Miles' and Ekaterin's honeymoon is interrupted by a job assignment; there's been a murder in Quaddiespace (something readers of Falling Free will understand), possibly committed by a Barrayaran subject - certainly, Barrayarans and Komarrans are involved. The political implications are troublesome, and the situation on the ground is more so. Everyone involved reports wildly different versions of events, racism is warping the views of the Barrayarans, and the Komarrans and Quaddies are simply furious. It's quite a problem, and Miles doesn't have long to sort things out - but sort things out he must, and fast, for he and Ekaterin are expecting their first two children in just a few weeks. Weaker than Memory, Diplomatic Immunity is still better than A Civil Campaign, and it's quite a decent entry in a great series.
This report prepared by Ivy
Baen, May 2002, 25.00, 311 pp.
Imperial auditor Miles Vorkosigan and his wife Ekaterin enjoy their belated intergalactic honeymoon until the ship's Tau Cetan captain informs them that a Barrayaran Imperial Courier has an official sealed data disc for him. Lieutenant Smolyani of the Imperial courier ship Kestrel provides a message from Emperor Gregor Vorbarra involving an impoundment of a Komarran trader ship on Graf Station in remote “Quaddiespace”. Apparently murder has occurred and each side spins a different tale. Miles is to investigate the murder.
Miles and Ekaterin arrive at the space station inhabited by Quaddies, genetically engineered humans. Miles makes inquiries into the case where he learns that a Barryar ensign fell in love with a Quaddie dancer, which led to trouble. The investigation turns further complex because no one is cooperating making the situation even more tense.
The latest Vorkosigan outer space adventure is a thrilling tale that showcases the small hero at his best. The story line contains a very complex mystery that is further complicated by the hostilities requiring high level diplomacy to keep the combatants from fighting while solving the case. Interwoven into the plot are “asides” that provide insight into previous tales in Lois McMaster Bujold's Hugo Award winning universe for new readers, but long time fans will find that disruptive. DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY is a fine science fiction mystery that is not quite on a level with much of the series previous novels, which for the most part are some of the best written over the last fifteen years. Still the book remains better than most novels of this sub-genre.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner