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Spoils of the Dead

(Liam Campbell #5)

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  281 ratings  ·  52 reviews
It's Labor Day in Blewestown, Alaska, and it seems most of the town's thirty-five hundred residents have turned out to celebrate – or to cause trouble. Not Liam Campbell, though. He's checking out the local watering hole in his new town. He's finally made it out of Newenham and is ready for a quiet life with his wife.

He's been in town for about a week when an archaeologist
Kindle Edition
Published February 4th 2021
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Average rating 4.12  · 
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Jan 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
Dana Stabenow is the author of the well known Alaskan Kate Shugak series, and this lesser known State Trooper Liam Campbell series too. If you are new to the series, this, the fifth in the series is fine to read as it provides so much of the requisite background of Campbell. Here, Campbell is located to the more populous and beautiful location of Blewestown, and has purchased a home for him and his wife and pilot, Wyanet 'Wy' Chouinard, about to join him after selling her profitable flying busin ...more
Feb 04, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Spoils of the Dead is the fifth instalment in the Liam Campbell series and is another richly-atmospheric and immersive thriller set in Alaska. Newenham is an ice-bound bush town with a six-bed jail, a busted ATM and a saloon that does double-duty as a courtroom. It's a wide-enough patch to warrant a state police presence, though, and Trooper Liam Campbell is it. Campbell has been exiled from Anchorage to Newenham in disgrace, busted down from sergeant to trooper in the aftermath of a mistake tha ...more
Laz the Sailor
Feb 19, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
I have read everything (almost?) by this author, and I have loved all of her stories, Kate is best, but Liam and Wy are a delight, and even the early scifi series has its charm. Silk and Song was epic and beautiful, Isis was charming.

But this book misses the mark. It's been many years since the previous book was published, but the book picks up only a year later. However, everything has changed. Liam and Wy are now in a new town, with many new characters to meet. These run the full range of norm
Jan 28, 2021 rated it liked it
2.5 rounded to a 3⭐

[I received a physical copy for an honest review]

Spoils of the Dead
by Dana Stabenow is the 5th book in her Liam Campbell mystery series. Why Amanda did you request book 5 when you haven't read the first four? When the PR company offered me it to review all it had was the name, author and synopsis and the synopsis doesn't say it's a series. When I went on goodreads and saw it was book 5 I said why not because a few of the early review said I would be fine going into without re
Feb 12, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Stabenow's series about Liam Campbell have been among my favorites for years, and I've been looking forward to reading this one. But, sadly, Spoils of the Dead just doesn't measure up. Roughly a third of the book is descriptions of the landscape, the characters are barely filled in and Bill is gone. There just isn't much there to get hold of. Ms. Stabenow hinted that COVID-19 put a damper on her writing, and that this manuscript was months late. Maybe her publisher should have given her more tim ...more
Feb 06, 2021 rated it liked it
not worth the wait, sorry Dana.
Feb 23, 2021 rated it did not like it
I am giving this book one star and frankly that is a gift. I'm not even sure why a writer that is as good as Ms. Stabenow has been in the past would publish something like this that is at best half done. Her publisher also should be ashamed of releasing it. They should have sent it back to her and told her that if she wanted to be paid for writing a book, then she needs to actually write one. The only good thing I can say about it is that when she does bother to actually try to create the myster ...more
Tove R.
Jan 28, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Trooper Liam Campbell has been exiled to a small town in Alaska. He is not fully welcome there either, and he's being told his jurisdiction is outside of town. Luckily, and a bit to his surprise, he has a local woman, Sally, helping him with the office work. A boy finds old bones, and when Liam checks it out he finds a fresh body there as well.

Set in the Alaskan wilderness you can feel the breeze and the open spaces. The book is more an steadily forward moving story than a suspense book. It is w
Feb 17, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horrible
I'm editing this review to add this disclaimer: I bought this book (pre-ordered it) before there was any synopsis for it. Had there been one, I wouldn't have been so shocked and disappointed with this, actually, I still would have been disappointed.

What a disappointment. Other than Liam still being a Trooper-everything else has changed. I feel like I missed one or two books. Apparently, a number of years have gone by, and we are only treated to the briefest of explanations of what happ
Feb 11, 2021 rated it it was ok
A great disappointment from one of my favorite authors. Most of the problems with this book result from a skimpy story would have made a great short story. There's simply not enough story to sustain a novel and Stabenow did a lot of things to fill in the text. There's a great deal of information on Alaska history and topography/geology (especially character Wy's view from her plane), the various ring tones the characters use on their phones, and Liam and Wy's sex life. Reference is mad ...more
Kaitlyn Dunnett
Feb 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-not-cozy
I almost didn't make it past an information dump early on. The mind-numbing description of the scenery as Wy flies toward her new home was totally unnecessary. After that, however, and the murder required to make this a murder mystery, things picked up, although I'm not sure why Liam didn't catch on to a couple of things much earlier. Even I figured out one of them, and I'm notoriously bad at spotting clues. That said, anyone who has enjoyed Stabenow's previous Liam Campbell mysteries will certa ...more
Feb 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021

Hidden relationships, loves, the oldest problems in the world.
All acted out by carefully created people going through normal, extraordinary lives.
This author has created a world I love to inhabit. Her writing is strong enough that I can completely enter that world, no matter what changes she makes to it, as I read her words.
Congratulations lady.
You did it again.
Feb 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
Wonderful to be reading about Liam and Wy again. And getting another look at a bit of life in Alaska is also pretty excellent. I know it’s all fiction, but the author admits that her settings are “inspired” by real places. The mystery plot was fascinating, with some interesting twists. Hope there will be more mysteries to follow.
Chris Conley
Mar 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
What a refreshing change to read a story that presents some really serious crimes but the main character doesn’t fire, let alone draw, his gun. He uses all the resources at his command and we find out what happened.
Jan 19, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
wish it had been longer.
I’m a bit disappointed. In anticipation of this new Liam Campbell story I reread the entire series. Reading the stories one right after the other, I had several realizations. THe Liam stories are shorter and lighter weight than the Kate Shugak books, with more humor, mostly at Liam’s expense. This story just seemed like less of everything. Less actual story, less mystery, less Alaska. I’m going to guess that this is the effect of the first year of COVID on an author. How does depression affect o ...more
Feb 03, 2021 rated it liked it
A murder mystery set in Alaska? Yes!

This book is number five in the Liam Campbell series. I didn’t feel like I was missing too much by not having read the others. The story is well written. Plenty of descriptive scenes. I could picture the beautiful landscape in my head. The story is good, however I had a hard time getting into it. It didn’t engage me very much. Like something was missing. It seemed like it was being told in a monotone voice the whole way through. The highlight of the book was
Linda Freeman
I am a HUGE fan of the Kate Shugak and Liam Campbell series. HUGE..and with the 5th Liam Campbell, my love affair continues. I thoroughly enjoy the description of the geography and the mixed historical stories for the area(s). Liam and Wy have come a long way and the love they share is so warm that they seem to be in their own little bubble.

The suspense aspect of the book always serve to introduce the reader to the local environment, to the residents and to some of the social and cultural aspec
Feb 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I will preface this review with one fact: I love all things Kate Shugak and Liam Campbell. With that being said, I feel like this 5th installment for Liam and Wy was extremely quick. While the character development was not lacking, it definitely could have used some additional fleshing out. This story was linear compared to a lot of other Stabenow works where she pretty much drew a detailed picture of the people and places so we didn't feel so much we were reading as we were actually there. This ...more
Feb 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Good book. Wish they hadn't brushed off their wedding.... One wonders whether they have missed a book.....

It's Labor Day in Blewestown, Alaska, and it seems most of the town's thirty-five hundred residents have turned out to celebrate – or to cause trouble. Not Liam Campbell, though. He's checking out the local watering hole in his new town. He's finally made it out of Newenham and is ready for a quiet life with his wife.

He's been in town for about a week when an archaeologist invites him out to
Penny Christmas
Feb 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The problem with this book.

Yes there is a problem, as with the previous Liam Campbell and all the Kate Shugak books, I can't put them down. Gave up at 02:30 this morning for a few hours sleep and it is now 10:40 and I have just finished this book. I don't like giving the story away on any review as I think readers should read the book and make up their own mind, I will just say thank you to Dana Stabenow for another excellent book and I do wish there was going to be a Kate 23 as well as a Liam 6
Feb 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Liam Campbell has returned! He's been transferred to Blewestown, Alaska from his many years in Newenham. He & his wife, Wy, aren't even settled in to their new home when a body has been discovered in a cave. It's that of an archeologist Liam had met, and liked, just a few days before. Then, the bones of someone are discovered hidden in a crevice in the same cave. It's that of an archeologist Liam had met, and liked, just a few days before. The man had attended a party with a total of 20 people i ...more
Alex Ball

I'm a huge fan of Dana Stabenow, and I was looking forward to this book so much. That adds to my disenchantment with it, I suppose, but her failure to bring to life characters that had already lived in previous books is puzzling. Wy is nothing but a yes -woman here, and everyone else is equally one -dimensional. The book is very short, just as well because nothing much happens in it. The mystery, such as it is, is solved by someone coming in and telling Liam about it.
All good things
Edward Barrett
Feb 20, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries
Not one of Stabenow's stronger entries. The book starts slowly with an introduction to Liam's new post, the region, and some of the main characters. Frequent references to Liam's past exploits strain the reader's ability to remember the previous stories and understand the references to them. The mystery itself is weak as you will see. On a positive note, it's a quick read. I can't explain more without spoiling. Overall, ok, but not great.
Moira Mackinnon
Feb 20, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I enjoyed this even though the mystery is fairly straight-forward - it was like meeting up with old friends. One of the things I always like about Dana's mysteries is that she tells you what her characters are reading ( and they often seem to like the same authors I do!). One thing I noticed in this book, that I have also commented on in several of my recent reviews, is the occasional sloppy editing errors - 2 in the first few pages here, and a couple more near the end of the book. Annoying! ...more
Enjoyable, but a huge part of the book is taken up with descriptions of the land, the town, and the general terrain. Could have used less of it. Campbell has moved to a new community and a good bit of the book introduces all the new people he meets. The mystery part seemed to take a distant third to the land and the characters. Read some Liam Campbell long, long ago, but have no particular memories. Liked this enough would go back and read or reread earlier books.
Feb 25, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Alaska State Trooper Liam Campbell has a new posting in a small coastal town and barely has time to find his uniform before he's got a murder on his hands. An archaeologist digging up artifacts is found dead at his site and there are multiple potential suspects. While there are lovely descriptions of Alaska and its beauty, the plot just didn't do it for me.

I love Dana Stabenow's Kate Shugak stories, so I think I need to stick with them.
Jan 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hooray for this exciting storyline! I couldnt put it down and read it in one sitting!! Although I hadn’t read the first four books in the series. I felt that I wasn’t missing to much. I am excited to get my hands on the other titles soon. As well as needing to know what happens next!

If your looking for a new author to get addicted to well try this one out!!
The Library Lady
Feb 27, 2021 rated it liked it
Getting out of Newenham may seem like a good idea to Liam and Wye, leaving painful memories behind, but I'm not sure if their new town will please them or their readers in the long run. And the mystery here is just not up to the standard I'd expect from Stabenow. Was she really into writing this book? ...more
Sharon Shriner
Feb 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another homerun

It was fun and interesting to see the transition in a move from one town to another. It was done without a hitch. Loved the new scene. Hope there are more! Thank you!
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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.

Other books in the series

Liam Campbell (6 books)
  • Fire and Ice (Liam Campbell, #1)
  • So Sure Of Death (Liam Campbell, #2)
  • Nothing Gold Can Stay (Liam Campbell, #3)
  • Better To Rest (Liam Campbell #4)
  • Restless In The Grave (Kate Shugak, #19 / Liam Campbell, #5)

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