Murder on Moon Trek 1, the first in a planned series follows Sylvia Stryker, a half-Plunian, half-Earthling who wants nothing more than to go to space as a member of the Moon Unit 5 crew. After leaving her Federation training before completion (under less than stellar conditions), Sylvia had quietly studied at home, hacking the Federation for the class outlines and studying from outdated textbooks.
After discovering a Moon Unit 5 crew member had broken her leg just prior to the cruise ship's maiden voyage, Sylvia breaks into the Federation records and inserts her name and doctored Federation files as the next acceptable candidate for the job of second lieutenant over the Uniform Ward; sure its a glorified laundry position, overseeing the cleanliness, repair and distribution of the crew's uniforms, but it allows her to leave her family's dreary dry ice mining operation and head into space!
Unfortunately things do not go as planned... almost immediately Sylvia discovers a Code Blue. The dead body in question is that of a navigation office, hidden in the Uniform closet, bringing her not only into the critical eye of her supervisor, Yeoman D'Nar, but also of Neptune, Head of Moon Unit 5 Security, Dr. Edison, the Head of the medical Facility, and Captain Swift. Now Sylvia must try ever harder to protect not only her checkered past, but to try to figure out just who the murderer is before they strike again.
Enough on the premise and into the review already, right?
Honestly, I wasn't sure what to expect from this one. On the one hand, Diane Vallere is a fantastic author who has yet to fail to not only hook me into the story, but to also solidly deliver on her storylines and deliver great endings to her mystery books. On the other hand, while I do enjoy watching Star Wars, Star Trek, old Battlestar GALACTICA, Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon, I had never embraced reading much of it. Battlestar actually put out a pretty good series, which I enjoyed, but, other than that, I never did like reading all of the different takes on those universes, or even all new series and worlds.
In other words, I wasn't sure what to expect here, or if I would even like a "space opera mystery", but I was completely surprised to find myself quickly pulled in and pacing the corridors (and security cells) alongside Sylvia, trying to work out who the guilty party was: could it be the impossibly cranky and disapproving Yeoman D'Nar, the by-the-book Neptune, or possibly the sweet Gremlon stowaway, Pika. When anyone else would just hunker down and contemplate saving their own skins, Sylvia, against her own better judgment, boldly strides in to help save the day.
So, would I suggest this to others? Without a doubt, yes. I couldn't stop reading, and had this devoured in a day, and am eager for more. My sci-fi, Trek book reading husband just asked to read it, and I happily handed my e-reader over. Here's to more Sylvia Stryker mysteries to come!