Series: The Midsolar Murders #1
Published by Ace on October 4, 2022
Genres: Science Fiction, Cozy Mystery
From idyllic small towns to claustrophobic urban landscapes, Mallory Viridian is constantly embroiled in murder cases that only she has the insight to solve. But outside of a classic mystery novel, being surrounded by death doesn’t make you a charming amateur detective, it makes you a suspect and a social pariah. So when Mallory gets the opportunity to take refuge on a sentient space station, she thinks she has the solution. Surely the murders will stop if her only company is alien beings. At first her new existence is peacefully quiet…and markedly devoid of homicide.
But when the station agrees to allow additional human guests, Mallory knows the break from her peculiar reality is over. After the first Earth shuttle arrives, and aliens and humans alike begin to die, the station is thrown into peril. Stuck smack-dab in the middle of an extraterrestrial whodunit, and wondering how in the world this keeps happening to her anyway, Mallory has to solve the crime—and fast—or the list of victims could grow to include everyone on board….
I have a soft spot for mysteries with a sci-fi backdrop. Mallory is one of those people, like Angela Landsbury or any cozy mystery sleuth, who just seems to attract murders. She almost always helps the cops solve the crimes, but she’s tired, her family hates her, and she can’t keep friends – no one wants to risk being the next corpse. She seeks refuge on Station Eternity, a sentient space station populated by aliens, a station that doesn’t allow humans aboard. Well, that’s not strictly true. There is a human ambassador and there’s also Xan, who is hiding out under rather unusual circumstances. But more people are on their way.
When the shuttle carrying a human shuttle is almost docked at the space station, the space station, the shuttle, and Mallory’s life explode into chaos. Several humans and at least one alien are killed in separate, but probably related events. The station’s in turmoil, Mallory’s vacillating between wanting to solve the murder and running away, and all the people left alive on the shuttle have connections to her or Xan or both.
I thoroughly enjoyed Station Eternity. The sci-fi aspect is well done, but not overly technical. At heart, this is a cozy mystery and the characters, both human and alien were well done. The story did jump around a bit, giving us each person’s backstory. We also see events from several of the aliens’ points of view. Each alien race has distinct differences, but I like that within those boundaries, the individuals we get to know have distinct personalities.
The book was funny and clever. There were several twists that were surprising but made sense in retrospect. The clues were placed well, but I think the best part was seeing how it all connected. I should really just read everything Mur Lafferty writes.