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One more step in Asimov's future history
on 25 April 2003
While this is basically a second science fiction/mystery featuring the team of Earth NYC police detective Elijah Bailey and android R. Daneel Olivaw, the future history thread is taken further as Bailey's determination to spur interest on Earth in colonization on other worlds steadily increases. As he works to deal with his agoraphobia, having never been outside Earth's "caves of steel" previously, this determination becomes ever more obsessive.
The mystery itself borrows from the classic "locked room" mystery genre. This murder could not have happened because the Solarians can't stand being in each other's presence long enough to murder another. However, it did happen and since husbands and wives do need to be in each other's presence for purposes of procreation, the victim's wife is the obvious suspect.
Bailey is hampered in his investigation by three factors: his agoraphobia, the Solarians' aversion to be in another's presence (presence of an Earthman being even worse than the presence of another Solarian since Earthmen are considered disease carriers), and R. Daneel Olivaw's over-protectiveness due to his adherence to the three laws of robots.
All in all, this is indeed a well-crafted mystery as well as science fiction novel, and an excellant early novel in Asimov's future history.