The monorails of the inhospitable planet of Tempest are the only way to travel. But a death on the train plunges the situation into chaos and only Bernice can save them now.
Pg 10 "Yes, the fame of the holder of the Edward Watkinson Chair of Archaology at the St. Oscar's U. of Dellah has even reached Tempest!" Benny's chairship was first mentioned in Oh No It Isn't!.
Pg 12 "I had read your book... er, Down Among The Dead Men." Benny's book was first mentioned in Theatre of War.
Pg 42 "I've played detective before and believe me it's harder than it looks." Most recently in Ship of Fools and Mean Streets.
Pg 65 "How Sherlock Holmes would have loved this one!" Bernice met Holmes in All-Consuming Fire.
Pg 99 "A Mr Irving Braxiatel, head of the... ah, Theatrology department, spoke highly of your abilities." Braxiatel was reintroduced to the Benny NAs in Dragons' Wrath.
Pg 111 "Manwhile we go on eliminating the possibilities, as Sherlock Holmes would have it, until whatever is left must be the truth. He told me it always worked for him." All-Consuming Fire.
Pg 160 "'I'll be armed,' she reminded Tyne, 'and you don't want to find out how good a shot I am.'" We found out how good a shot Benny was in Love and War.
OLD FRIENDS AND OLD ENEMIES
NEW FRIENDS AND NEW ENEMIES
Ferlane, Bassit, Yorland, Galloway, Denn Lankril, Tyne, Klemp, Deek, Trinny, Debra, Branden, Lucas Sommers, Clarris Sommers, Wawrick and Ellyn Verson, Murcell.
PLUGGING THE HOLES [Fan-wank theorizing of how to fix continuity cock-ups]
FEATURED ALIEN RACES
Pg 16 The Nargs, bodyguards who have small red eyes, a massive horned head, mobile ears and short curved horns on a muscle-corded neck.
Pg 30 A small blad-headed alien with copper red skin, pointed ears and large independently mobile chameleon eyes and a gnome-like face.
Pg 40 A Wrexian, with a smooth face and high eyebrows, large wide-spaced eyes and multi-jointed hands.
Pg 1 A temple, location unknown.
Pg 2 A research station on Thaon 5.
Pg 5 Klondyke.
Pg 7 Tempest.
Pg 35 The shuttle Armara.
IN SUMMARY - Robert Smith?
For what it is, Tempest works. That it's universally rated towards the bottom of Virgin's Benny books, only goes to show how good the rest of them were. So long as you're not expecting any characterisation whatsoever, this is a really engaging airport mystery novel. There's an action subplot that feels a bit extraneous, but on the whole this is a great little potboiler.