Artificial Intelligence and Murder
Donna Andrews is best known for her mysteries with birds. But, did you know she has an excellent series of four books with the sleuth Turing Hopper, AIP (that’s Artificial Intelligence Personality). Yep, she’s a mainframe computer who became sentient. When she’s faced with murder, she engages her “Miss Marple” brain to solve the mystery. And, throughout the four books she solves more mystery, but digs herself deeper into a dangerous situation. She’d cloned herself, to be in two places at once, but what happened to the clone? Unfortunately, that mystery has never been solved. Evidently, not enough readers were as delighted as I was. With traditional publishing, the publisher has the final say, so the series wasn’t continued. The first in the series, Click Here for Murder, won the Agatha and Anthony Awards. (I still have my four paperbacks, awaiting for a sequel.) In the meantime, read Donna’s other mysteries. Visit the Donna Andrews page here.
Digital Dick is not a series, but it is another mystery with a mainframe heart and human emotions. (John Edward Mullen has written two books so far.) Digital Dick learns how to solve mysteries while wishing he had hands so he could plug in his own electricity. He runs rings around the bad guys, as well as the good guys who just don’t understand him. Oh, yes, he has a human sister as well. Visit the John Edward Mullen page here.
I’m on the lookout for similar books. Do you know of any such books? I’d love to hear about them. (I’m not talking military intelligence here, really, although I might be convinced.)
I like mystery: cozy, noir, historic, romantic, suspense, and especially off-beat mystery. Digital Dick definitely qualifies on that last one.
I absolutely love this book about a sentient computer. That’s a computer who learns to solve crimes while wishing he had hands so he could plug into the electricity himself. He learns as he goes along, but he’s quite knowledgeable for a seven-year old. Still, his goofs on proper behavior are funny (or exasperating to his human sister), while, of course, he mentally runs rings around the bad guys. Even the guys who aren’t bad, just don’t believe in Digital Dick.
The publishers says, “As a computer with a human personality, Dick Young struggles to understand people. Some would deny personhood to Dick, others who fear him would take him apart chip by chip.
“After he witnesses a bloody murder, Dick offers to assist the San Diego Police Department catch the killer. But when the search for the murderer turns up a second body, Dick’s Satisfaction Index plummets. He breaks company with the police and begins investigating the case on his own. As he follows the clues, Dick learns more and more about humans: how they live, how they love and how they murder. He will need that knowledge to overcome the killer who threatens to destroy Dick and everyone that Dick holds dear.”
The July 2015 Midwest Book Review, puts it this way: “In addition to taking the prize for originality, this book is a great piece of story-telling and a good read. I highly recommend it.”
And I add, if you like your mystery with a great sense of humor while keeping up the suspense, this is the read for you.