Jamie Smiles is a crime investigator in a future Earth that includes enclaves of otherworld species. The most recent crime involves the headless corpse of a Slarpeon male.
Headless males aren't unusual among the Slarpeon. After mating, the female removes the male's head for preservation and the body is ritually disposed of. This body was found outside the enclave. Though his sperm sack had been ruptured no one has claimed to have mated with him.
This particular male was odd for a Slarpeon. Rather than the manual laborer most males are, he had demonstrated artistic talents that his hive had given him the freedom to pursue.