Hugo, Locus, and Nebula-Award winner Mary Robinette Kowal blends her no-nonsense approach to life in space with her talent for creating glittering high-society in this stylish SF mystery, The Spare Man.
A 2023 Hugo Award Finalist!
A 2022 Locus Magazine Recommended Reading List pick!
Tesla Crane, a brilliant inventor and an heiress, is on her honeymoon on an interplanetary space liner, cruising between the Moon and Mars. She’s traveling incognito and is reveling in her anonymity. Then someone is murdered and the festering chowderheads who run security have the audacity to arrest her spouse. Armed with banter, martinis and her small service dog, Tesla is determined to solve the crime so that the newlyweds can get back to canoodling—and keep the real killer from striking again.
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An engineering magnate gets swept into a murder investigation in this vibrant space mystery from Kowal (the Lady Astronaut series). Communications scion Tesla Crane and her new husband, retired detective Shal Steward, take their honeymoon on a luxury spaceship en route to Mars under assumed identities to avoid publicity. When Shal witnesses the murder of the ultra-wealthy Haldan Kuznetsova's assistant, George, Shal becomes the ship's retrograde security team's prime suspect, leaving Tesla and Shal determined to catch the real killer. Their sleuthing grows complicated, however, as promising leads crumble, suspects get murdered, and Tesla's true identity gets out. Meanwhile, Tesla struggles to cope with her trauma from a lab accident years prior that killed six colleagues and left her in chronic pain. Kowal expertly weaves in red herrings and twists right up to the unmasking of the killer, and punctuates the suspense with moments of sparkling wit and the antics of Tesla's therapy dog, Gimlet. The author's nuanced portrayal of Tesla's disabilities and the complexities of the technology that assists her to navigate them is particularly welcome. This is a page-turner.
The Thin Man in Space, only better
This book used the tropes of the mystery and stand them on their head in the best ways. I am only sad that Lunacy gin apparently doesn’t yet exist.