Barbara Paul’s 1980 Under the Canopy is a stand-alone science fiction novel.
Gaia is the Interplanetary Union’s outermost and least significant world. The only IU official on the whole planet is Margo Kemperer, who finds herself in that lonely position due to the death of her boss and a short-lived interstellar civil war that cut off communication for a time. Margo does her best to keep her little patch of Earth civilization functioning.
The insurrection having ended, colonial headquarters dispatches Stephanie Leeds to Gaia, there to assist Margo. What senior bureaucrat doesn’t want an underling or two? Had Margo suspected the problems that Stephanie would cause, she would probably have refused the reinforcement.