The Spare Man
December 4, 2022 9:01 PM - Subscribe

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.

Mary Robinette Kowal's new book is a bit if you took _The Thin Man_ series and combined with the episode of Columbo where the detective is on a cruise ship and gets wrapped up in a murder mystery.

Bonus: Every chapter begins with a thematic cocktail recipe, some of which are her original creations.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit (3 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I really enjoyed this a lot. I love "The Thin Man" so the conceit of setting a similar story in space appealed to me immensely. I thought it was funny and interesting and I actually didn't guess the final reveal, which is kind of rare for somebody who reads/watches a LOT of mysteries.
posted by kittensyay at 10:39 AM on December 5, 2022

I need to go back and read the trivia questions again, since they're all answerable, but I have to get it back from the library to do so.
posted by rewil at 1:56 PM on December 6, 2022

I was a bit disappointed with this. I read it after reading this review. I thought Tesla and Shal were both a bit under-developed as characters. Tesla is defined by her back story, and I wasn't really sure what Shal's personality was (apart from liking embroidery, though we only got passing mentions of that). It would have been good to know a bit more about them; it almost read like a sequel where we were expected to know them already. For instance, what were their plans after the honeymoon? It was frustrating that Tesla didn't seem to think to use her privilege to protest the treatment she and Shal were getting, until the point she did, and that seemed a bit unlikely, even with her trauma history. I will say I'm neither a dog-lover nor a drinker, so I may just not have been the right reader. And I did like Fantine's crochet, though I wished that by the end she had finished making something (like Patricia Wentworth does with Miss Silver's knitting).

There's another review here from Fantasy Book Critic, and one from Geekly Inc.
posted by paduasoy at 3:35 PM on December 8, 2022

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