A colony on Mars becomes home to a killer conspiracy in a Near-Earth Mystery by the award-winning author of The Last Dance.
Brazilian investigator Rosalia Morais, and her husband, revered American spacer Nicolau Aames, are building a life together in Mars’s Maxwell City, the fastest-growing settlement on the planet. Good news: there are no natural predators. Bad news: there are humans. That means the crime rate is growing, too.
To ensure public safety, Rosie’s appointed by the mayor as the Red Planet’s first chief of police. No sooner does she build a law enforcement squad than the biggest challenge looks to be internal. Policing the police for graft and corruption is one thing. But when an industrialist is found among the chars of an arson, it’s murder.
The fire leads to questions that can be answered by only one man—Nick’s former officer on the Earth-to-Mars vessel the Aldrin. And Nick is still duty bound to keep the officer’s secrets. As loyalties shift, trust breaks, and the tide of a political conspiracy rises, Rosie must solve a mystery that could doom the future of humanity on Mars.
Martin L. Shoemaker is a writer and programmer who, as a kid, told stories to imaginary friends. Fast-forward through thirty years of programming, writing, and teaching. He wrote, but he never submitted anything until his brother-in-law read a chapter and said, “That’s not a chapter. That’s a story. Send it in.” It was a runner-up for the Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award and earned him a lunch with Buzz Aldrin. Programming never did that!
Shoemaker has written ever since. He is the author of The Last Dance in the Near-Earth Mysteries series, and numerous short stories and novellas, including Murder on the Aldrin Express, which was reprinted in The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Thirty-First Annual Collection and in The Year’s Top Short SF Novels 4. He received the Washington Science Fiction Association’s Small Press Award for his Clarkesworld story “Today I Am Paul,” which continues in Today I Am Carey. Learn more at www.Shoemaker.Space.