By Jack McDevitt
I don't keep close tabs on the hard science fiction sub-genre of mystery - or is that the mystery sub-genre of hard science fiction? In any event, we'll leave that debate for another time and simply note that it's probably not a very crowded field of endeavor.
Polaris is the second of a series in which Alex Benedict, a successful antiquities dealer to the stars, is called upon to solve assorted and sundry mysteries. This time around he and his assistant Chase Kolpath are trying to find out what happened to the crew of the Polaris, a craft that carried a gang of celebrity thrill seekers and scientific types to view a once on a lifetime spectacle of stellar destruction.
Toss in the fact that it all took place some decades ago, mix in a good bit of rough stuff from a party or parties who prefer not to see the mystery solved and things proceed at a lively pace until it's all wrapped up. While I thought the solution left perhaps just a bit to be desired, all in all this was not a bad piece of work.