Berkley, April 2002, 1.95, 304 pp.
ISBN 0425 1819176
Universal Library is a corporation that controls, owns or fixes databases for its various clients. It also has a website where, for a fee, users can talk to or do research with an AIP (Artificial intelligence Personality). Their most popular AIP is Turing Hopper whose specialty is general knowledge. Users like her because she's got a distinct and refreshing personality but what they don't know is that Turing is sentient.
When Turing realizes her programmer Zach hasn't reported in for eight days, she begins to worry a bit. When Mr. Smith from security tries to break into Zach's computer she really begins to worry. She contacts her two friends at UL, Maude a secretary and Tim the copier. Both have come to adore Turing and believe she is alive, and are willing to take risks to find out what is going on at UL and how it relates to Zach's disappearance.
Turing is one of the most original, adorable and refreshing characters to grace the pages of a mystery novel. Although the protagonist lives inside a computer (for the most part) readers will choose to ignore rather quickly that she's an AI and start thinking of her as human. She, with her partner's in crime, tries to save the world for sentient AI's of the second generation. This reviewer can't wait for the sequel(s).
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner