Rose/House by Arkady Martine
This is only a short read, a little over a hundred pages, but it packs so much that is excellent into that small space that it feels more like full-length novel.
A body is reported in an empty (and supposedly locked down) house, and China Lake Detective Maritza Smith is the one to get the call. The problem is, Rose House is controlled by an AI, and since the death of the house’s architect and progenitor only one person is legally allowed access to the property, Doctor Selene Gisil. And she’s half a world away when the murder happens.
It’s a locked room mystery with enough twists to keep even a seasoned thriller reader happy, and the principal characters are so well written that choosing a favourite from them is more than a little tricky. The style is eminently readable, and the narrative flows smoothly between points of view, making the whole an absolute pleasure to read.
This is the first of Arkady Martine’s works that I’ve read, though I do have her Teixcalaan duology lined up to read at some point. That ‘some point’ just got a lot closer if this novella is any indication of her skill as a writer.
Definitely one I’d recommend, especially if you like stories that make you think even after you’ve turned the last page.