The Yiddish Policeman's Union meets The Windup Girl when a female PI goes up against a ruthless gangsterjust as both humans and robots agitate for independence in an Argentinian colony in Antarctica.
In Argentine Antarctica, Eliana Gomez is the only female PI in Hope Citya domed colony dependent on electricity (and maintenance robots) for heat, light, and survival in the icy deserts of the continent. At the center is an old amusement parknow home only to the androids once programmed to entertainbut Hope City's days as a tourist destination are long over. Now the City produces atomic power for the mainland while local factions agitate for independence and a local mobster, Ignacio Cabrera, runs a brisk black-market trade in illegally imported food.
Eliana doesn't care about politics. She doesn't even care much that her boyfriend, Diego, works as muscle for Cabrera. She just wants to save enough money to escape Hope City. But when an aristocrat hires Eliana to protect an explosive personal secret, Eliana finds herself caught up in the political tensions threatening to tear Hope City apart. In the clash of backstabbing politicians, violent freedom fighters, a gangster who will stop at nothing to protect his interests, and a newly sentient robot underclass intent on a very different independence, Eliana finds her job coming into deadly conflict with Diego'sjust as the electricity keeping Hope City from freezing begins to fail
With the inner workings of the mob combined with the story of a revolution, "Clarke brings novelty and delight to steampunk Antarctica in this complex and lovely mystery" (Publishers Weekly, starred review). Our Lady of the Ice questions what it means to be human, what it means to be free, and whether we're ever able to transcend our pasts and our programming to find true independence.