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A Taint In The Blood (Kate Shugak #14)

4.2 of 5 stars 4.20  ·  rating details  ·  2,206 ratings  ·  91 reviews
Thirty-one years ago in Anchorage, Alaska, Victoria Pilz Bannister Muravieff was convicted of murdering her seventeen-year-old son William. The jury returned a quick verdict of guilty, believing the prosecutor's claims that she had set fire to her own home with both her sons inside; William died and the other, Oliver, narrowly escaped. Victoria was sentenced to life in pri ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published April 1st 2007 by Minotaur Books (first published June 9th 2004)
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I was disappointed in this installment of the Kate Shugak series. Kate is hired to clear a dying woman's name of a deadly arson conviction from 30 years past. She heads to Anchorage to investigate which is where the book takes place. She is accompanied through most of the book by Jim Chopin. The mystery was only mildly engaging, and I missed the park and wilderness setting in this one. I also felt like the book's purpose was more to develop the sexual relationship between Jim and Kate than to in ...more
Too much sex!!! Kate is hired to solve a 30 year old murder that the employee's mother, Charlotte Muravieff, is convicted of. The daughter believes her mother could not have set their house on fire with her two sons inside (one is killed in his sleep, having been drugged) for insurance money. But Charlotte, in jail, insists she is guilty. Then everyone associated with the case starts dying.
Melvin Brown
I loved this book it is a very good story. My reason for rating it so high is the fact that I lived in Alaska for thirty years. I read books about Alaska that you can tell the author knows nothing about the state. Not so with Dana Stabenow she defiantly knows of what she speaks. Not just geography she knows the people and the lifestyle which makes her writing real and a pleasure to read.
Barbara ★
There's nothing I like more than returning to Alaska with Kate Shugak. This one showcased a totally different side to Kate - a sexy, seductive side. Boy did she ever show Jim Chopin a good time again and again and again. Hmmm you go girl! Poor Jim doesn't know what hit him and he's still in denial. I can't wait to see his reaction when he realizes Kate's the only one for him.
My first Kate Shugak--although Dana Stabenow's books have been recommended many times. I usually like to read a series from beginning to end, at least roughly in order, but the library had this one in, and available on CD. Lots of sassy writing and a nicely plotted mystery. This won't be my last Kate Shugak--I like Stabenow's style.
Mike Finn
"A Taint In The Blood" is the most lighthearted, optimistic, Kate Shugak novel since "Breakup" (which was book seven - way back in time).

I liked the humorous start to the book, with Kate offering I-hate-owing-people-anything motivated "help" to the people who rebuilt her home at the end of the last book and driving them crazy in the process.

I also liked that Kate has now come out of her trauma-induced hibernation and is ready to toy with Jim Chopin, the habitual womanizer who keeps telling himse
Stabenow has really matured into a very good mystery writer as her Kate Shugak novels have progressed. I like this series because I love a good mystery AND I like learning about Native Culture, Alaska (geographically, environmentally, politically, and way of living). It makes it interesting.
Loved every minute of it. Just waiting for Jim to get his brains unscrambled. :)
June Ahern
A Taint In The Blood by Dana Stabenow was a first time read for me. From what I've read this is one in the series of Alaska's Private Detective Kate Shugak. Since I've not read many books that take place in the Alaskan wilderness I began the book with great interest (plus I love a mystery). Both aspects were satisfied. There were many plots and themes in this book and I add, a lot of sex parts too. Ms. Stabenow brings the new reader up-to-date from previous stories with Kate's past such as the d ...more
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.
May 03, 2009 Joy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves mysteries
30 years is a very old case. Victoria was convicted of the murder by arson of her teenaged son, and after she spends 30 years in prison, her daughter Charlotte hires Kate Shugak to prove she didn't do it.

Victoria is the daughter of one of Alaska's most powerful families. Considering all the unscrupulous maneuvers made by the family's patriarch, why did they ever let her get convicted? I knew who committed the original crime within the first few chapters, but that didn't stop me from relishing th
A TAINT IN THE BLOOD (Private Investigator-Alaska-Cont) – VG
Dana Stabenow – 14th in series
St. Martin’s Minatour, 2004 – Hardcover
Kate Shugak is hired by wealthy Charlotte Muravieff to prove her mother, Victoria, innocent of the crime for which she has served 30 years in prison, the arson death of her son. But Victoria isn’t making it easy when she tried to fire Kate and no one else in this influential Alaskan family is willing to help.
*** Kate is one of my favorite characters; she’s tough, indep
Kristin Gleeson
Actually this is more a 3.5 and probably because it's about Alaska and it features an Aleut woman so that pushed it beyond a 3. This is one of Dana Stabenow's mysteries featuring the Aleut private investigator, Kate Shugak. This is my first foray into Stabenow and it certainly follows the mystery/thriller formula laid down by so many before, Chandler being at the top of the list. Kate is engaging as a character and her backstory is interesting, though coming in the middle of the series, I do fee ...more
LANGUAGE! This is a Kate Shugak mystery #14. A woman asks Kate to clear her mother's name after the mother has spent 30 years in jail for arson that resulted in killing her son, the daughter is convinced her mom is innocent. And Kate uncovers a can of worms when she starts looking into the case.
Sue Wargo
May 04, 2011 Sue Wargo rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any mystery series reader
Shelves: mysteries
This is # 14 in the series of the Shugak books. My mystery book group chose this to read and learn about Dana Stabenow. The over all feeling was that out of 5 points that we gave the book a 3.8. The catch for us is that most authors giive you back story so that if you jump into the middle of a series but this one does not. While it is an interstng plot, you definitely get the impression throughout the book that you are really missing key background on people, places, and things. I found the rela ...more
Ellen Thielen
In this part of the series Kate is starting to move on after the death of her lover. Most of the action happens in Anchorage this time. I didn't find that aspect as interesting as when the story takes place out in the bush. But was still a fast paced read.
I am enjoying this series quite a bit and was not disappointed in this one. The balance and counterbalance of murder mystery solving and Kate's personal life is shifting a bit towards the personal side, and I would prefer the opposite.
Jeff Dickison
Good Kate Shugak novel as she attempts to resolve a 31-year arson/murder case without getting a lot of people killed. In this one Kate's libido gets revved up and Chopper Jim gets the benefit. Recommended.
Jun 10, 2007 JC rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes a good mystery and/or a tough female protagonist
Shelves: mysteries
I love Dana Stabenow's writing, but most especially her Kate Shugak novels. She writes incredibly quirky characters - even the smallest bit parts are memorable. She describes Alaska so vividly and with great love - her stories could not be picked up and placed anywhere else. But it's Kate Shugak most of all that keeps me reading. Possibly the only Native Alaskan female PI in all of the fiction world, she's tough as nails and stubborn as an ox - once she's on a case, she will not be deterred. A T ...more
Kate Shugak reluctantly agrees to investigate a 31 year old murder case. Her client's mother was convicted of killing her own son for money. Now her daughter wants Kate to prove that she didn't do it.

Investigating so cold a case is frustrating, witnesses and investigators have died or disappeared. The convicted woman refuses to even talk to Kate. But, even stranger, it seems that someone is pulling strings to prevent Kate from learning the truth. Why, after all these years?

In her personal life K
Always great to catch up with Kate Shugak. I've read so many that I don't remember which ones I've read. This one is about an old Anchorage family that hit it rich with statehood. Then they started killing each other.
Kate Shugak! The quintessential female heroine! Great mystery plots on the res in Alaska.
A good mystery. I always enjoy Stabenow's books.
As others have noted, Dana Stabenow does a great job of evoking place and the culture of Alaska in her Kate Shugak series. And (as others have noted) she's very good at creating quirky, memorable characters--starting with Shugak herself, a feisty little fire plug of a woman who can seemingly take on any number of armed men single-handedly and somehow come out on top.

If the ending of A Taint in the Blood seemed a bit contrived, no harm; this is escapist literature, and it's the ride, not the des
That Kate is one plucky girl!
Enquête à Anchorage sur l'une des plus prestigieuses familles d'Alaska. Un milieu pas particulièrement au goût de Kate (ni de Mutt: peu de gibier en ville) qui s'entête à démasquer un complot autour d'une meurtre remontant à plusieurs décennies.
Kate prouve aussi à Chopper Jim Chopin que toute résistance est futile et Mutt nous régale de ses commentaires sages sur son humaine et sur son homme préféré.
Un peu moins en profondeur que d'habitude, mais tout aussi divertissant.
Kate Shugak is asked to investigate a thirty year old murder. Kate is rubbing elbows with the rich and entitled, a very scary bunch. At the end of the previous book Trooper Jim tries to break up with Kate--but she has other plans. Jim is so whipped--I giggled all through this one. Kate gets bonked on the head yet again, poor thing this has got to play havik with her short term memory. No one needs to rescue her this time, she takes care of herself and the bad guys too.
No doubt, I first began to read Stebenow's mystery series because they are set in Alaska and often feature the Alaskan wilderness and native life. Edgar award winner, Stabenow's writings have evolved greatly since the early 90s, yet she still maintains a fresh, unique approach. Learn more from an interview article by C.E. White at Writers Write (lj)
I'm reading these out of order, so there is kind of a sense of "deja vu" since some of the characters appear in other books. Almost felt like I'd read this book before, however there were certain other pieces that I didn't remember - not sure if I did read it before or whether it's because bits of the story appeared in later books in the series.

In general, I do like the strong sense of family, the Alaska setting and Mutt.
It has been awhile since I read number 13 in this series, about three years ago. Same Kate, same type of storyline, she seems to be over her grief and is definitely in pursuit of Jim Chopin. Definitely appears that Kate's sexual identity is owned by her and is not dependent on the man she is with. Definitely I still enjoy this series and can't put the easily read books down when I start one.
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The Danamaniacs: A Taint in the Blood *SPOILERS* 1 7 May 08, 2013 08:39PM  
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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 24 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)
A Cold Day For Murder (Kate Shugak, #1) Dead In The Water (Kate Shugak, #3) Blood Will Tell (Kate Shugak, #6) A Fatal Thaw (Kate Shugak, #2) Breakup (Kate Shugak, #7)

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