"A Death In Peacetime" affected me more than I thought it would; after all, the eponymous death is of a not very likable character whose real motives were unclear from the time of his debut in "But Loyal To His Own"*. All we really know about Major Joachim Steuben, as we follow him through his career as the MP commander (and presumably XO) of Hammer's Slammers is that he's an aesthete, a deadly killer with gunslinger's reflexes, a flaming homosexual, and utterly loyal to Colonel Alois Hammer. He is the antithesis of the clumsy, enthusiastic, inept yet basically good-hearted Excel, except that they have one thing in common: everything they do, they are doing for the one they love. Because loyalty, after all, is a kind of love.
On a more cheerful note, Blondie's Panic of Girls is eleven tracks of awesome. Debbie Harry has lost NOTHING from her voice since Parallel Lines, and if you like Blondie, you should go download this album NOW.
*And yet, he's the one my friends and I quote all the time, because David Drake gives him all the good lines.