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A Cold Day For Murder (Kate Shugak #1)

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3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  9,938 Ratings  ·  889 Reviews
Somewhere in the hinterlands of Alaska, among the millions of sprawling acres that comprise “The Park,” a young National Park Ranger has gone missing. When the detective sent after him also vanishes, the Anchorage DA’s department must turn to their reluctant former investigator, Kate Shugak. Shugak knows The Park because she’s of The Park, an Aleut who left her home villag ...more
Audio Cassette, 0 pages
Published December 21st 1998 by Books on Tape, Inc. (first published 1992)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Robert
Aug 15, 2012 Robert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Yodamom
3.8 stars
Wonderful first book in a series, I am hooked. Alaskan setting, tough Alaskan woman with scars, fab dog/wolf sidekick, and snarky side characters all wrapped around a decent story ! Ding ding winner ! The cast in this story are offbeat, and maybe a touch crazy, which makes them even more enjoyable to get to know. I have a favorite snarky character Bobby, you have to meet this guy. I want him to be my neighbor, we could get in trouble. :D
If you are looking for a murder mystery series to
...more
Lightreads
Dec 28, 2008 Lightreads rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon)
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 it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Ingrid
Jan 15, 2017 Ingrid rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book very much. Loved reading about Alaska and its people. I like Kate Shugak a lot so I look forward to reading more about her.
Cynthia
Apr 22, 2011 Cynthia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mary Drake
Jan 09, 2017 Mary Drake rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aleutian Kate Shugak and her dog/wolf companion, Mutt, live alone outside of town in the Park, an Alaskan reservation. Scarred physically and psychically after after she killed her attacker while investigating a child abuser for the DA, she hasn't been to town for over a year. Now her past lover and ex-boss, Jack Morgan, wants her to find two men missing in the park - one of whom is another ex-lover.

The descriptive writing in this book is fabulous. Visiting Alaska after reading this book will re
...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
Persis Menon
Nov 02, 2015 Persis Menon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh my, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it's a beautiful clean read with a leading female character who's quit from the DA's office after a heinous crime which has lead to Kate being scared both externally and internally and also has lost her beautiful voice. The way we are lead through the traditions of the Alaskans and the way they think and how difficult it is to for stuff to reach them. This was all news to me. I enjoyed how Kate very slowly and calmly goes about talking/interviewing people a ...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
Lauren
A Cold Day for Murder
3 Stars

After a Park Ranger and the detective sent in to find him both disappear somewhere in the vast and freezing wilderness of Alaska, the Anchorage DAs office requests the aid of former investigator Kate Shugak. A member of the Aleut tribe, Kate has returned home to nurse wounds both physical and psychological incurred while on the job, and is reluctant to leave her self-imposed exile to search for the missing men. However, once she begins asking questions and the answers
...more
Michael
Apr 23, 2014 Michael rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, detective, 2014
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
Jamie Collins
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
Richard
May 03, 2013 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
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
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
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
Deb
Aug 15, 2009 Deb rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009-books-read
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
Gary
Mar 08, 2013 Gary rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A kindle freebie that was well recommended but I was very disappointed. Considering it is a short book it is very slow paced and overly descriptive.
Maybe this was just a bad day at the office but I thought the book was very slow and not worthy of the hype.
Dianne
I'm not going to write a synopsis of this particular book for you since it has been done by other reviewers and done so very well. What I am going to tell you is that if you do pick up this book you will most likely do as I did and have to get the rest. You will feel a need to devour them and find out just how Kate can live in such a inhospitable place (if you don't know what you are doing) These books which are a combination of police procedural and mystery (later books have a tiny tad of roman ...more
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
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
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
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
Norma Budden
Jul 13, 2012 Norma Budden rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Stacielynn
Dec 03, 2012 Stacielynn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
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
Laurel
Mar 07, 2013 Laurel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, series, ebooks
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
Kitty
Apr 10, 2011 Kitty rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adrenaline-rush
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
Barrie Penman
Nov 05, 2012 Barrie Penman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: detective
(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
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Nook books: December 30, 2016 1 2 Dec 30, 2016 07:27PM  
Play Book Tag: A Cold Day for Murder by Dana Stabenow - 4 stars 3 14 Jun 15, 2016 05:24AM  
The Danamaniacs: A Cold Day for Murder *SPOILERS* 1 11 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 21 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)

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“That's some f***ing doorman you've got there, Ms. Shugak.” 8 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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