by Alan Dean Foster
Reviewed date: 2009 Sep 21
Rating: 1
248 pages
cover art

Science fiction comedy is never funny. Greenthieves was on clearance sale at the used bookstore, so I took a chance anyway. I regret it.

Greenthieves is a not exactly a comedy. Farcical whodunit is more precise. Someone has been stealing pharmaceutical shipments to the colony planets, so the company hires Broderick Manz to solve the case. The bioengineered drugs have been stolen from a locked, airtight, vacuum-sealed, armored, completely impenetrable room. It's an impossibility.

Assisting detective Manz are

  • His pet robot Moses, who is good for slapstick comedy
  • His minder, a hovering spherical robot whose favorite thing to do is talk to the reader and make snide remarks disparaging humans
  • Vyra, another detective, who happens to be an extremely beautiful, well-endowed female type person who wears skintight snakesuits.


We get treated to a second-rate detective story, replete with cliches. Then Foster pulls a rabbit out of his hat and reveals that...THE PLANTS DID IT. Yes, the shrubberies around the sealed storage unit are actually aliens from another planet. Their roots dig up under the unit, punch a hole in the floor, spirit away the drugs, and seal everything up behind them. Not likely.

I like a mystery as much as the next guy, but Foster isn't playing fair. The humor isn't funny, and I wasted my time on this book.

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