Mimicking of Known Successes (2023, Tordotcom) 4 stars

The Mimicking of Known Successes presents a cozy Holmesian murder mystery and sapphic romance, set …

Mimicking of Known Successes

4 stars

This book was a lot of fun and definitely my favorite Malka Older book so far. Out of everything, I enjoyed the worldbuilding and the slow romance the most. The world has very retro-future 19th century vibes, complete with Jupiter's fog misting, atmoscarves, gas heating, and railcars between floating platforms. This world and the characters were so much fun.

My one quibble is that I found some details of the mystery a little weak (although this may be my own expectations for what I want out of a mystery) but I will put those spoilery details in a separate comment.

The setup of the book is that Mossa the Investigator enlists Pleiti (an old university friend, and ex) to look into the disappearence of a man from a remote platform. Pleiti is a scholar of classics, which here stands in as "studying past Earth so that future Earth and its ecosystems can be rebuilt perfectly". I love the connection here of her studying both the failure of Earth but also the failure of her past relationship with Mossa. The title drop during the book's conclusion bringing everything together is just chef's kiss

(Finally, an unrelated aside, but I YELLED when these two went out for dinner at a thematic wood-burning restaurant named Slow Burn.)