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A Cold-Blooded Business (Kate Shugak #4)

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  2,619 Ratings  ·  134 Reviews
A string of drug-related accidents at an oil company's rig in the Arctic Circle forces Kate Shugak to go undercover to scope out a cocaine connection along the TransAlaskan Pipeline.
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Published September 4th 2012 by Brilliance Audio (first published 1994)
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Book on CD narrated by Marguerite Gavin

After one too many drug-related deaths at the site, former DA Investigator Kate Shugak is asked to go undercover to the Prudhoe Bay oil fields to find out who is dealing drugs.

I had read the first book in this series a couple of years ago and I was not impressed, but I’m glad I gave the series another chance. I like that Shugak is a strong woman, smart, resourceful, dedicated, committed and independent. I also like her strong sense of integrity – her
This is the fourth book in a series featuring Aleut investigator Kate Shugak. In this one, Kate goes undercover on Alaska's North Slope oil pipeline to find out who's been running drugs. Kate finds out soon enough that this is not going to be an easy job.

She soon discovers that pipeline workers have some incredible luxuries. Employees are provided with gourmet meals, steak twice a week and prime rib on Sunday, a fabulous pool, sauna, and a state of the art gym. Traditionally a loner, she soon s
This is one of the more interesting Kate Shugak novel, not so much for the mystery aspect, although it WAS a good mystery. The mystery seemed to take a backseat to the history of the pipeline and what these people that work there go through during their time there.

What made this a good read for me, was learning just what working an Alaskan pipe line is like. What it does and doesn't do to our environment, how it has potential (as we have seen) to cause huge problems...but if this book is written
May 13, 2009 Joy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any mystery reader
Kate is working on the Alaska Pipeline. She's a bus driver on the face of it, but is really looking for the source of a major cocaine distribution among the workers: workers who are bright, riotous, rich, and thoroughly entertaining. There's a description of a turtle race that had me rolling with laughter. For Kate, disposed to hate the Pipeline because of its wake of destruction, the workers she spends time with give the Pipeline a face, and Kate develops a new viewpoint. Even being nearly kill ...more
Jan 21, 2015 Judy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is another great installment in the series about investigator Kate Shugak. I've enjoyed each book so far, and this one did not disappoint. Alaska is such a wonderful place for a set of stories - there seems to be no end of trouble a person can get into. In this story, Kate is talked into investigating the growing problem of drug use at a huge oil pumping facility on the Bering Sea. She has very strong negative feelings about the oil companies, as a Native Aleut who cares about the envi ...more
Barbara Kling
I love this series! I've binge - read 4 and I'm on to 5 now! I can't let go of Aleut Kate Shugak and Mutt! Can't get enough of the beauty of the Alaskan bush. My Mom read loads of books on pioneer women and we used to joke it was because she was one in another life and wanted to relive it as often as possible. Maybe I was an Aleut or Yu'pik or Inupiaq. Maybe I carved vivid images of otters out of ivory or used a story knife....I love mysteries, too, so that's another and some think, the main rea ...more
Barbara ★
My fascination with Alaska keeps me reading this series. I just love Ms. Stabenow's descriptive prose. Heck it's almost like being there. In this adventure, Kate is hired to ferret out who is dealing drugs at the oil pipeline up near the Artic Ocean. I'm not sure the details of pipeline production were accurate or not but it was definitely interesting and I always like reading about the Eskimo culture as well. This one was light on the investigating but Kate sure had a good time up there.
Rog Harrison
This was different from the first two books in the series (I have not read the third book) as the story is set further north and there is a lot of humour. The descriptions are fascinating and according to the author's afterword many of the events described are based on the author's experiences. Unfortunately the story is pretty thin and does not quite make sense.
Feb 22, 2015 Erick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
disjointed story. I was really befuddled with how it seemed to take half the novel for her to actually get into the investigation. Once she did, it felt like she wasn't investigating as much as being handed things on a platter. The twists didn't even feel like much of a reveal.
Sep 17, 2015 Leanne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was a strange sort of mystery where any actual investigation didn't seem to occur until three quarters of the way through the book. Far too much description of pipelines and information that was often difficult to understand. Could have been really good but wasn't.
Mar 05, 2016 Rosemary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this for the way it opens up life in an oil company in Alaska - so many more different types of jobs than I imagined! This is the first I've read in the series, and I loved Kate Shugak as a character, too. The mystery was OK but less central.
Kate Shugak once worked for the DA but is now developing a career as a PI instead. Her ex boss and current lover, Jack, gets her a job finding out who is dealing cocaine on the Prudhoe Bay oilfield. Oil and how it is extracted is a very contraversial subject in Alaska and Kate is quite ambivalent about the job. She gets surprisingly engaged by both the site and the people and so do we. Ms Stabenow is is brilliant at descriptive imagery and I know I am not the only one to both fall in love with A ...more
Cette fois-ci, Kate Shugak part travailler pour l'antéchrist, selon sa grand-mère: THE compagnie pétrolière.
La station d'extraction de Prudhoe Bay, sur la côte nord de l'Alaska et bien au-delà du cercle polaire arctique, semble abriter un gros trafic de cocaïne qui vient de faire une victime... et bien sûr, on leur recommande d'embaucher Kate, incognito.
Je ne chanterai jamais assez les louanges de Dana Stabenow et de l'apparente facilité avec laquelle elle incorpore des éléments essentiels de l'
May 30, 2015 Ape rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Kate Shugak's fourth investigation sees her being hired by one of the major oil companies. She's to pose as a bus driver/worker up at the oil field, way,way up north, whilst investigating who is bringing the cocaine to the oil field. Because drugged up employees are causing accidents, and one has now died. Will she solve it? Of course she will, she's Kate Shugak.

Mystery aside, this book is fascinating for yet another aspect of Alaskan life. As you read in Stabenow's afterword, she herself did ac
Jan 18, 2015 Dyana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my favorite book in the series so far. John King, CEO of Royal Petroleum Company (RPetCo) hires former Aleut private investigator Kate Shugak to find out who is smuggling cocaine and distributing it among the workers at Base Camp on Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. Kate takes the job despite reservations and knowing her grandmother will be furious. She and her village are still reeling from a massive oil spill on Prince William Sound near Anchorage that wiped out most of the wildlife.

She leaves her
Theresa Materazzi
Kate is an amazing heroine. Tough as nails but a good hearted person too. This series is hard to stop and take a break from. On to the next!
Jan 30, 2016 Hillary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For me, the best books are those who tell a great story in a place or time that is unfamiliar to me. If the story is told well then I come away with new insights or knowledge. This is what keeps me coming back to the Kate Shugak books. Ms. Stabenow takes me places I've never been and makes it interesting and illuminating.

This story is set on the "Slope" in Alaska above the Arctic circle where they are drilling for oil. I've never been to Alaska and all that I know of the process of driling for o
Kirsty Darbyshire

I'm up to the fourth installment in the Kate Shugak series; in this episode Kate is working undercover on the Trans-Alaska pipeline way north of the Arctic Circle, she's trying to discover who is importing and dealing cocaine on the oil companies property.

These books are a really quick easy read, this one only comes in at just over 200 pages in paperback, but they've got far more substance to them than many thicker tomes have and I'm really surprised how much interesting stuff is packed between

Jan 29, 2016 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
#4 in the Kate Shugak series.

Alaska PI Kate Shugak series - Kate Shugak is a native Aleut who is building a solid reputation as a tough freelance investigator. Although Kate has no love for the oil companies drilling in Alaska, she accepts a commission from Royal Petroleum Co. to find out who is bringing drugs into the Prudhoe Bay work site where there have been several overdoses and one death. Over the objections of RPetCo's security chief, Lou Childress, Kate goes in as an employee, getting a
Erin L
Feb 13, 2012 Erin L rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pi, native-american
It's been awhile since I've read any of the Kate Shugak series because they aren't always easy to track down. For some reason, another book is always a higher priority to request transferred to my library and I put it off again and again.

Finally, I requested the fourth in the series - A Cold-Blooded Business - and I wish I hadn't waited so long.

She gives an interesting and somewhat accurate portrayal of the oil industry. At first, I worried that it would lean towards the evil oil industry slant,
Beth Gibson
Not as good as some of her others. But it is an earlier book in the series too, so the writer evidently was not as polished. There are several scenes that are pure fluff in this story. Like the argument with her boyfriend's ex-wife. Does not add anything to the plot or her character. Overall, I do like the series for being different: a female lead, who is a native american law enforcement officer. Her assignment this time is to go to the oil fields and find out who is dealing drugs to the worker ...more
Aug 19, 2013 Lydia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My copy of A Cold-Blooded Business was signed by Dana Stabenow when I et her at a mystery writers' conference in Seattle. I had traveled from Kodiak, hoping to learn more about the mystery novel I had just finished writing. She had traveled from Anchorage. She was encouraging. Although I left the conference with conflicting feelings about my writing, meeting Dana was a definite high point.

Kate Shugak is an Aleut and a private investigator associated with the DA's office. She embodies the Alaska
Jan 07, 2011 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the reasons I like this mystery series so much is that Ms. Stabenow often creates likable, believable villains. In three of the first four mysteries in the Kate Shugak series, the perpetrator(s) of the crime is someone Kate likes or admires. I really appreciate that Ms. Stabenow understands the darker impulses that live in all of us and can drive us to commit horrible crimes. And there are also your more "typical" criminals in the series, to be sure, for balance.
I also enjoyed learning a
I've been on something of a Kate Shugak roll this summer, and enjoyed it very much. Now I need to collect a few more in the series. This was intriguing, and it Kate seemed to be less of a super hero but all the more endearing for that. So far I've found all the stories fascinating as I am very unfamiliar with Alaska and Alaskan culture and people, so these are compelling not just because of the stories which are well done, but also for the way they begin to fill the gaping crevices in my underst ...more
Bruce Snell
Dec 14, 2013 Bruce Snell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book number Four in the Kate Shugak series by Dana Stabenow - 4 stars. Kate is hired by RPetCo oil company to investigate cocaine sales/abuse at the Prudhoe Bay oilfield - and along the way, she becomes involved in an investigation of stolen native artifacts. This is not really a book about the mysteries of drugs or antiquities theft, it is an anthropological and sociological look at Alaska - the oil fields, the Natives, the culture, and the type of people who choose the hardships of living abov ...more
Kelly ...
Apr 10, 2016 Kelly ... rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, fiction
I have enjoyed this series primarily due to its lovely exploration of Alaskan culture, particularly with respect to its native peoples. I also like the protagonist, Kate Shaguk, who is strong, stubborn, flawed and interesting. But this installment is my least favorite so far. The book spends a lot of time and detail on the workings of the Alaskan pipeline and the oil business. It comes off as a lecture regarding the evils of the oil industry without any suggestions for what would be a better ans ...more
Mar 22, 2015 Daniel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short take:

Crazy as things get at the drilling facility, I wasn't feeling too attached to the not-Kate characters running around the desultory plot. Stabenow does paint a vivid picture, though, so I was content to stick around for a look into a corner of the world about which I know little. Then, about half-way through the book, Kate goes on furlough and ends up in town, where she re-connects with family. These scenes really grabbed me and I gobbled it all up. In the end, the "mystery" is seco
Laura Edwards
May 08, 2014 Laura Edwards rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I really like the character of Kate Shugak. Although Stabenow's writing is sometimes choppy, Kate keeps me coming back. A reader can learn interesting things about Alaska and the native people. In A Cold-Blooded Business, however, Stabenow jumps on an anti-Christian bandwagon and just keeps pounding away. The premise was interesting, but she seemed to be brushing every Christian with too broad of strokes. Terrible stereotyping. Strange, too, since she features a protagonist who must fight agains ...more
Oct 04, 2012 M rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kate Shugak never disappoints! Jack has Kate investigating for the devil or the dreaded oil company. A death from Cocaine has the president of the company ready to pay anything to get the cocaine off of the Slope. Kate thinks she can get to the bottom of the problem in a couple of days but once on the Slope she discovers a whole different world, contained, tantalizing and dangerous. The fight scene at the end of this story is epic! I still laugh about the witch of a villain with her tongue stuck ...more
Feb 08, 2013 Kathie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kate is hired to work undercover by the head of the oil company to find out who is smuggling and selling cocaine to the workers at the old field. Paid well and fed well, Kate still feels like she is working for the enemy while working on The Slope but she has a new appreciation for those who work in isolation for weeks at a time. People do crazy things when they are bored. The turtle races add a humorous touch. While working on The Slope Kate she runs her own investigation of the thefts and mark ...more
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Play Book Tag: A Cold-Blooded Business / Dana Stabenow - 3.5*** 1 9 Jul 18, 2016 02:16PM  
The Danamaniacs: A Cold-Blooded Business *SPOILERS* 1 7 May 08, 2013 08:20PM  
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Dana Stabenow was born in Anchorage and raised on 75-foot fish tender in the Gulf of Alaska. She knew there was a warmer, drier job out there somewhere.
More about Dana Stabenow...

Other Books in the Series

Kate Shugak (1 - 10 of 21 books)
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  • A Fatal Thaw (Kate Shugak, #2)
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