Eighteen months ago, Aleut Kate Shugak quit her job investigating sex crimes for the Anchorage DA’s office and retreated to her father’s homestead in a national park in the interior of Alaska. But the world has a way of beating a path to her door, however remote. In the middle of one of the bitterest Decembers in recent memory ex-boss — and ex-lover — Jack Morgan shows up with an FBI agent in tow. A Park ranger with powerful relatives is missing, and now the investigator Jack sent in to look for him is missing, too.
Reluctantly, Kate, along with Mutt, her half-wolf, half-husky sidekick, leaves her wilderness refuge to follow a frozen trail through the Park, twenty thousand square miles of mountain and tundra sparsely populated with hunters, fishermen, trappers, mushers, pilots and homesteaders. Her formidable grandmother and Native chief, Ekaterina Shugak, is — for reasons of her own — against Kate’s investigation; her cousin, Martin, may be Kate’s prime suspect; and the local trooper, Jim Chopin, is more interested in Kate than in her investigation. In the end, the sanctuary she sought after five and a half years in the urban jungles may prove more lethal than anything she left behind in the city streets of Anchorage.
State of suspense: listen to more Alaskan mysteries in the Kate Shugak series.
©2011 Dana Stabenow (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Saw this, the first in the Kate Shugak series, on Audible for $1.99, and snapped it up. Even though I'd read the book long ago I decided to start the series over again and I'm so glad I did. The experience of listening to the story, as opposed to reading it, was great fun. I'd forgotten about Ms. Stabenow's sharp wit and her special talent for painting her people and places into in my mind.
Of course Kate is my favorite character, with Mutt a close second, but each of them leaves an impression. Perhaps the fact that I've read all the books in the series contributes to that -- the feeling that I know them all as old friends with very different strengths.
I really enjoyed Kate's exchanges with Bobbie and with the bar owner, whose name escapes me because I'm having a senior moment. Interesting. Even though I can't remember the name I can see the bar owner's face in my mind's eye. I love the wit, the dry sarcasm, the literary allusions. The crying comes later with this series, but I chuckled and laughed out loud as I listened yesterday. Not gonna tell you where, but, oh Jack!! I'd forgotten that about you!
While I think the narrator did a good job overall, I felt she didn't do justice to the damage Kate's voice had suffered.
Say something about yourself!
This wasn't a bad listen. It was a good quick murder mystery, maybe a little predictable but still fun. I enjoyed the characters and am interested to see how Kate continues in AK. The narrator was great, I haven't been to Alaska, but her accent sounded on par with NatGeo/Discovery shows showcasing Alaskan natives. Worth the listen!
I can find a book to love in any genre -- a beautifully written classic, an interesting mystery or sci-fi, a trashy romance. Bring it!
STORY (mystery) - A Cold Day for Murder introduces Kate Shugak, a native Alaskan and previous investigator for the Anchorage DA's Office who has retired to a quiet and peaceful life deep in the Alaskan wilderness. She is asked by Jack, her ex lover/boss, to conduct an investigation into the disappearance of two men who were last seen in her area. What follows is the typical murder investigation you've heard many times, but this one is set in Aleut territory with descriptive imagery of crisp winter mornings, snowmobile rides and encounters with wildlife. The investigation is interesting and the conclusion is somewhat unexpected. I enjoyed the author's treatment of the "past" between Jack and Kate.
PERFORMANCE - I have commented about this narrator before. She has a lovely voice, but she seems to lose her place while reading and then tack on the rest of a sentence as an afterthought. It doesn't happen enough to detract from the experience, but you will notice it when it happens.
OVERALL - This is the first book in the series, but it can stand alone. It is short (5 1/2 hours) and enjoyable, but there's nothing special about it except the Alaskan scenery. There is cursing and some violence, but not a lot. I don't plan to continue the series, except maybe an occasional book that may come on sale.
Kate - she's independent and loves the outdoors, yet has needs like everyone else
I liked this book because I really grew to like Kate and I loved hearing about Alaska and the people and the customs - hearing in entertaining ways that were woven into the story. I ended and bought the 2nd in the series so that says something!
It is a great book, any book with Kate in it is a good read
No, I don't think so.
Her characters are interesting only from the anthropological standpoint: they project a clear and crude image of life among Alaskan Indians. The whole story revolves around her main character, but she doesn't pull her weight. So the story drags out, and it doesn't help that Stabenow's style is full of clichés.
I would prefer Jean Smart, a wonderful narrator.
Totally different setting and interesting characters.
Kate is sort of an Alaskan Kinsey Milhone, but even more independent, self-sufficient, and tough as nails.
Kate Shugak was performed the best - the narrator had to make her voice sound like it had been damaged.
In Alaska, that's going some.
Report Inappropriate Content