I had fun reading this quirky story. Science fiction fans
should beware that FLY ME TO THE MOON is a fantasy with
not much effort put into the science. Think of an episode
of Star Trek Next Generation and you're halfway there.
All the action occurs aboard a spaceship which is the
equivalent of a luxury liner, carrying wealthy tourists
from one major planetary moon to another, though we don't
meet anyone but crew. Sneaking aboard to work in the
wardrobe department is Sylvia Stryker. Her skin is a
fetching shade of lavender, since she's half Plunian, a
fact that recurs through the story. Sylvia just wants a job
to get her off-world, and she altered the company's
computer records to take the place of an injured crew
person; despite her claim to be a skilled hacker, we get no
demonstration of hacking.
What we do find is more mentions of the word uniform than
I've ever seen. This is author Diane Vallere playing to her
strengths which have led her to create a few series of cozy
crime stories around fashion and fabric. Sylvia folds and
refolds uniforms, stacks them, changes in and out of them,
notices different colors of them, and gets caught changing
more often than seems practical. Maybe the sole security
officer Neptune is stalking her? He certainly doesn't trust
her. When Sylvia discovers a dead officer bundled into a
uniform cupboard, she becomes a suspect -- with the closed
environment of the ship, the murderer must be aboard.
I was working so hard to accept just one security person on
a ship that's making a run known for dangers and pirates,
that I kind of took the little pink gremlin in my stride.
As I say, treat FLY ME TO THE MOON as a light read with
a mystery and you will enjoy it, so maybe this will help
some crime fans start reading science fiction and vice
Diane Vallere has kept colors and fabrics firmly in her
mind just as in her more usual Buyer Beware and
National bestselling author Diane Vallere gives a space
academy dropout a chance to fit in--but it's what makes her
different that changes everything...
When space academy dropout Sylvia Stryker hacks her way into
the position of Uniform Inventory Manager aboard Moon Unit
5, she jumps at the chance to leave her small planet behind.
Besides, who will find out she faked the results of her
physical? But when the ship's second navigation officer is
found dead in the uniform closet shortly after departing the
space station, Sylvia's problems become bigger than
falsified test results. And when her supervisor places her
on probation for her own uniform infraction, she's at risk
of being dropped off at the nearest substation. Juggling red
shirts, white lies, and little green men, Sylvia has to
expose a killer before Moon Unit 5 becomes space dust.
***Originally published as MURDER ON MOON TREK 1.***