1991’s Polar City Blues is the first volume in Katharine Kerr’s Polar City space opera series.
During the interval between humanity’s collective triumph over Einstein (spaceflight) and the collapse of the terrestrial biosphere, humans were able to establish extraterrestrial colonies, of which Hagar is one. Now unified as the Republic, the human polity is overshadowed by its two neighbors, the Alliance (dominated by the Master Race) and the Confederation (dominated by the carlis). Remaining neutral and unconquered by aliens demands an ongoing balancing act.
Murdered consular personnel could unbalance the diplomatic teeter-totter. Polar City Police Chief Bates now must deal with a murder with far-ranging political implications.