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The Spare Man    by Mary Robinette Kowal order for
Spare Man
by Mary Robinette Kowal
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2022 (2022)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Mary Robinette Kowal excels in both fantasy (her Glamourist Histories) and science fiction (her Lady Astronaut series). The focus is always on high society and this continues in her latest, The Spare Man.

Tesla (a brilliant celebrity heiress) is enjoying travelling incognito on her honeymoon with her new husband Shal (a detective), without her usual bodyguards. They're cruising on interplanetary space ship Lindgren between the Moon and Mars. Tesla's Westie service dog, Gimlet, accompanies them. After a karaoke evening, Tesla concludes that 'Being anonymous was very, very nice.'

Nice, that is, until inept Security Chief Wisor arrests Shal for the murder of a fellow passenger. Tesla calls her lawyer right away - Fantine's dialogue injects a steady stream of humor into what follows. Tesla also works hard to find out who framed Shal. It takes all of her technical and investigative skills to get to the truth, and keep him alive.

The Spare Man is a totally engrossing read and I really hope to spend more time with Tesla and Shal in a sequel.

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