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Tuesday 18 June 2013

‘Bad Blood’ by Dana Stabenow

Published by Head of Zeus,
12th March 2013.
ISBN: 978-1-7818-5120-3

Dana Stabenow
s series about Kate Shugak, a native Alaskan, has been going for quite a while - this is the twentieth volume - but the momentum of the series remains as strong as it ever was. Kate is a superb protagonist - she is tough and resourceful but she has her human weaknesses. As a PI she has the local knowledge needed to function in such a specific area as Alaska. For her sidekick Kate has Mutt, who is half wolf and half husky, together they make a formidable combination.

In this adventure Sergeant Jim Chopin investigates the death of a young Kushtaka man at the village fish trap. His investigation is difficult since his first suspect is from Kuskulana and there is a long established feud between the villages of Kushtaka and Kuskulana. Jim has to call on Kate for aid when there is a second murder - of a Kuskulana man - because the two tribes refuse to talk to him. Things escalate from that point on, as is apt to happen when Kate, Jim and Mutt get their teeth into crime investigation. As always the scenery of Alaska and the Alaskan way of life are prominent in the background and the characters are memorable. Although many characters have appeared regularly in previous books, there is no need to have read the other books first. I found the story carrying me along quickly and excitingly to a very dramatic conclusion.
Reviewer: Jennifer S. Palmer
The 20 book Kate Shugak series began with A Cold Day for Murder. Dana Stabenow also writes a crime series about Liam Campbell, ( a four book series so far) and has a science fiction series about Star Svendotter (3 books). 

Dana Stabenow was born in Anchorage, Alaska on March 27, 1952, and raised on a 75-foot fish tender in the Gulf of Alaska. In 1964, the Great Alaskan Earthquake occurred during her twelfth birthday party. She graduated from Seldovia High School in 1969 and put herself through college working as an egg grader, bookkeeper and expediter for Whitney-Fidalgo Seafoods in Anchorage. In 1973 she received a B.A. in journalism from the University of Alaska.  After graduation she spent one more summer knee-deep in humpies and blew everything she earned on a four-month backpacking trip to Europe with Rhonda Sleighter, a college roommate and one of the dedicatees of Play With Fire. There, she discovered English pubs, German beer and Irish men. In 1982 she enrolled in UAA’s MFA program, from which she graduated in 1985. Her goal was to sell a book before she went broke and although she made it the book fell with an almighty thud on the marketplace and was never heard from again. In 1991 her editor sniffed out the existence of the first Kate Shugak mystery and offered her a three-book contract.

Jennifer Palmer Throughout my reading life crime fiction has been a constant interest; I really enjoyed my 15 years as an expatriate in the Far East, the Netherlands & the USA but occasionally the solace of closing my door to the outside world and sitting reading was highly therapeutic. I now lecture to adults on historical topics including Famous Historical Mysteries.

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