Janet Kagan’s 1988 Hellsparkis a standalone SF mystery.
It’s by mere chance that Hellspark trader Tocohl Susumo interrupts an apparent mugging. Consequences! What was supposed to be an enjoyable holiday finds her sent to the newly found world of Lassti. Thanks to a misapprehension, she will be trusted to make a number of important legal determinations. Whether the late researcher Oloitokitok died by misadventure or was murdered might be the least of her decisions.
The survey team may be in the midst of a first contact. Or it might not. Nobody is quite sure.