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Though Not Dead (Kate Shugak #18)

4.25 of 5 stars 4.25  ·  rating details  ·  2,415 ratings  ·  264 reviews
The residents of Alaska's largest national park are stunned by the death of one of their oldest members, eighty-seven-year-old Old Sam Dementieff…Even private investigator Kate Shugak. Sam, a lifelong resident, dubbed the "father" of all of the Park rats--even though he had no children of his own--was especially close to Kate, his niece, but even she is surprised to discov ...more
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Published February 1st 2011 by Macmillan Audio (first published November 25th 2010)
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First sentence: The black death didn’t get to Alaska until November.

Old Sam, a tribal leader and surrogate father to PI Kate Shugak, has died. He has made Kate his executor and primary heir but some of his bequests come as a surprise. Kate hadn’t known how much land Sam owned, including a homestead within gold-mining country. Then there’s the letter simply saying, “Find my father,” and how does this tie to a missing Russian icon which was a tribal artifact? Kate doesn’t know but something thinks
I would rate this a solid 4 1/2 stars. Not quite up there with my beloved Whisper to the Blood but pretty darn close. I was a little frustrated by smart Kate's inability to recognize the danger in her way and I hate when innocent people get hurt but it all tied together in a poetic justice way. I loved the two narratives-it was fascinating to learn so much Alaskan history and the way it linked all of it together.

That said, I can't imagine reading this book without having read the others. I fo
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel set in the largest state park in Alaska in early 1900s and describes the latest exploit of Kate Shugak, a private investigator. The story opens with the death of eighty-nine year-old Sam Dementieff who leaves a will leaving everything to his niece Kate including a note saying, "Find my father". This is difficult to accomplish since Sam's father is a mystery man who disappeared after Sam's birth taking with him a stolen priceless tribal artifact, a Russian icon.

I won this book in a giveaway. Judging the book by the cover - it looks terrific! I entered on a whim, since I have not read any of this author's books. I am really looking forward to to getting it and reading it.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This was the audiobook version narrated by Marguerite Gavin

Here we are at the 18th Kate Shugak book and I enjoyed it just as much as any of the earlier books: an unusual occurrence for me in any long-running series. This series has done nothing but improve and I liked it to start with. There are all the components you would expect from a Stabenow book: great characterizations, unique Alaskan historical tidbits, a smooth flow of action, character development, amusing dialogue, mystery, and a nice
I am so happy to have won an advanced readers copy of "Though Not Dead".
I'm a huge Dana Stabenow & Kate Shugak (& Mutt) fan.

I have spent a lot of time in Alaska in the past and Dana's books allow me
to travel back to Alaska without the hassle of several long flights,
layovers and airline hassles.

I'll miss Old Sam but love how this book fleshes out Old Sam's life and in doing so
touches on so much of Alaska's history including the war in the Aleutians and
the Russian history in Sitka, the gre
Cynthia Armistead
Wow. What a great read!

I don't give out many 5-star ratings, even to my favorite authors. They should be reserved for really special books. This one counts.

I doubt that any information about the book itself would be very meaningful to anyone who hasn't read the previous 17 novels, honestly. I just can't imagine starting any series anywhere but in the beginning, but this work, in particular, will be much more enjoyable if read with the full knowledge of all that has come before.

I did enjoy the o
Beth Wood
I am a huge fan of Dana Stabenow's Kate Shugak series, and I think on many levels this is her best one yet. The story was a masterful interweaving of past and present, and the backstory was rich in the history of Alaska as seen through the eyes of one of the characters. The Alaska history was so compelling that I have ordered one of the books named by Stabenow, a fictionalized history by Jim Reader called Castner's Cutthroats. Castner's Cutthroats were a military group who fought the Japanese in ...more
Deanna Drai Turner
This author challenged me a bit. It took me longer to read this book than it normally would. Something about how she constructs her sentences slows me a bit. Perhaps appropriately run on. Perhaps organized backwards. Not sure but she makes me work harder for comprehension than I am accustomed too. It could also be in part because she is telling historical Alaskan fiction, so there are many family names, tribal names, people to keep track of...and then also because this is a book in a series and ...more
Deb Mcmanus
I love the Kate Shugak series, but I was a little worried when I read the description on this one. I don't usually like books that go back and forth in time telling two stories at once. I shouldn't have been. I'm about half way through, and I'm loving this one just as much as all the rest. Sure, I miss Jim (and so does Kate), but there is plenty of action without him!

Just finished Though Not Dead. What a great book! I don't want to give anything away, but Kate and Mutt are at their best, and th
Renée Mee
Think this was one of Dana's best books. Nice blend of fiction and non fiction. Love historical detail about Alaska. I really would like to visit Alaska one day and not from a cruise ship. The author's books paints such rich characters and landscapes about Alaska,you just want to explore it all for yourself. This is only second time I have scored a book a five.
Tess Mertens-Johnson
This is my second Kate Shugak book. I do like this character in both books.
Kate has a surrogate father in Old Sam Dementieff. He was her uncle, but also a father figure to many growing up in Alaska. When he passed away, to Kate’s surprise, he left her everything, and a letter asking her to “find his father”. When she starts her search her life is threatened and jeopardizes the safety of the people she contacts.
Kate then begins her search to Sam’s true origin. Kate finds that his father left not
Cathy Savage
As with the other books in the series I enjoyed it but was disappointed at finding several mistakes in the editing. Some of the word choices I found odd or wrong enough to affect the flow. The mistake, at one point, talking about Old Sam's mother being Ekaterina when in fact it was Elizaveta threw me out of the story for a moment. I have noticed minor inconsistencies through the series but they did not really intrude on my appreciation of the stories. In the first book "A Cold Day for Murder" Ch ...more
Jennifer Rasmussen
My dad loved this book, mostly because he loves Alaska (as a tourist), and he loved reading about the Park. I mildly enjoyed speeding through it, since I felt like I learned a bit about Alaska during WWII and a tiny bit about native culture.
Unlike most mystery series I have read, though, this book was difficult to read if you hadn't read the 17 preceding books. The author continually references them, but not in a skim past review way that makes it easier for new readers to the series. The allus
The best book I have read in a long time and should probably be rated 4 1/2 stars. Private Investigator, Kate Shugak inherits much of the estate of Old Sam, her uncle. She is left with his instructions to "find my father" which almost gets her killed again and again. She charges ahead to unravel the mysterious puzzle with Mutt, her half Huskie and half wolf dog who has a strong bond and is very protective of Kate. The author does a fine job of weaving the past with the present and revealing piec ...more
I won this copy of the upcoming book in First Reads. I got very excited. I've read all of the previous Kate Shugak novels.

Dana Stabenow moves from the Alaskan portion of a historical calamity to the personal repercussions on later generations. The complexity and untrustworthiness of family history gives way layer by layer. Kate inherits land and a mystery from Old Sam Dementieff, one of the giants of her childhood and an icon of The Park. In a parallel and quite different universe, Jim Chopin re
I received this book from the Goodreads First Reads program back in November. Life threw me a few curveballs and I have just now been able to devote the time to read Though Not Dead. I have only one question: Where has Dana Stabenow been all my life?

Though Not Dead is my introduction to Kate Shugak and I felt that I was at a disadvantage not having followed her from the beginning. There were references to past events that I am certain are the subjects of their own books. However, the plot is so
With this latest entry in the Kate Shugak series, Dana Stabenow takes the lead characters into another phase in their relationship together and also allows them to face their conflicted and complex relationships with family members. Each is left a set of clues to a past that neither even guessed existed. Kate must deal with the death of Old Sam and the secrets of his youth. This story line involves a remote homestead claim, a stolen Russian icon, and an unpublished manuscript. Jim is summoned to ...more
Somebody must have recommended this book to me, since I don't usually start reading a series on book #18. I was hesitant, since I can't remember whoe recommended it, but I'm glad I read it.
I thought this would be a weekend mystery read, with a crime, a cop and a mystery to solve. It took me longer than the weekend (it wasn't that short)and it gave me some new knowledge into Alaskan history.
Now I know a bit of Alaska's role in WWII, I know more about Dashiell Hammet (author of The Maltese Falcon)
John Hanscom
Dec 20, 2011 John Hanscom rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
I don't know why, given how long I've lived in Alaska, I haven't read one of her books before, but it was excellent, though I am not sure anyone "Outside" (anywhere not Alaska) would find it as fascinating. In addition to the fictional characters necessary for the novel, the book is filled with real people and places, some of whom I have known and met. There are many references only an Alaskan would understand. Here is one example - when the dogsled was being more or less replaced by snow machin ...more
I won this advanced copy of this book in a give-away!

This is the first book by this author that I have read, so I'm just getting to know the characters. Took me a bit to get the Jack/John/Jims straight in my head and learning the past relationships and histories, but I am getting into the story line now and love Mutt already.

I'm about halfway thru and really enjoying it. Since this is #17 in the series, I guess I have some catching up to do!

Finished this last night and have to say
The Library Lady
Authors burn out. I loved Robert Parker's "Spencer" novels, but by the time we lost him, it was getting obvious that he was just rewriting the same stories he'd written 20 years before. His characters didn't change, didn't grow.

This is NOT the case for Dana Stabenow. She takes risks--including inciting the wrath of her readers by killing off beloved characters, as she did at the end of the last book. And that's what makes her series so real and so continuously interesting. Change is what life is
#18 in the Kate Shugak series. When Dana Stabenow writes about Alaska, she is sure to incorprate interesting historical and/or cultural information. This engrossing novel is not an exception. The appearance of Dashiell Hammett in a contemporary novel about Alaska (in a flashback) is surprising but entirely believable and the sequence about the missing Russian religious icon if not factual, deserves to be.

Kate Shugak series - When her beloved uncle, Old Sam, dies, he bequeaths Kate an odd assortm
I won this copy of the upcoming book in First Reads. I'm pleased to have this opportunity to have an advance copy of a book I would have bought. Thanks First Reads.

I enjoyed reading about the lives of the Alaska park rats and their Native American co-inhabitants. I have read all the Kate Shugak novels and enjoyed this one, too. Much of Alaska's history is related to Native Americans, war, exploration for precious minerals and oil and eco-tourism. This story touches on them all. Who was Old Sam?
Phil Mullen
Reading this after half a dozen less impressive mysteries, I found myself *relishing* Stabenow's story, & believing that Kate Shugak, her gutsy heroine, is real enough to be alive.

Stabenow likes books, & makes sure the reader knows it. She likes words too, & sent me to the dictionary to learn what "make the welkin ring" means. I don't often have to do that with an American writer.

And she loves Alaska (& is in some sense a "regional" writer); & makes sure the reader gets, alon
Book number 18 in the series and I have not been disappointed yet. Kate is grieving for Old Sam, he left most everything to her including a mystery that will put her in the path of three sets of villains. She is clomped on the head so many times in this book I am seriously worried about her mental competency. While packing up Old Sams cabin she is attacked--Mutt was out foraging--then on her way home from town she is run off the road--Mutt races home and brings back Johnny to the rescue--then wh ...more
Jeff Dickison
Another good Shugak entry. There are actually three interconnected stories in this book: 1) Kate must find and return an old icon to her village: 2) Old Sam's story of his youth and his love for Joy and why he is trying to recover the icon: 3) Chopper Jim's relationship with his mother and his recently deceased father. Highly recommended.
Good read. Longer than some of her other books. Kate and Jim shown to be more vulnerable. Gives the backstory for some of the characters. (little more on the aunties) Lot of description of the surroundings.

Kate's uncle, Old Sam, has died leaving her the main beneficiary plus a mystery or two to solve. He wants her to trace his father. Turns out the man he called Dad wasn't his biological father. His biological father was a thief who probably stole something important to the tribe. Kate must trac
I really liked how more history about Alaska as well as some of the characters in the story were woven into the plot of the story. And at the end, just when it looked like everything was falling into place, the plot thickened. Will resolution take place in the next book--I guess I'll need to read it to find out.
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The Danamaniacs: Though Not Dead *SPOILERS* 1 14 May 08, 2013 08:42PM  
Though Not Dead 3 21 Nov 15, 2011 05:05AM  
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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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“Three-hour layover in Seattle. If you were flying Alaska Airlines and you wanted to go to hell you had to fly through Seattle to get there.” 3 likes
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