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Living On Mars Can Be Murder

Posted on 05 December 2010 by Kevin Minke

I grew up on detective stories with the likes of Sherlock Holmes, Joe Friday, Agatha Christie, Jessica Fletcher, and Beckett & Castle. I’ve found that I’ve always enjoyed a good mystery no matter the medium; book, film or TV. As my friends can attest, when a story telegraphs too much to the audience, I figure out the killer and the scenario behind the deed very early on, but I still love the challenge of figuring out the mystery. I devour mysteries like a plump man devours sweets. So when the chance came to read and review D.B. Grady’s first novel, Red Planet Noir, I not only jumped at the chance but I put my own hard earned cash down to buy it from the author himself at this past Austin Comic Con. The single greatest thing I can say about the detective drama is that for the first time, in a long time, the story is so beautifully crafted and takes the reader down so many rabbit holes as it does the characters that I didn’t figure out who the killer was till the protagonist did. In that revealing line I knew what had happened and in that realization I knew that I found a story that I would read again and persuade my friends to read as well.

First the pitch of the book from its product description: (Click the image below to purchase)

Winner of the 2010 Indie Book Award for Science Fiction.

Michael Sheppard was the best private eye in New Orleans, and then his wife left him. He finds solace in the bottle and his career in the toilet. Nights at the casino pay the bills, until they don’t, and leg breakers start knocking at the door, and knocking out his teeth.

When he’s hired by a bombshell heiress to check out a murder on Mars, it’s a chance for a new start. But as the case unfolds, he makes enemies of cops and gangsters alike in an investigation racing from stately mansions to smoke-filled speakeasies, from deserted ice colonies to mining towns on the asteroid belt.

All he wanted was a paycheck to clear some gambling debt. Now Michael is the key figure in a murder conspiracy that’s left a vacuum in the halls of power, with the labor union, mob and military vying for control of Mars.


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