Saturday, July 24, 2021

Five recent captivating SFF mystery novels

At James Davis Nicoll tagged five favorite recent sci-fi & fantasy novels, including:
A Study in Honor by Claire O’Dell (2018)

Dr. Janet Watson returns from her service on the Federal side of the American New Civil War with a medical discharge, a second-hand, defective prosthetic limb, and dismal career prospects. Her professional qualifications are excellent, but few hospitals are interested in hiring a one-armed Black surgeon struggling with PTSD. Thus, Watson must settle for a technician’s post well below her talents and for a roommate with whom to split the rent. The job is unsatisfactory. The roommate is alarming.

Why Sara Holmes (occupation classified, probably spy) is so determined to share her luxurious apartment with a roommate at all, let alone Watson in particular, is unclear. That she is determined to do so is manifest, if only from the implausibly low rent. Still, living in luxury with a nosy, pushy (occupation classified, probably spy) is preferable to a squalid room in a crowded tenement. Particularly when Watson takes too close an interest in a mystery that powerful people very much do not want solved. Having offended well-connected people unburdened by ethics, Watson’s survival may depend on her quirky roommate’s ingenuity.
Read about another entry on the list.

A Study in Honor is among Sadie Trombetta's top nine gender-swapped retellings of classic books.

The Page 69 Test: A Study in Honor.

--Marshal Zeringue