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Publisher: World Castle Publishing, LLC (2020)
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Get ready for an uproarious galactic adventure in Patricia Crumpler’s Death and Disorder: A Vivian Wexler Galactic Mystery. The titular character Vivian Wexler gets to the bottom of every mystery that comes her way. The adventure starts with Vivian in transit to the planet Sorasol, home to a peaceful species that has recently seen a string of murders and suicides.

Aboard the transportation ship, she runs into her old school flame Douglas (Dee) heading to the same planet as a translator, but after Vivian masterfully solves the case, all is not as well as it seems. A talent-enhancing parasite, lurking inside Vivian’s bosom, feeds off of what humans and many other species in the galaxy crave, coffee. Who could blame them? When Vivian is offered a position as a Galactic Agent, can she keep the coffee hungry creature at bay long enough to solve the mystery at hand?

The cover design of Death and Disorder suggests that the story will be a wild space adventure, and it does not disappoint. Patricia Crumpler establishes the world quickly within the first chapter through descriptive details of all the sights, sounds, and smells that Vivian is experiencing, which will make the reader feel like they are right alongside for the ride. Humor is also another thing that Crumpler does well. There is a lot of humor and even laugh out loud moments sprinkled throughout the novel, which keeps the tone of the book more fun and adventurous.

Crumpler packs a lot of story into this short novel, and that leaves a few things unexplored. The plot takes a sharp right turn, and the story-telling prowess of Crumpler will have readers happily following along. The sudden shift in the plot makes Death and Disorder feel like a collection of interlocking short stories featuring the same character put together rather than a start-to-finish novel. That being said, the story holds and does a fantastic job keeping its humor and sense of adventure strong until the end. Death and Disorder is sufficiently wrapped up by the closing page but leaves just enough unsaid and unanswered things to suggest Vivian Wexler’s series of galactic shenanigans will continue. And we are so glad they will!

A space opera that never really takes itself too seriously Patricia Crumpler’s Death and Disorder is a fun, action-packed adventure across the galaxy absolutely worth going on.