BSI: Starside: The Cause of Death
by Roger Macbride Allen
Review by Gayle Surrette
Spectra Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 0553587269
Date: 28 February, 2006 List Price $6.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
BSI gets a garbled message that sounds like an agent should be dispatched to pick up a human murderer who the Pavlat wish to serve his term in a human prison. Jamie contacts his old boss Pavlat Bindulan Halztec but the only information he gets is to refuse the job. Jamie and Hannah study as they travel to Reqwar realizing that there may be more going on than they thought. On arrival, the adventure begins in earnest as various political factions try to shoot them down. Zahida, a relative of Bindulan Halztec, meets their ship after risking her life talking to the High Thelek Caldom Saffeer to get his help in keeping the humans alive. It is then that the BSI agents learn that George Hertzmann isn't guilty of murder but of not committing a murder. George must kill the High Thelek in order to take his place. The problem is George is a pacifist.
There's enough mystery and intrigue to keep the most devote mystery reader interested. The culture of the Pavlat is fully developed and integrated. This is the start of a series and from reading this first book there is a lot of material to work with and a universe that has the depth and variety to support a long series.