After an intergalactic war against and implacable alien enemy, humans emerge victorious, but it's a Pyhrric victory, for Earth has been destroyed. Hosteen Storm, one of the few surviving Terrans is a Beast Master - he commanded a sabotage and reconnaissance team of animals during the war and now he and they must choose a planet on which to settle and make a new life.
But Storm's choice of planet isn't entirely dictated by benign motives- and as he learns more about his new home, he comes to realise that the war isn't quite as over as he's thought…
Typical Norton - outsider hero, mental links with animals and mysterious alien relics, all mixed into a solid space opera plot
45. Hangman's Holiday by Dorothy L. Sayers. 141 pages
Collection of short stories, mostly featuring either Lord Peter Wimsey or Sayer's other protagonist, Montague Egg, the wine salesman.
All entertaining enough, but I feel that these short pieces lack something - Sayers style seems to suit the novel rather better.