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MIRANDA CHASE

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Full Name: Miranda Chase
Nationality: American
Organization: NTSB
Occupation Other - Air-Crash Investigator

Creator: M. L. Buchman
Time Span: 2019 - 2021

ABOUT THE SERIES

       Miranda Chase is an air-crash investigator for the NTSB.
       She is considered the best in her business, certainly by those who have benefitted from her extremely detailed and beneficial after-crash reports. Her knowledge of aircraft of all sizes and uses is phenomenal and her skill at cutting through the chaff of extraneous data to pinpoint the key elements to how and then why each plane went down is legendary.
       When we first meet her, she is likely in her early 30's, based on her being 13 years old when her parents died in the TWA-800 explosion and crash over Long Island in 1996. All of her childhood had been spent working on, and almost invariably solving, puzzles of any and all types and with the mystery of why the plane carrying her parents had exploded focused that fascination in an intense way. Immediately after college graduation she joined the National Transportation Safety Board and for the next nearly decade and a half she has worked an impressive number of crashes, increasing her knowledge and her status with the agency.
       Chase has ASD - Autism Spectrum Disorder. This is explained by the author as "a developmental disorder. Being a spectrum, some of these people have severe issues. But many are more and more considered to be 'other gifted' - if they can be helped to find what that other gift might be. When our "neurotypical" (not on the ASD spectrum) culture thinks of autism, many imagine Dustin Hoffman's amazing performance in Rain Man. This is almost entirely wrong. Savant Syndrome is exceedingly rare (perhaps a hundred living today); autism is terrifyingly common and on the rise (perhaps as high as two percent of children born in the US)."
       In Chase's case, she is more than capable of taking care of herself on a day-to-day basis for it is in the routine she finds comfort. Unusual and sudden and unexpected things can cause her trouble and change is something she has a great deal of difficulty handling. And understanding emotions, mostly in other people but also, though less so, in herself. Humor, for one thing, is a challenge to her and sarcasm usually flies over her unnoticed. Facial expressions are such a challenge that she has taken to using a set of emotion icons in her ever-present notebook to try to equate what a person's countenance is saying about their feelings.
       "Thoroughly tactless, painfully oblivious, yet possessed of a shining brilliance that others can only admire. Yet she isn't superwoman. She's fallible, alone, and afraid of her own shadow. Trusting her new team isn't something that an autistic would do. The team members are new, and therefore unnerving at best and scary at worst."
       Chase has over the years with the NTSB had to work with a variety of people but they seemed to come and go far to quickly for her comfort. At the beginning of the first recorded adventure, she is being assigned three people new to her and she has to come to grips with this unwelcome change. But that team will quickly grow to be a core group that will aid her tremendously in her investigations and will help protect her from the myriad of unpleasant distractions that every day life presents.
       Those team members are:
Holly Harper - an Australian woman, 5'10 in height and extremely fit and agile. She was for several years an active member of the elite Australian Special Air Service but now, through events explained in the tales she is in America and working with the NTSB. Her specialty is the tangible - the studying of the pieces remaining in any crash and learning where each part fit. She is shown on many occasions to be exceptionally capable of handling herself in any physical confrontation.
Mike Monroe - a handsome, very cool and suave expert in people, he is the "operations and human-performance" specialist. It is his job in an investigation to understand what the people behind the controls did or did not do in reaction to the emergency. He is a ladies' man with a long line of satisfied friends thanks to his appreciation of them and his impressive ability to listen and observe. He consistently seems like he is ruled by his hormones but really is not.
Jeremy Trahn - a Vietnamese-American who is a systems specialist. He is the youngest of the group and is only recently out of college but his grasp of all things electronic is incredible. He is impressionable, totally in awe of Chase and stunned he is now working with her, and in his own way often clueless about the people around him.
       As time goes by, a couple more people will join the 'Chase team' and will become extremely important to the other members.
       Plus in the adventures we will come to know several other people that will routinely have a part in the activities. The two most important (IMHO) ones are General Drake Nason, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon, and Clarissa Reese, Deputy Director of the CIA when we first meet her.


       Miranda Chase is not a spy nor is she knowingly involved in any form of international intrigue; such things would be far too much outside her comfort zone. Her investigations of the various airplane mishaps, however, throw her and her team constantly into the middle of a lot of activity and danger that more than qualify her for membership in this compendium.

BOOKS

Number of Books:8
First Appearance:2019
Last Appearance:2021

1 Drone Drone
Written by M. L. Buchman
Copyright: 2019

China's latest supersonic jet has gone missing. In a top secret Air Force facility in Nevada, a C-130 mysteriously crashes taking with it a highly classified cargo. The CIA is actively testing revolutionary drone technology from a secret base. All three elements merge as China, the US DOD, and the CIA head to a major clash with war looping. Onto this stage steps Miranda Chase and her team. Chase is the best chance of solving the mysteries that some will kill to keep hidden.
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2 Thunderbolt Thunderbolt
Written by M. L. Buchman
Copyright: 2019

The legendary A-10 Thunderbolt "Warthogs", considered by many to be the best ground-attack jet plane every made, have started to fall from the skies in surprising numbers. Has this decades-old craft finally reached its shelf-life or are other factors in play since so many billions are at stake with new technology pending? Miranda Chase and her team do not want to get it the middle of that conflict; they just want to solve a crash mystery. Doing so, though, will put all their lives in danger.
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3 Condor Condor
Written by M. L. Buchman
Copyright: 2020

The Russian AN-124 Ruslan Cargo is considered by many to be the epitome of huge cargo planes. Now it is set to transport a top secret payload that the DoD and the CIA cannot allow to be moved. It is worth a war to many but there might be a chance to avoid such trouble. That will depend on NTSB ace investigator, Miranda Chase, and her incredible team.
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4 Ghostrider Ghostrider
Written by M. L. Buchman
Copyright: 2020

The An-130J "Ghostrider" is the latest version of America's deadliest aerial gunship. When one crashes badly in the Rockies, NTSB key investigator, Miranda Chase, and her team are called in to learn the cause but soon the certainty of sabotage is determined, which opens the door for the danger of war, not to mention people who want Chase and company destroyed.
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5 Raider Raider
Written by M. L. Buchman
Copyright: 2020

As final acceptance testing was taking place for the Army's much desired S-97 Raider recon helicopter, one of them drops suddenly from the skies. Was it a defect or sabotage? That is what Miranda Chase and her team are brought in to find out. At stake is not just the billions on the line for that aircraft but also the possibility of war with Turkey.
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6 Chinook Chinook
Written by M. L. Buchman
Copyright: 2021

The Chinook is the US Army's fastest and most powerful helicopter in service and now they are starting to fall from the sky. Worries that cyber attacks from China might be at fault, Miranda Chase and her team are brought in to learn the truth before an attack on Taiwan can be organized.
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7 Havoc Havoc
Written by M. L. Buchman
Copyright: 2021

The team of Miranda Chase has been in danger on many occasions but they have always faced it together. Now one of them is alone and under attack so Chase and company will do everything they have to save each other. This will involve solving an airliner crash on a Pacific atoll and a Russian plot to turn the tide in the Middle East.
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8 White Top White Top
Written by M. L. Buchman
Copyright: 2021

The horrific crash of an HMX-1 Marine helicopter into an urban shopping center resulted in the deaths of dozens of innocent people. It also changed the landscape of American politics since it was carrying the Vice President. It falls to Miranda Chase and her team to learn who caused the crash but learning the truth will likely spark a war in the Middle East.
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NOVELLAS AND SHORT STORIES

Number of Stories:2
First Appearance:2020
Last Appearance:2020

1 Honor Flight Honor Flight
Written by M. L. Buchman
Copyright: 2020

Previously published as Galaxy in USA Today bestselling anthology Origins of Honor.
"A C-5 Galaxy, the premier heavy transport jet in the US military, and its secret cargo lie shattered across one of America's largest military bases: Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Some say it crashed. Others say domestic terrorism... Or a declaration of war? They need answers and they need them fast. Miranda Chase ... gets the call. But unraveling the real cause could cost her honor or her life."
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2 Island Christmas Island Christmas
Written by M. L. Buchman
Copyright: 2020

"Home for the holidays, with friends, should be worry free... For the first time in years, Miranda has invited guests to her San Juan Islands cabin for Christmas - her NTSB air-crash investigation team. She's not sure it was the best decision. When more of her past flies in on Christmas Eve, it proves to be an even greater challenge than she expected. But, with the help of her past and her team, perhaps she can find the feeling of that true Christmas spirit."
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GAMES

Number of Games:1
First Appearance:2021
Last Appearance:2021

1 The Great Chase The Great Chase
Boardgame
M.L.Buchman
Copyright: 2021

In the adventures of Miranda Chase and her incredible team, a game of sorts was created to help Chase deal with leading a group of people. The author began a Kickstarter campaign to produce that game in very impressive style.

COLLECTIBLES

Number of Collectibles:1
First Appearance:2021
Last Appearance:2021

1 Miranda Chase Die-Cast Coins Miranda Chase Die-Cast Coins
Coins
M.L.Buchman
Copyright: 2021

As part of a Kickstarter campaign for a physical version of a game created in the Miranda Chase series by its team members, "we had planned to create a set of player coins that were just plain cool to own even without the game. These are the same aircraft that Mike and the rest of the team chose to describe each other in the novels. Now you can own them.
All metal, diecast 1.5" Challenge Coins with the common "The Great Chase" back."

MY COMMENTS

       While I usually find something to like in every series I have added to this compendium, sometimes I come across an absolute gem that fascinates me to an exceptional degree. This is absolutely one of those!!!
       After I decided to check out this series for probable membership, I was hooked. The premise was terrific and different - an autistic woman dealing with government agents and international turmoil and sabotage and subterfuge and the like. I could not resist. And that is when I saw just how superbly the author handled her and her new teammates and those around her, either working with her or against her or just there to complicate and confuse her.
       I read the first book. And then immediately moved to the second. And the third. And the fourth. There were, at the time of this writing, eight adventures altogether and as soon as I finished one, I was on to the next. When I wrapped up the last available one, I grabbed the two novellas and inhaled them. Then I looked for any release date on the next book.
       I let a week go by after finishing the series before I sat down to write about it. Then when I went back to the stories to double-check an item or two, I found myself re-reading them. I had to force myself to stop.
       There are a couple of implausible elements to the series (there always are!) but the author comes up with terrific explanations and I willingly go along with them. A character who I liked but who died big time in an adventure shows up again alive and well a couple of adventures later? Ah, sure, I can see that. Welcome home! I know it sounds like I am making fun of such things here but please believe me when I say that I am not - I know these things are less than credible and I do not care one whit!
       The author has a long list of other series he has penned, some of which sound fascinating. I fear I might take some time to look into them even though they likely are not spy series related. I "fear" this because as good as the writer is, I worry how long it would be before I came back from wherever he took me.

GRADE

My Grade: A+

Your Average Grade:   C

YOUR OPINIONS

raven4 C 2021-08-11

Please, if one is going to write a technothriller, get the techno correct


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