I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles. (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).
Despite his employer's doubts that he is an authentic detective, Quigley is called in to investigate Lady Sally's establishment, a reputable place that caters to adults of all species and tastes. Lady Sally was the wife of the proprietor of Callahan's Place, the bar where human and other beings from all space and time come to cajole, drink, and occasionally save the world. The clientele and staff at Lady Sally's may have the same mission at hand, but now Quigley plays a significant part as the fate of the world hangs in the balance....
I have a difficult relationship with Spider Robinson’s writing. Unfortunate for me, since he wrote a number of the volumes on my self-assigned science fiction & fantasy reading list. Robinson is a great admirer of Robert A. Heinlein and it certainly shines through in his Callahan’s stories. Although I admire Heinlein’s achievements & acknowledge that he was a great influence in the science fiction genre, I don’t love all of his work either.
The story itself could have interested me, if Robinson had been willing to stick to the mystery aspect of it and treat it seriously. However, he simply cannot resist long, winding sidetracks, inserted specifically to make ridiculous puns. All of which I consider unfair pun-ishment to my reading sensibilities.
He also refuses to be serious about the mystery aspect of the story, serving up silly non-clues and preposterous reasoning. I could have forgiven a lot if he had given the plot more slightly more serious consideration.
It’s been difficult to find Robinson’s books—my public library weeded them out of their collection a couple of years ago. As a result, I’ve searched for and found several more volumes of the Callahan’s collection as second hand books. I’m debating whether to read them or whether to just take them to my favourite used bookstore for credit. I’ll probably persevere, but I’m certainly questioning my own judgement on that!
Book number 305 of my Science Fiction & Fantasy Reading Project.