by Will Shetterly
Tor Books, July 2000, ISBN 0312866305
A book review by Elisabeth Carey
This completely different from the last Shetterly book I read, Dogland.
Chimera is a hard-boiled detective novel, which happens to be set some decades in the future, in a USA that's much more legally fragmented than now, with genetically engineered "critters", human/animal mixes who are property in most states, and artificial intelligences who also don't have much in the way of rights, and want them, and indentured servitude which is open to anyone, including critters who don't happen to have owners already.
Chase Maxwell is a private detective in Los Angeles, in the state of South California, and he has the usual checkered past. (Okay, maybe being a cashiered ex-officer of the UN Security Forces who did most of his service in the trouble spots of the USA is a little bit unusual.) His generally comfortable, if somewhat money-strapped at present, life gets entirely too interesting when a jaguar-woman named Zoe Domingo hires him to investigate the murder of her human employer (not owner; they're from Minnesota, which passed a critter rights bill), for which she is the chief suspect. Much excitement ensues, including murder, mayhem, and nefarious political schemes. Great fun.