Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Book Review: Fly Me to the Moon by Diane Vallere (Sylvia Stryker Outer Space Mysteries #1)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Great use of setting to tell a fun mystery
Cons: Took me a while to feel fully at home in the world, but a minor complaint
The Bottom Line:
Trek to outer space
For creative mystery
Sure to delight all

Murder on a Space Ship

As much as I love cozy mysteries (and I obviously do), I will confess that they can be very similar, so I’m always looking for something new in the genre.  That’s why Diane Vallere’s Fly Me to the Moon caught my attention – it’s a murder mystery set in outer space, specifically, a space ship.

Sylvia Stryker’s first day on Moon Unit 5 isn’t going as she planned.  She was hoping that her position as uniform inventory manager would allow her to fly under the radar (pun intended) since she hacked her way on board the space ship.  However, that plan evaporates almost as soon as the ship has taken off when she finds a dead body in the uniform closet.

Not only is her cover blown, but Sylvia finds herself facing suspicion of killing the man herself.  However, she begins to suspect that something much more sinister is going on; something that could spell disaster for the entire ship.  Can she clear her name and find the truth before it is too late?

The book plunks us right down in the middle of the action, which normally I would love.  Here it was a bit disconcerting only because of the science fiction setting.  Sylvia herself isn’t fully human but part Plunian, for example.  However, the more I read, the more comfortable I felt with Sylvia’s science fiction world, and the way we were introduced to things as we needed to know them is certainly better than a giant data dump, so really this is minor.

Sylvia finds the body in the second sentence; that’s how quickly the story starts.  There’s a lot going on here that keeps our interest the entire way through the book, with several twists and complications before we reach a logical climax.  The book is a fast read, but even so, I was turning pages as quickly as I could to figure everything out.

The characters grew on me as well.  There are only a few we get to truly know well, but they are outstanding, and I can’t wait to spend time with them again.  And yes, Sylvia tops that list.  She is a great lead character.

This book does a fantastic job of mixing the cozy mystery genre in with the science fiction genre.  I do enjoy science fiction, and I caught several winks and nods to some of the classics, although my knowledge of the genre is lacking enough that I’m sure I missed plenty more.  And readers who pick this up looking for a mystery won’t be disappointed in that aspect of the book either.

It’s always wonderful to find a writer who takes a risk that pays off, and that’s exactly what we get with Fly Me to the Moon.  Sit back and enjoy this fantastic debut today.

NOTE: In August of 2018 Diane decided to change the name of the book.  It was originally released in 2017 under the title Murder on Moon Trek 1.  The title may have changed, but the contents remain the same.

1 comment:

  1. I agree about the sameness of cozy mysteries sometimes. Sometimes it can be tough to remember which diner/bookstore/bakery etc one is different than the other. This is definitely unusual though that doesn't surprise me since it's from Diane Vallere! Sounds like a fun read!