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Diplomatic Immunity [Audio Cassette]

Lois McMaster Bujold , Grover Gardner
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)

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Audio, Cassette, Jan. 1 2008 --  
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Book Description

Jan. 1 2008
This is a comedy of terrors. A rich Komarran merchant fleet has been impounded at Graf Station, in distant Quaddiespace, after a bloody incident on the station docks involving a security officer from the convoy's Barrayaran military escort. Lord Miles Vorkosigan of Barrayar and his wife, Lady Ekaterin, have other things on their minds, such as getting home in time to attend the long-awaited births of their first children. But when duty calls in the voice of Barrayar's Emperor Gregor, Miles, Gregor's youngest Imperial Auditor (a special high-level troubleshooter) has no choice but to answer. Waiting on Graf Station are diplomatic snarls, tangled loyalties, old friends, new enemies, racial tensions, lies and deceptions, mysterious disappearances, and a lethal secret with wider consequences than even Miles anticipates: a race with time for life against death in horrifying new forms. The downside of being a troubleshooter comes when trouble starts shooting back.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Fans won't find this surprising in the least, but Miles Vorkosigan--the plucky, short-statured hero of Lois McMaster Bujold's beloved series--is uniquely incapable of having an uneventful honeymoon. Between a racially fueled diplomatic dispute, the appearance of a hermaphroditic old flame, and a bizarre Cetagandan genetic conspiracy, Miles just can't seem to get a minute of peace with his new wife, the lovely and resourceful Ekaterin (whom Miles courted in A Civil Campaign).

Miles had hoped to give "hands-on op games" a rest once and for all, but when the Emperor urgently calls on him to resolve a "legal entanglement" in Quaddiespace, diplomacy alone might prove inadequate. (Quaddies, you'll remember, are the no-legged, four-armed free-fallers introduced in Falling Free.) Our newly minted Imperial Auditor almost immediately forgets all about "Baby's First Cell Division" (after the assignment comes in, Ekaterin quickly observes "You know, you keep claiming your job is boring, Miles, but your eyes have gone all bright"), but even Miles feels the heat after his diplomatic attempts devolve into a series of flattering assassination attempts.

Vorkosigan (and family now!) is as winning as ever, with Bujold offering up her usual fun mix of space-opera action and droll social commentary in a character-centered plot. And here's a bonus for Milesophiles and Vorkosiga novices alike: a book-by-book timeline detailing what trouble Miles got into and when. --Paul Hughes --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Those who have followed Bujold's superb far-future saga about the undersized and unorthodox warrior, Miles Vorkosigan, will heave a sigh of relief as our hero and his beloved Ekaterin enjoy wedded bliss (including looking at "baby pictures," i.e., a sperm fertilizing an egg) on a belated galactic honeymoon until a diplomatic crisis intrudes. As a Barrayaran Imperial Auditor, Miles must look into a murder whose investigation is complicated by the boorish behavior of the Barrayaran military. When the case develops a host of new angles, Miles wonders, "How many angles can dance on the head of a pin?" A seemingly straightforward crime leads him to mass murder, kidnapping, hijacking, biological warfare and Cetagandan genetic politics, all on an orbital habitat of the quaddies (the genetically engineered four-armed humans introduced in the author's Nebula Award winning Falling Free). Preventing interstellar war is a tough job, but fortunately Miles has his lady working beside him, in the best tradition of Nick and Nora Charles or Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane. As usual, Bujold is adept at world-building and provides a witty, character-centered plot, full of exquisite grace notes such as the description of quaddie ballet (hint: four arms and no gravity make many things possible). Established fans will be thoroughly gripped and likely to finish the book in a single sitting. While this isn't the best place to start for new readers, they'll be helped by a concise chronology at the end that neatly sums up Miles's earlier adventures.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Life after marriage Jan. 11 2004
By Phome
Format:Mass Market Paperback
It is difficult to imagine that Miles Vorkosigan, a hyperactive deformed miniature man, still has life left in him at the age of 32 - married and about to be a father to twins. The older he gets, the harder it becomes for author Lois McMaster Bujold to spin blow-away yet believable tales of the daring character she created so long ago. And yet, even without Admiral Naismith, his orgininal body parts and a fully functioning brain, Miles remains Miles - just a little more grown up and mature, with a little less reckless action. The man even checks with HQ on one or two of his drastic actions in this book.
The book begins with Miles' and Ekaterin's honeymoon (see previous two books on the bizarre and hilarious development between the two), and we find out that they are about to have twins - in replicators, of course, Barrayar no longer being barbaric since Miles' mother set foot on the planet. It is not long, however, before Miles gets a direct order from Emperor Gregor to deal with a "situation" that has developed in Quaddiespace, concerning Barrayaran soldiers and a Komarran merchant fleet.
Miles, as Lord Auditor, begins investigating into the strange events of a missing soldier, and a subsequent jailing of a bunch of Barrayarans and the Quaddie space committee's decision to freeze all port activity on Graf Station. Miles arrives in his usual style: arrogant, self-assuming and nosey - all the characteristics that have (sort of) kept him alive so far.
Unexpectedly, he meets up with Bel Thorne, Miles' previous right-hand man/woman of the Dendarii Mercenaries who has taken up a position as Port Master to be with her lover Nicol. Strange events begin to take place when they meet another Betan hermaphrodite and an odd genetic mutation from, where else, Jackson's Whole.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Miles and family July 4 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I loved this book, as a continuation of a most excellent series and as a great story in itself. It is a return to Miles at his eccentric best - getting into things he shouldn't, uncovering more pieces of an already terribly complicated puzzle, risking his life to save others, and eventually solving the mystery at considerable risk. Familiar and new figures appear here, and Ekaterin, who I didn't really know would work as Lady Vorkosigan, has much more confidence in her role. In my opinion she needed it - I wasn't sure at the end of 'A Civil Campaign' that Ekaterin was right for the fearsomely brilliant Miles, but she really does understand him and how he works. And is now strong enough to support him and even take over when need be. I liked this book for that alone, but McMaster Bujold has woven together another complex, tightly written tale peopled with characters that make a fascinating read.
I think by this stage in the series you should have read more than one of the Vorkisgan books proceeding this one, but I suppose it could be read as a stand alone tale, as references to Mile's former Dendarii career are brief - with the exception of the fact that Bel features throughout the book, in a new role. However there are many such references, and there is no doubt that the back knowledge of events added to my reading.
Two family themes - Miles is expecting children of his own, and the ongoing collection of those that he regards as his family, blood ties or not. When his life is in danger, there is now a real sensation of loss for Miles, and in a way (until it is dealt with) this interferes with his performance. He has so much to lose, and with each family addition it grows even more...
The book ends on a real high, and I have the uncomfortable impression this may be Mile's last story! No, please no!
Miles is 32.
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5.0 out of 5 stars More Miles of Enjoyment June 12 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
On the way home from their honeymoon, Miles receives an urgent message from Gregor to proceed posthaste to Graf Station, where some of Gregor's xenophobic subjects have made asses of themselves and caused themselves and a convoy of Barrayaran and Komarran ships to be detained by the Quaddie government.
Many individuals and situations turn out not to be what at first they seem, but in the end, Miles unscrambles the complex web of deceit and treachery, engineers the capture of the bad guy, returns what was stolen, helps save the career of one who turns out not to be as bad as he at first appears, prevents a war, and restores cordial relations between Barrayar and Quaddiespace; and still gets home to Barrayar in time for the birth of his and Ekaterin's first two children. Whew!
Altho you can enjoy "Diplomatic Immunity" thoroly without, I recommend reading "Falling Free" first so you will know (for example) why Graf Station and the Minchenko Ballet are so named.
Once you read any one of the Miles Vorkosigan adventures, you will surely want to read all the rest of them, and you will be eagerly awaiting the next one.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Bow to the Auditor! Feb. 23 2003
Ah, the space opera of old, with ray guns sizzling and the Patrol just waiting for the sub-space yell for help to come high-tailing it through hyperspace to the rescue! (Exclamation points optional, but rarely left out). But that was the old days, and this is now the 21st century, and a new brand of space opera has arisen, championed by Ms. Bujold. Somehow the ray guns and exclamation points have disappeared, but not the sense of breathless, pell-mell, don't stop to smell the roses action.
This is the latest in her long line of books about Miles Vorkosigan, nimble of mind, short of stature, often subject to seemingly irrational urges towards rash actions. For this book, he is somewhat toned down, perhaps a little more mature, being now a happily married man, as well as having been promoted to be Imperial Auditor. When his honeymoon is interrupted by a request to go straighten out a diplomatic mess in Quaddie space, about three pages into the book, you just know you're in for another wild ride through Miles' version of how to solve a problem, which is never by just diplomatic means. The 'problem' in this case quickly turns into something of a murder mystery (sans body), and Miles must deal with how to gather pertinent information amongst a group of people who are not only antagonistic, but feel that anyone with two arms and two legs (as opposed to four arms) is sub-human and has criminal tendencies.
Bujold, as usual, keeps many threads spinning in this adventure tale, from Miles' relationship with a hermaphroditic old friend to a possible all-out war hanging on the resolution of this problem.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Miles and Ekaterin are returning from their honeymoon
When fate and ImpSec intervene to send them off to resolve difficulties in Quaddie Space. Old friends appear surprisingly, and the puzzle is complex.
Published 3 months ago by Robert T. Boyter
4.0 out of 5 stars Bujold at her worst is still better than 90% of the stuff on the shelf
This is one of Bujold's weaker efforts, or maybe it only seems so after the triumphs of Komarr and A Civil Campaign. Read more
Published on April 18 2007 by Greg Slade
5.0 out of 5 stars For Vorkosigan addicts
If you aren't already a fan of Miles Vorkosigan, please, please, do yourself a favor and start earlier in the series. Read more
Published on July 8 2004 by Byrle Arnold
5.0 out of 5 stars Great - as always
I have been reading this "series" for years. Ms. Bujold writes in great depth on multiple complex levels - politics, leadership, relationships, diplomacy, and of course... Read more
Published on June 10 2004 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Liked it a lot
I've read most of the series, and despite disagreeing with some of Ms. Bujold's political and social views I find her books universally compelling and entertaining. Read more
Published on April 22 2004 by Jon L. Jacobi
5.0 out of 5 stars FIrst Vorkosigan I read
A friend of mine has been recommending this series to me for several years now, but recommended starting with one of the other books, which my library didn't have. Read more
Published on Feb. 20 2004 by S. Petty
5.0 out of 5 stars New Miles set *before* Diplomatic Immunity !
Love A Civil Campaign & the book right after it, Diplomatic Immunity? Through the magic of out-of-order authorship, we can now go back and enjoy the period *between* those two... Read more
Published on Jan. 24 2004 by tahl2
3.0 out of 5 stars I miss Admiral Naismith
In *Diplomatic Immunity*, Lois McMaster Bujold returns us to Graf Station, scene of her early non-Vorkosigan novel, *Falling Free*. Read more
Published on Nov. 11 2003 by jimnypivo
2.0 out of 5 stars Lackluster & with a bonehead error
While I love Miles books, this one had a bonehead error: Miles is looking for someone who can produce synthetic blood. Read more
Published on Oct. 26 2003 by Deirdre Saoirse
1.0 out of 5 stars Hugely dissapointing and lacklustre
Let me begin by saying I am (& remain) a huge Miles fan. I have enjoyed (& occasionally re-read) every one of the previous books. Read more
Published on Oct. 18 2003
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