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A Taint In The Blood (Kate Shugak, #14)
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A Taint In The Blood (Kate Shugak #14)

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  2,923 Ratings  ·  127 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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Kelly ...
I enjoyed the storyline involving Jim. Kate is rejoining life and enjoying herself again - 2 years after losing Jack. Her flirtation with Jim - her enjoyment of the playfulness of their sex life - is a fun part of this book. It allows the reader to escape the grief that has been so integral to the story for several books.

However, the story here takes place in Anchorage. This means that Bobby is completely absent, as is the character of Alaska. My favorite part of this series is its glimpses into
Loved every minute of it. Just waiting for Jim to get his brains unscrambled. :)
May 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
This must be in my top five Kate Shugak books thus far. Really good crime mystery in this one. And it's probably one of the more accessible books if someone wasn't wanting to read the entire series from the start. As the crime happens in Anchorage, she's not in the park that much in this book, so there's not so much about the ongoing back stories of characters and more about the mystery of the day. It felt like a good old twisted tale of power corrupts and the evil love of money going, as well a ...more
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
This is my umpteenth re-reading of this series and I still come away amazed at how this author can write a mystery. I love how the author can take Kate (us really!) out of the park and plop Kate in the city and have it be a smooth transaction this time. For those of us that have already read to the last book published, we have seen how Kate has grown, has become a bit of a player and has learned to use her strengths and not always her brute strength and Mutts snapping teeth! Although in this boo ...more
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
Nov 08, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 16, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 22, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Lois Blanco
Dec 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kate in Anchorage - Jim Chopin hot on her doorstep - great put-down at swanky party
Sep 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2015
Good as per usual, but a bit heavy on the romance which I'm hoping will start to be relegated to the background a bit more.
Nov 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: overdrive
This, the 14th installment in the series, is set in and around Anchorage. Kate's hired to search a 30 year old murder. As always, the book's about Alaska; but, in this case, it's more about Kate. Her relationship with Chopper Jim evolves and becomes quite sexy--one wonders where Stabenow gets this stuff. Also, Mutt plays a big supporting role, almost human. Oh, and there is a plot too. Happily, I move on to #15.
Michelle Melfi
May 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Truly love this series!

One of my good friends recommended this series and I can't stop reading about Kate's adventures and even 14 books in the frenzy to see how Kate handles the next murder of mystery of both is worth any price.
Jun 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not my favorite, and that was largely because Stabenow's editor was clearly on vacation. There were so many typos and misquotes from literature or common usage errors that I was distracted.
Jul 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stabenow is a new author for me. I will read some more of her books.
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
Feb 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just love this series and I don't understand why she's not better known. Kate Shugak is one of the most real characters I've ever encountered and the Alaska setting is also a great character. This story takes Kate to Anchorage to investigate a 30-year-old murder and the only reason I don't give it 5 stars is because it takes place in Anchorage and I missed the regulars - Bernie, Bobby and Dinah and the like. Mutt is wonderful as always.
Sylvia McIvers
That's a weird set-up: clear my mom of the murder she admitted to 30 years ago.
And then Kate Shugak finding out that the mom is ... quite happy in jail? she's running the education program and doesn't want to leave.

Staying on the job means time away from her family... adopted son Johnny Morgan & sort-of boyfriend Jim Chopin. Mutt stays with Kate, though. Stay on the job? Go home? Then politics is mixed in, and some really nasty rich people. (but Dana Stabenow has shown in other books that p
Kristin Gleeson
Jun 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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
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
May 03, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Nov 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Kate Shugak series by Dana Stabenow is always well plotted and full of the details of Alaska life. In this one Kate is asked to try and free a woman who was convicted 30 years ago for the murder of her son in a fire. She is from a very rich family, one that is connected to Alaskan pioneers. As Kate tries to make some sense of the woman's conviction, several other murders are committed which not only lead to believe that the woman is innocent but that the perpetrator of the crime is still ali ...more
Sue Wargo
May 04, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Sep 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kate Shugak is a wild woman!!! She is also a pretty good detective. It is interesting to read about the Native Alaskan beliefs, which seem to me to be quite similar to Native American. I am far from an expert on either, so I could be wrong. I think it could be difficult to have one foot in the native world and one foot in the Judeo-Christian white world. Native people are referred to as Black in the book, which puzzled me. I had always only thought of that being a reference to the Negro race. I ...more
Jun 10, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Apr 19, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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
Oct 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't normally jump into a series in the middle, but I found this at a used book exchange and thought it sounded good -- and it was. Dana Stabenow can definitely write, and there were even some good laughs. Loved her Kate Shugak character; what a fiesty woman she is! I have never been to Alaska and don't know much about our most northern state, so I especially enjoyed the Alaska setting and history. There were a few too many characters in the story, I thought, but it was still an enjoyable rea ...more
Private investigator Kate Shugak goes to Anchorage to dig into a 31-year old murder conviction that just doesn't add up. She's been hired by a daughter who wants her mother out of prison, but the mother won't cooperate. Various people end up dead and Kate would be too except, you know, she's the heroine. She gets knocked unconscious, which seems to happen in every book, and kidnapped. There's also a fun story line of Kate seducing trooper Jim Chopin, who keeps trying to convince himself that he ...more
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The Danamaniacs: A Taint in the Blood *SPOILERS* 1 7 May 08, 2013 08:39PM  
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  • Death On The Diagonal (Crossword Mysteries, #12)
  • High Country (Anna Pigeon, #12)
  • Getting Old Is Tres Dangereux (Gladdy Gold, #6)
  • Vanishing Point (Sharon McCone, #23)
  • Curses! (Gideon Oliver, #5)
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  • New Year's Eve Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery, #12)
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)