last! The Tragic Tale of The Perfect Sausage. No spoilers posted here, but it truly is tragic! The final comic I won't spoil either, but it's VERY funny.

I rate this book, easily, a 9 out of 10. A little of it was over my head, but I liked it anyway. I recommend this book again for middle school on up. Because it goes through a lot of formulas, it takes a while to figure out. There's a lot of vocabulary you probably never saw, but he does explain it.

Reviewed by Troy, age 13, 6/23/05

Paper, 207 pages, 5"x7.75".

#7165 $10.25

Murderous Maths of Everything by Kjartan Poskitt - Now, in brilliantly bold colour for the first time, The Murderous Maths of Everything shines a light on even the murkiest corners of the maths world. From awesome arithmetics to fundamental formulas, and all the brain-boggling bits in between, this book has ALL the answers to EVERYTHING in maths. Well, nearly everything....

Explore the fourth dimension! Step inside the inside-out room! Make your birthday last twice as long! Cure the plague! It's not called The Murderous Maths of Everything for nothing, you know!

Paper, 96 pages. 11.5"x9"x.6". This Murderous Maths book has glossy, full-color illustrations and a larger format than the other books in the series.

#1436 $16.50

Murderous Maths: Easy Questions Evil Answers by Kjartan Poskitt - Why do people think Friday 13th is unlucky? How can you make a liar tell the truth? How many people in the world share your birthday? Can on egiant sneeze blast the Earth out of orbit? When does 9 - 11 = 10? How often is once in a blue moon?

Easy Questions, Evil Answers
provides the answers to all these questions and more. It's the perfect laugh-out-loud, boredom busting read for everyone who's ever wondered just how many footballs you can fit in a swimming pool and how long it takes to count to a million.

Paper, 160 pages. 5"x7.75".

#4514 $10.25

Buy All 11 Murderous Math Books together and save!

Do you have an insatiable math fiend at home? Do you prefer funny math to fuzzy math? Do you especially like math when it adds up to savings for you? Then have we got a deal for you! By this set of 13 Murderous Math books for only $111.99!

Includes the following books: Murderous Maths: Guaranteed to Bend Your Brain, Murderous Maths: Guaranteed to Mash Your Mind, Awesome Arithmetricks, Desperate Measures, Do You Feel Lucky?, Savage Shapes, Numbers, The Phantom X, The Perfect Sausage, The Murderous Maths of Everything and Easy Questions: Evil Answers. The puzzle books are sold separately.

#FUN44-S $119.00 $106.99  

Spanish version of Murderous Maths!

Esas Mortiferas Mates by Kjartan Poskitt - Primero aprendiste a contar. No fue emocionante?Luego descubriste cmo se suma. Cielos!Ahora ests preparado para Esas Mortferas Mates!!En sta gua tan peligrosamente distinta encontrars a Jimmy el Pulgar, Charly el Serrucho, el Comadreja y sus gngsters, que dan fe de que las matemticas pueden ser mortferas. Descubre cmo las mates pueden ayudarte a rescatar a alguien que se encuentra en peligro de muerte, a no disparar contra ti mismo con un caon...No hay que hacer ejercicios ni operaciones aburridas!!

Paper, 144 pages.
7.7 x 5.1 x 0.4. Copyright 1998. The pages are yellowing around the edges and there is a mild crease on one corner.

#0561 $10.99
Out of print, one copy available.

top of page



Home | Contents | Contact Us | Ordering/Shipping | Privacy Statement