artificial detective book cover

Artificial Detective – Book Review

Artificial Detective Book 1 by author Dave Terruso

Thank you to author Dave Terruso for providing me with a copy of his book in exchange for this honest review.

Artificial Detective is the first of a spin off series branching from the Off World Hotel & Resort series. Both are science fiction featuring a sentient Artificial Intelligence (AI) named Coba. In Off World, she helps her first human friend solve a murder mystery. Now, Coba has become a renowned sleuth in her own right. The latest book takes her to the Moon’s first colony for a case.

In the interest of full disclosure I have been a beta reader for all of the Off World and Artificial Detective books thus far. Keep this in mind as my experience with the book will be different from a reader with fresh eyes. By the time I read the review copy of this novel I had already read the three previous ones twice, and this one once before. You may be able to imagine that being this familiar with a series might cause a little burnout.

Artificial Detective is designed to be read by all readers, not just those familiar with the previous series. Since it is a standalone the beginning of this mystery novel contains some exposition that may feel redundant to those who have recently read Off World. However, if you are a new reader this will help catch you up on who Coba is, how she functions, and how a robot can have so much heart.

The first half of the book involves a lot of stage setting. We are introduced to the characters, the murder mystery that needs to be solved, and the setting in which it will occur. It is important to remember that this is Book 1 and it is very much an introduction to what will come next.

The story picks up in the second half once clues start to fall into place. As Coba attempts to solve the first murder to ever occur on Earth’s moon she struggles to learn how to interpret the human concept of motive. She understands how to analyze details, how to link clues and put things in order through deductive reasoning, but she is still trying to understand why people do what they do.

AIs are highly intelligent but there is no accounting for the random acts of humans. It is entertaining to see Coba slowly learn the workings of human minds, especially when it comes to comparing a “regular” person with one who is perhaps psychotic.

Author Terruso has a talent for bringing out the human in all characters. His dialogue is natural, complete with slang and casual mannerisms, that rings much more true to life than formally crafted speech patterns. We can also see differences in how the humans talk versus the AIs.

As mentioned before, Artificial Detective is a Book 1. So this volume does end on a cliff hanger. Be prepared for this and know that Book 2 is being written as you read this so you won’t have to wait very long to read what happens next. The ending is quite exciting and you’ll definitely be wondering where Coba will go from here.

I believe Book 2 will surpass this volume in that it will be able to pick up right where the action leaves off. The reader won’t be expecting a recap from the other series at this point and will be able to fully dive in to the story at hand. This series could be thought of more like a television miniseries than a serial.

Please let me know in the comments if you solved the mystery before Coba did!

4/5 robots 🤖🤖🤖🤖

For more sentient AIs check out Kludged Singularity

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