That should have really said an “AIP” test….Artificial Intelligence Personality.  If you don’t know what I mean by that, or even if you do, I highly recommend you start reading Donna Andrews’ series about Turing, the AIP. If you’re a mystery reader, you might know Andrews better for her Meg Langslow books.  Meg, who works with wrought iron, and whose relatives get wrought up over all sorts of weird things, gets in to one situation after another, many of them brought about or exacerbated by her definitely odd family.  My favorite of the series, Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon, had me laughing out loud more times than I can count.  So I’m also recommending that series.  However…

The Turing Hopper series is different, more of a techie-mystery mix with lots of action and unusual things going on due to the fact that Turing (and yes, there’s a small spoiler coming here) has become sentient.  In the first book, You’ve Got Murder, her creator has disappeared and Turing, reluctantly and carefully utilizing the services of several other people in the company, sets out to find him.  Fortunately, when Zach created her, he downloaded his entire mystery library into her so she would think like a detective.  Unfortunately, though, Turing is unable to go anywhere herself, so humans must come into the equation.  But who can she trust and who will believe she’s not really a human who’s just talking to them coyly from behind email?

In book two, Click Here for Murder, enter the arch-villain, wreaking the usual arch-villain havoc and not only in the cybersphere.  Those of you interested in online games will particularly enjoy this one.  The arch-villain slips easily into book three, Access Denied, and some new characters are brought into play.  But there aren’t just humans; there are plenty other AIP’s, such as KingFischer, who’s a chess expert and Sigmund who’s an expert in, well, Freudian issues.  Is KingFischer becoming sentient, too?  And if Turing and any of the other AIP’s become sentient, will they need friends?  What happens to then if the power goes out?

There’s plenty of humor as well as lots to make you muse about technology and humanity, friendship, and loyalty, what’s right and wrong in the cyber world, how information might be/is being used and more.  What makes a human human and at what point might a sentient AIP be considered a human, or could it ever be?

The only unfortunate thing about the series is that there are only four books.  I checked on Andrews’ website and it seems the publisher of these four isn’t going to publish them any longer, but the search is on (or hopefully negotiations are on) for a new publisher.  So, the books are, in order:

  1. You’ve Got Murder,
  2. Click Here for Murder,
  3. Access Denied, and
  4. Delete All Suspects.

Only these four so far.  But if you haven’t read any of them, that’s four more new, enjoyable books than you had on your list a few minutes ago and that’s definitely a good thing!  Go forth and read.

  1. anninfaith says:

    Wow. Haven’t heard of this author and now, should I choose to go forth and read, it sounds like she is a rather prolific writer, not just with the four in this series that you’ve outlined so delightfully [and alluringly :)] but also previous ones you’ve enjoyed which *I* may now find and enjoy. I’ll definitely be on the lookout/ search for Donna Andrews and am greatly anticipating further book reviews/ author suggestions from you, O Beneficent Bibliophile ! THANK YOU !

  2. Just what I need – another interesting sounding author to track down! 😉 (I already have enough books to start my own bookstore.) These sound very promising – thank you!