Friday, January 30, 2015

A Cold Day for Murder by Dana Stabenow

A Cold Day for Murder, by Dana Stabenow, is set in the Alaska bush.  The heroine is an Alaskan native, and the tiny community is fascinating.  I'm rather obsessed with Alaska at the moment, so I found this especially fascinating:  gritty and real, far more complex than what I've seen as a tourist.  That said, it did sometimes feel like the book was an excuse to showcase this real Alaska bush life.  It was intriguing, but a touch heavy-handed in a work of fiction.

I found many of the descriptions too long—especially the ones detailing people’s houses.  A lot of the repetition could have been cut.  Kate, the main character, didn't have to retell the story of the missing ranger to every last character, and they didn't all have to describe him in their own way.  I also confused myself a little with all the characters, though I admit that happens to me in many mysteries.  It might have helped if they had more distinct names, instead of Bobby, Bernie, Billy Mike, Martin, Miller, Mac, etc.

Despite my quibbles, the characters were interesting, the dialogue snappy, the setting and culture unique, and the ending exciting and powerful.  I loved Alaska-as-a character and would definitely read more of the Kate Shugak series.

Four Stars

Click here to download A Cold Day for Murder (free on Amazon)
If you're looking for more about Alaska,
Try Dana Stabenow's Alaska Traveler:  Dispatches from America's Last Frontier (also free on Amazon)

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