Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Though Not Dead (Kate Shugak, #18)” as Want to Read:
Though Not Dead (Kate Shugak, #18)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Though Not Dead

(Kate Shugak #18)

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  4,118 ratings  ·  370 reviews
The residents of Alaska’s largest national park are stunned by the death of one of their oldest members, eighty-seven-year-old Sam Dementieff…even investigator Kate Shugak. Sam, a lifelong resident, was dubbed the “father” of all of the Park rats—even though he had no children of his own. Kate, his niece, is surprised to discover that in his will he’s left her everything, ...more
Hardcover, 464 pages
Published February 1st 2011 by Minotaur Books (first published November 25th 2010)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.27  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,118 ratings  ·  370 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Though Not Dead (Kate Shugak, #18)
Possible spoilers*
Maybe the title should have been Whack a Mole Kate. Is there anyone not trying to hit her ? Yeah Kate get hit, no spoiler there I promise. Kate is in Alaska dealing with Sam's death and Jim is in CA dealing with his father's death. Each has dark discoveries ahead, and they must deal separately.
Old Sam, oh he will be missed. That crusty old man was a fun hard character. He passed and left Kate as executor of his will. He also left her one hell of a mystery or two or three to so
Mike Finn
“Though Not Dead” was a wonderful, spirit-raising read. This is Kate Shugak at her best, following a quest, solving puzzles, exploring her family’s past, using her wits and her strength and her courage to take on the bad guys with only Mutt at her side.

This is the eighteenth book in this series. Some series start to feel written out at this stage: repeating ideas, keeping relationships so static that they start to feel like caricatures, becoming dull and predictable. None of this is true about t
Feb 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2011
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
Maggie Shanley
May 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is great, but Dana Stabenow kills me. I know I should read all series in order....but I don't, I read a book when I come across a copy and so I jump around series. This book is number 18 and I have missed several in the middle where she must have killed off some of my favorite characters. Now this book is detailing the death of Sam (her great Uncle....) but it veers between present day and the past. I loved the Alaskan history and Kate's family history. I loved the "fairness" of Kate a ...more
Nov 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways
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. ...more
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
Jul 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.

May 29, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: re-read
This was by far NOT my favorite of all the Date Shugak books. Yes it was interesting to learn about Alaska's history (EVERY book she writes and publishes if full of history) but it was too much for me. I also didn't like that seemed to be a puzzle that Old Sam concocted for Kate to solve and with him leaving out vital information (as you will see if you read the whole book) it becomes an annoyingly frustrating read.

Kate being hit in the head (or shot) AND a car accident was just a little too muc
May 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Kate Shugak is such a cool character. Smart, tough & determined she just needs a cape to finish the look. The book is filled with a history of Alaska that is seldom heard & is written in a truly evocative form. For such a smart character, I can't quite figure out why Kate keeps walking into such predictable "mishaps" to be beaten about the head....again!
PS- this is my first book review since year 9
phyllis j smith
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best one yet

I love All of Dana Stabenow's books! Haven't read one yet i couldn't put down. But this one really had me stumped until the end. I am so addicted to Stabenows books!
Feb 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
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
Stunning five star read.... My absolute favorite, even though all the titles in this series are outstanding. I couldn't say this was my favorite though without reading the series in order, but what I loved most was the rich history of Alaska merged with Park Rat characters. Now I was a bit sad that Jim wasn't in the mix of the treasure hunt in Alaska with Kate, but I completely enjoyed his own treasure hunt and a resolution for his past. The leaving of messages via cell phones was cute too. The ...more
Nov 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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 great earth
Feb 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cyn Armistead
Feb 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
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
Apr 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ...
Jun 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries
The Best since Hunter's Moon.

This story is full of history -- of the Park, of Old Sam, of Jim Chopin. It has flashbacks that tell us more about all of them. Jim exits the Park to attend his dad's funeral and we meet his mother as well as an ex-girlfriend. His absence allows both Jim and Kate to become more aware of where they stand with one another and their feelings for one another. And, of course, while he is gone Kate finds herself wrapped up in a mystery. But this one is more personal and th
Deb Mcmanus
Dec 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Vannessa Anderson
Though Not Dead is an outstanding piece of fiction!

Old Sam’s death takes Kate on an adventure. In his Will, Old Sam asks Kate to find his father. While Kate is honoring Old Sam’s request Jim Chopin must travel to California for his father’s funeral. While back home in California, Jim learns about himself and family history that tells him more then he wants to know.

Though Not Dead is a page-turner.
Mar 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2016
This was a good one, a really good one. Its too bad I didn't have longer reading sessions to help fully enjoy the story. Despite a lack of sleep from a newborn baby this book managed to keep me awake at night, that's quite a feat. Now there are only two more left in the series (that have been published at least), I don't know what I'll do without them! The next book is a crossover with another series so maybe I'll pick that one up then ...more
Mar 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-on-kindle
Wow, what a great read! I think what I admire about this entry in Dana's Kate Shugak series is how much she uses the history she's created over the series to inform the plot. I also loved the blending of history and real people with the characters Dana's created. And Kate is at her best here. Tying the stories of Jim Chopin's search for family with Kate's was inspired. ...more
Renée Mee
Feb 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Oct 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Alaskan history, Winter survival, family history and Mutt it is all there in this superb Kate Shugak story. Old Sam has died and left Kate as his major heir and executor of his estate. This leads Kate on a journey of the past where she learns a number new things about her family. Jim's father has died and Kate is without his assistance. ...more
Dec 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, mystery
4.5 stars

I'd forgotten how very much happens in this book. There's one overarching mystery, echoed from past to present, and then a trail of questions, danger and frustration for Kate as she tries to retrace Old Sam's footsteps to resolve his final issue. Past and present collide, conspire and finally settle into place.
Lisa Carter
Feb 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A new Kate Shugak novel? Almost as good as traveling to Alaska yourself.
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
This might be my favorite Kate Shugak book yet. The story of Old Sam, as told through both flashback and Kate trying to figure out the mystery he left her. Lots of Alaskana, lots of tying in to previous books in the series, lots of subtleties. I read two fluff chick lit books prior to this and had to force myself to slow waaaaaay down to pay attention. Nothing means nothing in these books.

Happy to say I figured out where the icon was before Kate did, and I also figured out one of the bad guys be
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
This is the longest of the Shugak books, and one of, if not the best of the bunch (admittedly I still have numbers 19 and 20 to go, as unbelievably I have managed to read this entire series in order!!!). I love this series for the insights into Alaskan life, and by book 18 I am most definately engaged in the lives of the characters. This book could be read as a stand alone as I think all the essentials are explained, but when you've read the backstories to everything going on, it means so much m ...more
Mar 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This tale will wind up being one of my favorite Kate books. The parallel stories of Chopper Jim’s journey to LA for his father’s funeral and its own secrets aligned with the story of the death of Old Sam and the secrets Kate had to unearth. The ending left us with unfinished business, and another secret to be revealed.

The tale moved from Kate and the deadly scavenger hunt Old Sam sent her on from the grave, to Old Sam’s history, to Jim in LA, and back around, each moving the chess pieces around
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Old Sam, one of the oldest Park rats and Kate's uncle, has died at ninety-something.. Kate inherits a huge piece of property where the hot springs are, and finds secrets (and trouble) there. People are following her and trying to kill her. But the thing that drives this complicated novel is Sam's instruction to Kate to find his father, a man who disappeared nearly 90 years earlier with a priceless Russian icon that is a actually tribal artifact. Meanwhile, Jim Chopin has been called to Californi ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Danamaniacs: Though Not Dead *SPOILERS* 1 17 May 08, 2013 08:42PM  
Though Not Dead 3 21 Nov 15, 2011 05:05AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Betrayal of Faith (Zachary Blake Legal Thriller #1)
  • City of Shadows
  • The Bridge of Sighs (The Yalta Boulevard Sequence #1)
  • The Chimney Sweeper's Boy
  • Dead Famous (Kathleen Mallory, #7)
  • Murder on the Iditarod Trail (Alex Jensen / Jessie Arnold, #1)
  • Treacherous Estate
  • The Ordeal of the Haunted Room (Chronicles of St. Mary's, #11.5)
  • A Christmas Secret (Christmas Stories, #4)
  • I Shall Not Want (Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries, #6)
  • Night's Reckoning (Elemental Legacy, #3)
  • Pain
  • Love in Lockdown
  • One Was a Soldier (Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries, #7)
  • Termination Dust (Alex Jensen / Jessie Arnold, #2)
  • Who Speaks for the Damned (Sebastian St. Cyr, #15)
  • The Lantern Men (Ruth Galloway, #12)
  • The Last Agent (Charles Jenkins, #2)
See similar books…
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

Kate Shugak (1 - 10 of 22 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)

Related Articles

  Some people love books. Some people fall in love. And some people fall in love with books about falling in love. Every month our team...
47 likes · 4 comments
“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
“word” 0 likes
More quotes…