Her [Ekaterin’s] voice sharpened. “If you die on me here, I will not be grieved, I will be pissed…Are you listening to me, Miles Vorkosigan? Don’t you dare die! I won’t have it!”Diplomatic Immunity, Book 13 of Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan Saga, continues some threads related to genetic engineering that were begun in earlier books: Quaddies, Betan Hermaphrodites, Cetagandan Haute humans, Jackson Whole hybrid species.
Briefly, Miles and Ekaterin are on their year-late honeymoon, before the impending decanting of their first children from their uterine replicators, when Emperor Gregor sends Miles to Graf station to act as a negotiator in a diplomatic situation. Barrayan officers from a military escort had gotten out of hand after a security officer was reported missing. To make sure they are financially compensated for damages, the Quaddies have detained the crew, detained their passengers and impounded their ships. Soon Miles discovers that Bel, his old friend from the Dendarii Mercenaries, is working on the station. When Miles, Bel, and a mysterious passenger are shot at, it becomes clear that there is something more sinister going on than a diplomatic misunderstanding.
Diplomatic Immunity is a science fiction, mystery. I was disappointed in the book, but I think that was partially due to reading it so soon after A Civil Campaign, a romantic comedy. The two books have a very different tone/feel. Also, I really needed to remember another earlier book—which I more or less did—for the plot to make sense. On the other hand, the book does contain some of Bujold’s wisdom on life, a few touching scenes, and action.