In the first novel of the Kipton series, Kipton is a 14-year-old girl and Gruff is a fully reasoning stuffed teddy bear (an extension of Kipton's subconsciousness) who talks to Kipton. He is a medium for her own inner cognitions. They become an investigative duo trying to find the murderer of Kipton's ingenious Uncle Charlie. The setting is an Earth-colony on Mars, called the Pile, "a huge building covering 200 acres, rising a dozen levels, honey-combed with corridors and residential apartments, and spotted with scientific and commercial complexes." Here scientific research is mixed with economic greed. Detailed descriptions are precise, yet so smooth that the reader gathers them in effortlessly. Central figures are Kipton, her father and step mother and Jack. Their characterization is full-bodied; a major focus of the story is their interaction. The plot-line is rich with twists, motivations, alternate motivations and clues.
Used availability for Charles L Fontenay's Kipton and Gruff
September 1996 : USA Hardback
June 1995 : USA Paperback