Diplomatic Immunity by Lois McMaster Bujold, narrated by Grover Gardner

Three spaceships in orbit in a red/orange space sceneWhy I read it:  This is one from my own TBL.

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  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 . . .

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  A year and a half has passed since Miles and Ekaterin wed in A Civil Campaign. They are enjoying the tail-end of a belated honeymoon and are planning to return to Barrayar in plenty of time for the birth of their twins – Aral Alexander and Helen Natalia – gestating away in uterine replicators. However the plan goes awyr, as Miles’s plans often do, when Emperor Gregor calls upon Miles to sort out a diplomatic disaster in Quaddie Space. (I first learned about quaddies in Falling Free and those who have read or listened to the book will recognise some of the names mentioned here. Falling Free takes place hundreds of years before Diplomatic Immunity and quaddies and downsiders from the first book have now become part of the quaddie cultural heritage.)

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