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A Cold Day For Murder (Kate Shugak #1)

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3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  6,992 ratings  ·  692 reviews
Kate Shugak returns to her roots in the far Alaskan north, after leaving the Anchorage D.A.'s office. Her deductive powers are definitely needed when a ranger disappears. Looking for clues among the Aleutian pipeliners, she begins to realize the fine line between lies and loyalties--between justice served and cold murder.
Paperback, 199 pages
Published June 1st 1992 by Berkley (first published 1992)
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Robert
I admit I like free shit. I also admit I’m not entirely rational in my thought process. For example, I happily hand over my Bouchercon and Left Coast Crime Conference fees and feel like I’ve won the lottery when I receive a bag filled with books. Seriously, this ends up being one of the major highlights of these conferences. So in my continued pursuit of this high, minus the conference fees, I have decided to scour Amazon for the best free short stories and books available. With that being said, ...more
Lightreads
Kate Shugak is an Alaskan Aleut living in an arctic national park, a former investigator for the Alaska District Attorney, and now something of a freelancer. To paraphrase the nonfictional Kate who pointed me in the direction of these books, Kate Shugak is wounded and intense and competent, unimpressed with anyone’s self-importance, hard to drag away from her cabin and her kitchen and her half-wolf half-deaf companion, Mutt. And she also solves crime.

Oh, lovely. These tiny novels evoke Alaska wi
...more
Lewis Weinstein
This is the first of Dana Stabenow's novels that I've read, and I think the first she wrote. I almost stopped about half-way through but I'm glad I didn't. After a long period of introducing characters and the Alaska locale, with a plot going nowhere, the pace did pick up and the story became interesting. Not fantastic, but interesting. There is some good writing with relaxed and amusing observations, but there are also segments where the writing just "tries too hard," and other segments where i ...more
Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost Whisper
1.Plot – Kate Shugak left the DA’s office over a year ago after a bust went bad. She’d gone to the home of a child abuser and come out with her throat slashed, leaving the man’s body gutted on the floor behind her. She’d resigned from the D.A.’s stable of investigators by pinning her letter to the door with the knife she’d used to take out the bad man.

For fourteen month’s she stays away from town, living in the rugged Alaska wilderness. She makes do by leading tours every now and then and pick
...more
rabbitprincess
Apr 28, 2008 rabbitprincess rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those who like VERY light mysteries
Recommended to rabbitprincess by: English prof
This novel introduces Detective Kate Shugak, a petite, scrappy Aleut woman who lives in a fictional national park in Alaska. A park ranger goes missing, and so does the officer sent to find him. Kate, now working as a private investigator, takes the case, and delves into complicated political issues involving the use of park land for tourist purposes.

I was surprised to learn that this was not actually Stabenow's first novel, because it sure felt like one. The book was much too repetitive; as Kat
...more
Cynthia
Having won a copy of Though Not Dead through the Goodreads First Reads program (and loved it), I decided to go back to the beginning and allow myself to be introduced to Kate Shugak good and proper. What can I say? I am in love with Dana Stabenow and her creation, Kate Shugak.

Kate is an Alaskan native in every sense of the word. She can trace her Aleutian roots deep into the Alaskan soil and ice. She is living in a homestead cabin in the Park, away from civilization, with only her half-wolf/hal
...more
Chris
This is one those Kindle freebies that took me forever to read because I was worried that I wouldn’t like, that Kate would just be one of those women with “look at my huge chip on my shoulder, you sexist pig who but it there! How dare you judge me for being bitchy! I have a tragic life!” slogan.
She’s not.
Retired from investigation due to an incident, Kate is called in to investigate two missing people. One of the missing is a former protégé and lover. One of the people calling her in is anothe
...more
Kathy Jackson
I started this book last night and finished it when I got home this morning. One would think that meant I thought it was really great but, alas, no. I wanted to get it done so I could start something else and I was almost there so finished it up before I went to bed.

The story is about Kate, a native of Alaska, who finds discord within the "Outsiders" and her own people. She feels she doesn't belong to either world which makes her a recluse who lives in a cabin miles from anyone. She left the DA'
...more
Michael
Dana Stabenow kicks off her long running series featuring Kate Shugak, a native detective in the frozen wilds of Alaska. The mystery is slight with much of the page count given over to developing the characters and establishing the close knit community. For such a short book it has a slow, some might say glacial pace that some will welcome if they're looking for a cosy few hours with crackling fires, plenty to drink and more culinary creations featuring moose than you could possibly eat. I'd dro ...more
Natalie Tyler
I listened to this book on Audible whilst working out. It was the wrong kind of book for that purpose. The book is densely atmospheric and well-written. I had to listen to several chapters twice just to make certain that I was picking up everything.

If you listen to books on tape and give them your full focus, I would recommend this. If you read in "hard-copy" or on an e-reader, I also recommend it. It demands some concentration and close attention.

I will be reading the next in the series but I w
...more
Jamie
This short little murder mystery has an interesting setting - winter in an Alaskan National Park - that almost compensates for the poor quality of the writing. Almost.

Kate Sugak is an Aleut, and a former star investigator for the D.A.'s office in Anchorage. She quit her job after a bizarre incident involving a knife-wielding child molester and returned home to the Park to sulk in a cabin with no indoor toilet. When a park ranger goes missing, her former boss asks her to investigate. This mostly
...more
Deb
I love starting a new series, especially one with lots of entries. Kate Shugak is a native Aleutian who has worked Outside as a hotshot D.A. investigator. She was nearly killed in an investigation and has returned to the Alaskan wilderness. Her former boss (and lover) has asked her to investigate the disappearance of a park ranger and another investigator which she reluctantly agrees to do.

This was a compelling read. Dana Stabenow made me feel the cold and wildness of the environment, and intro
...more
Stacielynn
This is the first book in a mystery series by an author new to me. I like that it is set in the middle-of-nowhere in Alaska. That satisfies my need to visit new places and explore new cultures. The story itself is fairly typical -- no new ground being broken here, but it does hold my interest. She works a little too hard at cramming information and details into the story, (not sure I need to know quite so much about a snow machine) so the plot and characters are often lost in the prose. But that ...more
Richard
Not an easy read as there is so much to process being introduced into the world of Kate Shugak and life in one of Alaska's National Parks.
However, the writing is crisp and beautifully captures the surrounding environment; furthermore the characters are well drawn and speak with all the power of real people.
It is a simple missing person mystery that Kate is called to solve. For one she knows every inch of the park, secondly is related to most of the key people to contact to review the case and la
...more
Norma Budden
I don't know if I've read a story (deemed as fiction, not sci-fi) as rich in setting and descriptive content as A Cold Day for Murder. I entered the Alaskan frontier without any reservation and enjoyed the breathtaking scenery. I felt I was a witness to everything that was going on - the fighting, the drinking, even the search for two missing men.

I could literally hear the snow crunch beneath my feet. I could feel the heaviness of the snowsuit and boots I wore, not to mention the crispness of th
...more
Joyce Lagow
First in the Kate Shugak series.

Set in a National park in the Arcticwilderness area of Alaska near Anchorage, this series features a Native female protagonist, Kate Shugak, who, prior to the series opening was an investigator with the District Attorney’s office in Anchorage. A horrific encounter with a child abuser left Kate both physically damaged--her throat was cut from ear to ear, damaging her vocal cords--and emotionally scarred. She resigned from the D.A.s office and returned to her homest
...more
Laurel
This is the first Dana Stabenow book I have read, and the first in her Kate Shugak series. I found all of the different relationships in the book a little confusing, as Kate tries to discover what happened to two missing government officials, but I loved her description of the landscape and the Alaskan Aleut culture. She does not gloss over the issues of young adult Aleuts leaving their culture and families behind, drawn by the riches and temptations of the outside, nor the societal issues of wi ...more
David Gooch
Where to start, well my first thought was that this was a short novel at around 200 pages. That said it was reasonably well written and the characters were well described and built up nicely as were the descriptions of the scenery and area. Unfortunately that alone doesn't make a great book and that is what let this one down a little. The story is of the disappearance of two people in an Alaskan Park, the park ranger and the man sent to find him. The writer though never really got into this is a ...more
Cathy Cole
First Line: They came out of the south late that morning on a black-and-silver Ski-doo LT.


Somewhere in the endless acres of "The Park" a ranger has gone missing. No one puts up much of a fuss about it, figuring his body will be uncovered in time for the ground to thaw so he can be buried. But when a detective sent in to look for the missing ranger disappears as well, something has to be done. The Anchorage, Alaska District Attorney's Office sends two men out, hats in hand, to their former invest
...more
Amy Gill-Horton
One reviewer mentioned becoming lost in the relationships and characters in the first two thirds of the book. As a reader who has traveled throughout rural Alaska, I became lost and thoroughly exasperated by the imagined geography. I stopped reading 29% in for this reason.

The author has taken real place names and descriptions located throughout a state larger than Texas and melded them into a single setting. It made as much sense as describing a view of the Gulf coast from one's home in Shrevep
...more
Kitty
I really wanted to like this book. I definitely feel guilty about the 2-star rating. But it was really just "okay" for me.

The second half was much better than the first. While I'm sure many people would appreciate how the author brings Alaska to life, I have to have character interaction or I lose interest. I'm not a very visual person, and the vivid descriptions of the area just didn't pull me in.

While I did like some of the characters, it was more of a mild like. Perhaps if I got to know them
...more
Sandy
I bought the first 3 novels in this series to try a new author. I have enjoyed this first one but was quite surprised to find it really was only 187 pages! The rest of the book is made up of authors afterword and 22 pages of the next novel.

Needless to say I whizzed through it in virtually one sitting.

Kate Shugak is related to half of the settlement in Alaska where the story is set, and she seems to have slept with the other half...Nearly everybody who is male in the tale, and is not a blood rela
...more
Barrie Penman
(Kindle Freeby) Having visited Iceland and Spitzbergen (Inner Artic Circle) I thought I would like a story line located in those cold dark bleak northenly climes. Dana cleverly and gently introduces you to the climate and the inhospitable terrain. Lots of words and phrases peculiar to Alaska used helps immerse you deep into the story. The kindle installed American dictionary helps but have had to google a bit. I definitely love her steady trundling, informative, constant descriptive style. Only ...more
Carina
I really rather enjoyed in this book. Within the first chapter I thought to myself I had picked up another book that was part of a series, but I was quite surprised when checking the author out on this site that this is, in fact, the first in the series.

The more I think on that the more I like it, this book made me feel that there were all these pact connections - some were spelt explicitly for you, whilst others weren't - that if you knew about would help your understanding of the main characte
...more
Ape
I rather enjoyed this, even though I've seen a lot of people say they were disappointed by it. As crime fiction goes, the mystery in here isn't particularly complex and the investigation doesn't take a lot of doing. But this book is as much about the community, the way of life and the people Kate Shugak, our heroine, knows. As it's the first book in what looks like it's going to be a long series (and I have the next two books waiting to be read - yippee!) I guess this book is really setting the ...more
Marguerite Kaye
My friend Barbara recommended this to me. I doubt I'd have found it if she hadn't but I'm really glad she did.

For me, the murder mystery/detective part of the story was very much second to the setting and ambiance. I've never read anything set in Alaska before, and I found the way of life, the social and political issues fascinating. What I really loved is that Ms Stabenow (fab name for a mystery writer) confronts both head on. Born and raised in Anchorage, she has real insider knowledge of it
...more
Daniel
I went into this hoping for something great; in the end, I found something good. Kate Shugak has the makings of an awewsome heroine, and the fact that Stabenow is still publishing books in this series (with installments up in the early 20s now, I think) suggests that she tapped into something worthwhile. This book shows promise for greater things, and I will likely pick up the next installment this year.
Linda
For me, mysteries usually take a back seat in what I choose to read. I enjoy romantic suspense, sometimes the gothic genre and a mystery if it plays a minor part within a romance. But Dana Stabenow's 'Kate Shugak' had been calling my name. I kept running into the series wherever I seemed to go. Hence, the reason for reading A COLD DAY FOR MURDER. Book One.

She had quit the D.A.'s office the year before after a near miss of being killed by a wack-a-doodle father/child abuser. And she has the scars
...more
Mosunflower
This is the first book in a series featuring Kate Shugak. The author won an Edgar award for her book.

I really enjoyed it. I couldn't decide whether to give it a 3 or a 4 rating so consider the 3 I have it a 3.5.

Kate is wounded physically and spiritually, but she can still dredge up laughter. She's a loner, but she can still connect with people when she chooses to leave her self-imposed isolation. And, never forget - she's smart and she's good at what she does.


It all adds up to a nice mystery r
...more
Sheelagh
I purchased this because I was feeling rather jaded by the run of the mill female detective / mystery type novels that seem to be all very much the same.
Kate Shugak is a former investigator with the DA's office who has returned to the outskkirts of her native homeland of Alaska to heal her wounds and her soul after a traumatic incident that is only mentioned in passing - I hope in future stories we will find out more of her previous life as it has molded her into the woman she is today.
Without g
...more
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The Danamaniacs: A Cold Day for Murder *SPOILERS* 1 10 May 08, 2013 08:14PM  
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158170
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 24 books)
  • A Fatal Thaw (Kate Shugak, #2)
  • Dead In The Water (Kate Shugak, #3)
  • A Cold-Blooded Business (Kate Shugak, #4)
  • Play With Fire (Kate Shugak, #5)
  • Blood Will Tell (Kate Shugak, #6)
  • Breakup (Kate Shugak, #7)
  • Killing Grounds (Kate Shugak, #8)
  • Hunter's Moon (Kate Shugak, #9)
  • Midnight Come Again (Kate Shugak, #10)
  • The Singing Of The Dead (Kate Shugak, #11)
Dead In The Water (Kate Shugak, #3) Blood Will Tell (Kate Shugak, #6) A Fatal Thaw (Kate Shugak, #2) Breakup (Kate Shugak, #7) Fire And Ice (Liam Campbell, #1)

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“That's some f***ing doorman you've got there, Ms. Shugak.” 7 likes
“grader. After the first snow fell the state road crews stopped where the national park boundaries began. But it was a wonderful park, rich in mountains, for it took in parts of the Mentasta, Nutzotin and Chugach ranges, as well as supporting the entire Quilak range. It boasted several hundred miles of coastline along Prince William Sound, site of one of the richest salmon fisheries in the world, and you could always fly in to fish, if you could fly, or could afford to pay someone who did. A shame that so few could, Park rats told each other, some even with straight faces. There were dozens of airstrips within the Park, some sworn to by FAA charts, but between the time the chart was printed and the time the pilot with a ruptured oil line looked for them they would be overgrown by a hungry forest or eroded out of existence by a change of course in the Kanuyaq.” 0 likes
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