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Reviews from December 2020 (22)

Another Year Over

The Paper Bark Tree Mystery  (Crown Colony, volume 3)

By Ovidia Yu  

3 Dec, 2020

Special Requests


The Paper Bark Tree Mystery is the third volume in Ovidia Yu’s Crown Colony mystery series. 

Singapore in 1937 is very much a British colony. When officious, interfering, profoundly ignorant operations adviser Bernard Bald Bernie’ Hemsworth descends on Singapore’s Detective Unit, there is little the senior staff can do to resist his counter-productive directives. Su Lin, until then the team’s main paper-pusher, is summarily fired and replaced by Dolly Darling, late of India. 

Dolly is incompetent and not very bright but she’s pretty and white, qualities that Bald Bernie values highly. Unable to do her job, Dolly turns to Su Lin to do the job for her. A covert meeting in the Unit’s records facility turns up something neither woman expected: Bald Bernie’s dead body.

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Of Our Elaborate Plans

Victory Conditions  (Vatta’s War, volume 5)

By Elizabeth Moon  

1 Dec, 2020

Military Speculative Fiction That Doesn't Suck


2008’s Victory Conditions is the fifth and final volume in Elizabeth Moon’s Vatta’s War quintology. 

Gammis Turek’s Deepspace Benevolent Association is very much at war with the local systems: if sabotage and acts of piracy did not prove this, their campaign of intimidating atrocities do. Simple self-interest would dictate that the independent governments coordinate their defensive efforts against a common foe. Regrettably, not only is there no local tradition of transnational cooperation, but some factions are convinced the DBA is not the greatest threat they face. 

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