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A Grave Denied (Kate Shugak #13)

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4.27  ·  Rating details ·  2,778 Ratings  ·  112 Reviews
Everyone knew that Len Dreyer was a handyman for hire in the Park. But no one knew anything else about him including Kate Shugak, who was planning to ask him to help build a small second cabin on her property. When Len's body is discovered, frozen solid, in the path of a receding glacier with a hole from a shotgun blast in his chest, no one had noticed that he had been mis ...more
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Published August 27th 2003 by Random House Audio (first published 1998)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Betty
Dec 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mike Finn
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
...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
...more
Deb
Jun 27, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Permies.world
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
Rebecca
Sep 17, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-fic, mystery, inf_ra
For my first attempt in adult crime novels, this wasn't a bad start. Stabenow's descriptions of Alaska and the types of people who choose to live in the Alaskan wilderness was my favorite part. Also: Kate Shugak is kind of badass.

Despite this, I found this novel to be fairly underwhelming. The "mystery" seemed to happen to Kate--the reader was largely left out of the investigation and fact-finding and instead I was presented with information Kate already had. In a nutshell, I was expecting somet
...more
George
Sep 10, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible
Another fine story in the Kate Shugak series. A body is found floating in glacial meltwater and a few more occur before Kate figures it out. The book has all the familiar characters, plus a few more. Chopper Jim's emotional outburst broke the cast I had in mind for him: intractable, inscrutable, solid cop...not so much. If I could choose a theme, it would be: "Alaskan winters can drive you nuts"...another fine portayal of Alaska's culture that us Outsiders just don't get.
Liz
Jul 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Linda
Jun 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fiction
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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, review
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.
Karen
May 07, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Cindy
Jul 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
K
Feb 12, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Too much Kate And her potential romance with Jim Chopin and too little mystery solving. I found other Kate Shugak stories much more satisfying than this one.
Ape
May 14, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Pretty decent mystery tale of murder and intrigue, although there wasn't a particular theme of Alaska running through this one, in comparison to previous books. Perhaps coming this far into a series, there are only so many themes you can do, and now you have to rely more on mysterious plots and the characters and communities you've built up.

In this tale, it's Break Up again (spring time is coming, everything's melting) and a school trip to a glaciar sees a few kids making the gruesome discovery
...more
Amy
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
This might be the best of the series yet.
Andrew Kirkhouse
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Have not read any if these books for a while , I have been missing out.
A very good read
Peg
Jan 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't know. I love Kate but I think if I almost got killed on every job I'd rethink my career!
Linda Z
Oct 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good author. enjoy the descriptions of Alaska & characters. Kept you guessing on who did it.
Joy
May 03, 2009 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
...more
Krista
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
...more
Kelly ...
May 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Donna
Jun 24, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Mary
Jul 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Janice
Aug 15, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
M
Oct 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Toni
May 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Janet
Apr 16, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
LJ
A GRAVE DENIED – VG
Dana Stabenow – 13th in series
On an eighth-grade field trip to Grant Glacier in Alaska, students discover a corpse in an ice cave beneath the glacier. With too many cases, State Trooper Jim Chopin hires Aleut PI Kate Shugak to investigate. After discovering that the victim had a secret life, Kate becomes the killer's next target.

In this book, we also see Kate from the perspective of Johnny Morgan, the son of Kate’s late lover. This is an excellent series. It’s well written wi
...more
Red
Sep 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I truly love these Kate Shugak mysteries. Stabenow draws the present day Alaska bush with a finely detailed brush, and she inhabits it with a wide array of characters from the likeable to the distinctly not. That being said, in this book I found the action to be a little on the slow side. You could make the act of "making a timeline of the victim's last movements" into a drinking game.it happened so often by many people. Book 13 in the series was mostly relationship building, and not so much of ...more
Jeanne
May 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This series was recommended by a friend and while I was intrigued by the Alaska location I thought it might be too outdoorsy and full of nature for me. Luckily, this was not the case. I really enjoyed the book, the main character and the supporting players. I'll read some more.

2016 update: Read it again as #13 in the series. I just knew I'd read this book before! This was my introduction to the Kate Shugak series and I'm indebted to my friend for introducing me to Kate. I love the characters and
...more
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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 21 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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