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A Grave Denied (Kate Shugak #13)

4.25  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,499 Ratings  ·  103 Reviews
Everyone knew Len Dreyer, a handyman for hire in the Park near Niniltna, Alaska, but no one knew anything else about him. Even Kate Shugak, who was planning to ask him to help build a small second cabin on her property, knew him. But she, the Park's unofficial P.I., seems to have known less about him than anyone.

When Len Dreyer's body is discovered, frozen solid, in the pa
Paperback, 352 pages
Published July 11th 2004 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published 1998)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dec 29, 2015 Betty rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best Kate Shugak books I had have read. On a visit to Grant's Glacier a high school class finds the body in the edge of the glacier. He was the handyman of the park Len Dreyer. He always worked for cash and there is no record in his name. Chopper Jim hires Kate to asked to explore his background. Johnny is now living with Kate. Johnny is determined he will not go back to his Mother and runs away. When Kate returns from finding her house is on fire. Bobby's bigot brother is vis ...more
Barbara ★
Kate Shugak is finally, finally over the loss of Jack Morgan (well sort of) when his son Johnny appears on her doorstep. Jack's dying request was for Kate to take care of Johnny so Kate is determined to do right by Johnny even if it means fighting is PITA mother, Jane for custody. I love how Kate knows her facts and uses them to the best advantage. The scene between Jane, Kate and Johnny was priceless.

Of course there is never just one thing going on in the park and one of them is always a murder
Jun 27, 2010 Deb rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010-books-read
A Grave Denied is another terrific installment in the Kate Shugak series. Kate's "ward" Johnnie Morgan and his classmates discover the frozen body of a long-time Park resident in a glacial cave. Jim Chopin asks Kate to help with the investigation, much to the jealous dismay of Dandy Mike, who's hoping to become Jim's assistant trooper. As in all the other books, a few more murders/attempted murders occur before Kate gets it all sorted out. What made this book standout for me was the inclusion of ...more
Jul 15, 2014 Liz rated it really liked it
The Kate Shugak series massively appealed to me. She is a moral, if not slightly damaged (aren't we all?!) Native Alaskan woman who solves mysteries around Alaska and has a wolf-dog roommate. I started reading them in Unalaska and continued in Dillingham and still think that anybody who wants to visit Alaska but can't afford the air-fare could get a pretty good tour, not to mention enjoying some well-crafted mystery, by reading these books.
Aug 16, 2016 Linda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
Another true to form Kate Shugak mystery, including near death for Kate, perhaps new romance, lots of local color, great character development, as well as picturesque word paintings of the setting. I read later books in the series before this one and wondered about what had happened in the past. This book filled in a big gap in the chronology of Kate Shugak's life. This was a fun and engaging read, although not always fun for Kate.
Tony Hisgett
Aug 25, 2015 Tony Hisgett rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
This is my favorite Kate Shugak story. In several of the previous books (e.g. The Singing of the Dead etc) the author seems to be trying to rely less on Kate as her main character. This is a mistake, as what makes this series different from many others, is Kate!
In this book the different elements of the story revolve around Kate and as a result the book is far more interesting.
Kelly ...
May 13, 2016 Kelly ... rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries, fiction
I like this series though there have been some ups and downs. I have loved a couple of the books -- including Breakup -- and there are a couple of reasons why. 1. The author does a good job of adding humor to the story; and 2. The author lets Alaska shine as its own character. The books I have liked better than others in the series have both of those features and also let the supporting characters shine.

This book isn't quite up to that standard -- but Kate is coming back into herself. She has be
Jul 09, 2015 Cindy rated it it was amazing
I love this series! When the local handyman is killed, Kate Shugak is hired to investigate the murder. In this close Park community, she quickly learns that no one really knew the man that worked in their midst. I could not put this one down as A Grave Denied
Sep 24, 2015 Kem rated it it was amazing
The first third or so was slow going, a lot of historical facts and geological lessons. I really liked it when Kate put Johnny's Mother in her place. I like it that Kate is teaching Johnny to face his problems instead of running away. The last part was scary. Although I knew that Kate wasn't going to die because there's more in the series, but it really felt like she and Mutt both were, and by a crazy person that I didn't see coming at all. I usually can guess the motive and bad guy way ahead of ...more
Oct 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
I haven't really liked this series since the author killed off Jack. Everything is so much more sexual. It feels like a romance series with a mystery instead of a genuine mystery. It's just sad. The first half of the series was great. Unfortunately, the author fell prey to the trap of trying to stay mainstream, instead of what brought readers to her series in the first place. I'm done. The last two, were on the edge for me. I read this one and the next one and I'm just done. Disappointed. I real ...more
Mike Finn
Jul 21, 2016 Mike Finn rated it really liked it
A Grave Denied"A Grave Denied" is not quite as light-hearted as "Breakup" was (duh! It has the word Grave in the title) but it is more upbeat than any book from "Hunter's Moon" onwards.

Kate is no longer lost. She is coming back to herself and coming home. Of course, this being a Kate Shugak book, that turns out to have a great deal of trauma and risk associated with it.

The story revolves around the discovery that someone has shot dead a local handy man and hidden his body in a glacier. At the ov
I am so enjoying this series. Kate Shugak is a three dimensional character who fights her own inner demons, and helps fight the external demons too. This is the 13th book in Dana Stabenow’s evolving series that is set in Alaska. I like this series because the characters do change and grow as they face the ups-and-downs that all of us face in life. Kate Shugak isn’t spared any of those life experiences. In fact compared to her, my life has been pretty tame.

In this outing, Kate is trying to help f
Dec 25, 2009 Joy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any mystery lovers
Recommended to Joy by: reading the series
A body found in a glacier cave turns out to be the Park's competent but low-profile handyman. He was murdered roughly 6 months ago, so alibis are pretty near impossible. So little is known about him that motive is difficult to find, too. A solution would have been impossible except that the killer feels it necessary to kill more people to protect the secret.

If you haven't read the Kate Shugak series, you have a treat in store. Here Kate is recovering from the death of a lover, with the help of h
Lisa Wolf
I just can't stop reading this series! A Grave Denied was particularly good (but I have a feeling I've said that about most of the books in the Kate Shugak series). I end up enjoying the books in the series where Kate stays closer to home, investigating crimes in and around Niniltna, so that we get not just Kate but all the members of the community who we know so well by now, and in that regard, A Grave Denied absolutely hits the spot. I love these books -- onward to the next!
phillip d ford
Jun 15, 2015 phillip d ford rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another Dana Stabenow winner

As always intense read and unable to put down until the end! I have read many writers in my life and Dana is in my opinion the cream of the crop. I began reading murder mysteries back in 1985. 36 years I have read various writers and not a one can hold a candle to the Kate Shugak novels, and the other side-line books Dana has published.
Feb 25, 2016 Helen rated it it was amazing
Lucky 13 in Dana Stabenow's Kate Sugak series and one of my favorites. The body of a popular handyman is found frozen in an ice cave when a glacier recedes, and Kate is on the case. The murderer kills one of the investigators and burns down Kate's cabin in a futile attempt to keep the truth from coming out. Kate's young ward, Johnny, and his classmates play an important role.
Oct 07, 2015 Ed rated it really liked it
#13 in the Kate Shugak series.

Kate Shugak searches for the killer of park general handyman Len Dreyer whose body has been found in a glacier by her ward, Johnny Morgan, and his friend Jessica Cox. Kate also manages to convince Johnny's mother that it is not in her best interest to pursue getting guardianship of Johnny from Kate.
Jul 04, 2007 Donna rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Mystery fans
Shelves: mystery-suspense
For those of us Outside, Dana Stabenow's novels are a window to the rough Alaskan frontier, with its extreme climate, raw culture, and edgy balance of power between animals and humans. She's deft with details, and her plots aren't bad, either.

Perhaps the two central characters of her series, Alaskan native Kate Shugak and state trooper Jim Chopin, are just a tad overblown. Kate's intractable independence and Jim's all-too-frequent outbursts of emotion are sometimes a little hard to swallow--for
Maxine Thomas
Jan 08, 2016 Maxine Thomas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kate shugak

Every book Dana Stabenow writes I cannot put down. I am in Amsterdam. My Kindle isn't working for movies here so I can still check books out of the Las Vegas library!
I have read 7 since I have been here! She is one of the best writers of our time!
Jeff Dickison
Oct 29, 2015 Jeff Dickison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would have given this 4.5 stars if I were allowed to do so. Kate & Chopper Jim investigate the death of a handyman whose body was found in a glacier cave. There are plenty of suspects but the actual killer will surprise you. Recommended.
May 07, 2016 Karen rated it it was ok
I'm enjoying these enough to keep reading them, but the romance is getting a little on the dubious-consent side and there's a bit too much rescuing the previously self-sufficient heroine in the last couple for my personal liking.
Aug 04, 2011 Mary rated it really liked it
Len Dreyer, a Park handyman, is discovered by middle schoolers on a field trip, frozen solid, in the path of a receding glacier, with a hole from a shotgun blast in his chest. No one had even noticed that he was missing for months. Alaska State Trooper Jim Chopin asks Kate to help him dig into Dreyer's background. She takes the case, mindful of the need for gainful employment as she fights for custody of Johnny, the teenage boy in her care and the son of her dead lover, Jack. She tries to trace ...more
Kathy Forslling
May 19, 2015 Kathy Forslling rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book.

This wasn't the best of these stories but good enough. The End was heartwarming. Kate and her new son get a new home. Built with love by all of Kate's numerous family and friends. Cool.
Jul 03, 2016 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
Each book in this series is better than the last!!! Puzzles - the whodunit - are excellent. But what really makes this series is the completely believable characters, including "life in the Bush". I can't wait for the next book!
Jul 26, 2010 Janet rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, read-2010, alaska
Yes, in the genre of mysteries, the writing style and the outcome of the plots can be predictable. Stabenow's outcomes are usually not predictable. In this the thirteenth book in the Kate Shugak series, Stabenow evolves as a writer! Having read the previous twelve titles I was anxious to see how the character of teenager Johnny Morgan, now in Kate's care was woven into the story. Interspersed between several of the chapters, the reader finds a diary entry by Johnny from his teenage perspective w ...more
Aug 15, 2010 Janice rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries
Kate Shugak, worrying where she's going to get the money for an upcoming custody battle, takes a murder investigation from trooper Jim Chopin. The body was found in a receding glacier by her ward, Johnny, and some of his classmates. During the investigation kate's cabin is burned down, luckily neither she nor Johnny were there. As Kate gets closer to the murderer, she and mutt are attacked and almost buried alive.
Kate's cabin gets rebuilt by the community, Jim swears off Kate, Kate pulls out th
May 03, 2013 Toni rated it really liked it
I really liked it even if there is an inconsistency between it and a previous book in the serious. Earlier in the series Jack has Johnny look at a dead body but when he finds the body in this book Johnny claims to have never seen one before.

The case that Kate ends up investigating this time is the death of the park handyman. Johnny, her late lover's kid, finds the body during a field trip. Jim the state trooper covering the park is stretched thin so he asks Kate to ask around. Kate soon finds ou
Oct 25, 2012 M rated it it was amazing
We get to delve into Johnny's mind a bit as part of the book is his journal. Johnny is now living with Kate as his guardian. Johnny has a girl friend. On a school field trip to see Grants Glasier, they find a body. Kate investigates and finds the man's cabin has been burned. She knows she is close to the truth when someone burns down her cabin. Kate Shugak is on the war path. When Kate is clobbered on the head with a shovel and she and Mutt almost buried alive, Jim arrives just in time to pull h ...more
Feb 01, 2014 Monty rated it liked it
Another terrific Kate Shukgak mystery. Along with the murders to solve, much happens on the personal front for Kate and some people close to her. Next for me is #14 in the series.
Ellen Thielen
Aug 18, 2014 Ellen Thielen rated it it was amazing
The saga continues! Murder/ action/ love story/ friendships/family this one has it all!
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The Danamaniacs: A Grave Denied *SPOILERS* 1 7 May 08, 2013 08:38PM  
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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 20 books)
  • A Cold Day For Murder (Kate Shugak, #1)
  • 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)

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