Read in November 2009 as part of the Miles, Mystery & Mayhem omnibus edition.
Miles is completely absent from this Vorkosigan series installment. Elli Quinn returns, with a new face and a new mission. The story is told mostly from the point-of-view of Ethan. Again, the theme swirls around genetics and reproduction, but definitely with a twist. The flip side of the female controlled genetic finesse of Cetaganda proves to be Athos, an all male planet rapidly running out of viable ovary cultures at their Rep Centers. When the batch of new ovaries is sabotaged, Athos sends Ethos to personally select, purchase and escort the replacements.
Even though I missed Miles, Elli and Ethan managed to keep me hopping and flipping pages. Nearly all the action takes place on the Kline space station. Mystery, torture, murder, galactic genetic experiments, political intrigue bordering on genocide – just about everything you’ve come to expect from Bujold’s imagination.
A fun, fast read and a nice addition to the Vorkosigan series.