TOUGH FEMALE P.I. EXPLORING THE UNDERWORLD OF A VAST STAR EMPIRE. Book two in a new series set in the world of Catherine Asaro's Skolian Empire series.
AN IMPOSSIBLE MURDER IN THE CITY OF CRIES
Bhaajan—the impossible woman—must solve an impossible murder. Born into the slums below the City of Cries on the planet Raylicon, Major Bhaajan achieved the seemingly unthinkable and broke free from crushing poverty and crime to become a military officer with Imperial Space Command. Retired from military duty, Bhaajan has returned to Cries and walks the cave-like streets of her former home, the Undercity, as a private investigator.
Now, summoned by no less than the Ruby Pharaoh herself, Major Bhaajan is tasked with finding a killer. But this is no ordinary murderer. The Ruby Pharaoh witnessed a Jagernaut cut down an Assembly Councilor—a crime which should not have been possible. The Jagernauts are the elite of the elite soldiers in the Imperial Space Command. What’s more, the spinal node implanted in all Jagernauts should have prevented the murder. But the Ruby Pharaoh is sure of what she saw, and she has reason to believe that this particular Jagernaut will kill again.
Now Bhaajan’s path will lead her into the bowels of Undercity, where she will discover a secret origin that may transform the Undercity—and the Empire itself—forever.
Praise for The Bronze Skies: “. . . riveting. . . .The world is rich and vivid, with two distinct cultures in the Undercity and the aboveground City of Cries. This exciting novel stands alone for anyone who enjoys science fiction adventure.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
About prequel Undercity: "Asaro plants herself firmly into that grand SF tradition of future history franchises favored by luminaries like Heinlein, Asimov, Herbert, Anderson, Dickson, Niven, Cherryh, and Baxter. . .They don't write em like that anymore! Except Asaro does, with . . . up-to-the-minute savvy!"—Locus
"[Baahjan], who starts out keeping an emotional distance from the people in the Undercity soon grows to think of them as her community once more. Asaro . . . returns to the Skolian empire's early history to tell Bhajaan's story."—Booklist
"Asaro delivers a tale rich with the embedded history of her world and bright with technical marvels. Her characters are engaging and intriguing and there is even a bit of romance. What really touched my heart was Bhaaj's interaction with the children of the aqueducts. I spent the last fifty pages of the book sniffling into a tissue."—SF Crowsnet
"I'm hooked, both on her writing and her Skolian universe. This book had everything I wanted: strong characters, a new and unique world, and a plot that isn't as simple as it first appears."—TerryTalk
About Catherine Asaro’s Skolian saga: “Entertaining mix of hard SF and romance.”—Publishers Weekly
“Asaro’s Skolian saga is now nearly as long and in many ways as compelling as Dune, if not more so, featuring a multitude of stronger female characters.”—Booklist
“Rapid pacing and gripping suspense.”—Publisher’s Weekly
Catherine Asaro has an M.A. in physics and a Ph.D. in chemical physics from Harvard. She has appeared as a speaker at many places, including Harvard and the National Academy of Sciences, and as a Guest of Honor at science fiction cons in the US and abroad. She is a member of SIGMA, a think tank that advises the government as to future trends. A former ballet and jazz dancer, and now a vocalist, she has performed at clubs and conventions. She is the creator of the popular Skolian Empire Saga, a science fiction series that includes The Ruby Dice, Diamond Star, and Carnelians from Baen. Other books include near-future technothrillers Alpha and Sunrise Alley, also published by Baen Books. Catherine is a resident of East Setauket, Long Island.