The Kate Shugak Novels Volume #1
A Cold Day for Murder
A Fatal Thaw
Dead in the Water
If there is one line that almost sums up Kate Shugak perfectly it is in book #2 when Kates friend Bobby, a macho type Viet Nam vet says to Kates sometimes lover and sometimes boss Jack “It’s hell when us macho hero types have to let the heroine rescue herself, ain’t it?”
Kate can save her own butt.
If you have been thinking of trying this series but are perhaps daunted by how many books there are and the expense of it all, then his may be the way to go. This works out to be about $3.33 a book.
In these three books you will meet Kate Shugak and all of the important people in her life, as well as her companion Mutt a half wolf half Husky mix, a total sweetheart as well as Kates ‘bodyguard’ .
The pacing to these novels is excellent; the narrative is sharp and the character growth (even after 19 and soon to be 20) novels, is heartening. Sometimes the story can be a little comedic and sometimes the horrors of it can rip the tears right out of you.
In book #1 of this 3 novel compilation – “A Cold Day for Murder” you learn so many things about Kate, about Alaska, mining, the heritage of the Native Alaskans and the mystery is truly a great mystery to boot. In this book, a park Ranger is missing and while the locals may not think it’s that great a loss his family does and so someone else is sent out to look. Unfortunately he goes missing too and Kate takes this disappearance a little personally and starts the search.
Ms Stabenow puts a lot of research into her work and you can tell that she loves what she does. One thing I will caution-the continuity isn’t always the greatest and you will find some mistakes in the Kindle edition that may or may not be in the paper editions.
Book #2 is titled “A Fatal Thaw” and opens horrifically enough with a mass murder – only one of these murders isn’t like the others. Now Kate has to find out who in the Park has murdered one of its less popular inhabitants.
An interesting aspect of this particular novel is that Kate lives through an earthquake while in the middle of a climb up a mountain and the description is hair-raising to say the least.
In the last full-length novel, “Dead in the Water”, we learn a completely new appreciation for crab fishermen on the Bering Sea and that Kate can keep up with even the best of them. She will be doing her best to help the DA’s office find out just why two young crab fishermen went missing while trying to track down fresh water when their ship runs out.
I find that our heroine Kate seems to have a lot in common with the author Dana Stabenow and you will to if you read the introduction to each of her novels. And it seems that if Dana hasn’t done it in real life she has researched the heck out of it.
So much of the action that takes place, takes place with Kate in the middle, not relying on a man to help but not being overly stubborn and taking the help when really needed. There is so much to admire about Kate’s abilities and also the authors ability to suck you into not only a great story using her wonderful narrative, but interesting if not always complicated mysteries. If you stick with the Kate Shugak novels, you will find that the mysteries will get more complicated and you will find that Alaskan politics will sometimes play a fairly large roll in them.