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A Cold Day for Murder (A Kate Shugak Investigation Book 1)
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Group Read Discussions > September 2018 Group Read (spoiler thread) : A Cold Day for Murder, by Dana Stabenow

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message 1: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 9327 comments Mod
Can't wait to share something ahead of the others? Feel free to spoil away about A Cold Day For Murder in this thread.


Bill My review of the book is right here if you're interested. Looking forward to lots of discussion..

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


Gisela Hafezparast | 368 comments I just had an e-mail saying my library copy is here. Looking forward to this one as I haven't read anything from this author or about this region before.


Bill Gisela wrote: "I just had an e-mail saying my library copy is here. Looking forward to this one as I haven't read anything from this author or about this region before."

I look forward to your thoughts on it, Gisela.


Sarah Rubin (sarahniebuhrrubin) Just finished last night. Powerful emotions, I thought. Well written in that way, and kept me wondering throughout.


Bill Sarah wrote: "Just finished last night. Powerful emotions, I thought. Well written in that way, and kept me wondering throughout."

I had various suspects in mind throughout the story and was still nicely surprised.


Suzanne | 64 comments I really enjoyed it. I was surprised by the ending, and I thought it was a good mystery. But what I liked most was the setting. I really liked seeing the Aleut people, and the clash of traditions between old and modern ways, as well as the clash between non-Aleut and Aleut. I thought the characters were all interesting, and the lifestyle in what is basically the modern wilderness seemed authentic. I'm glad the club chose this book.


Bill Suzanne wrote: "I really enjoyed it. I was surprised by the ending, and I thought it was a good mystery. But what I liked most was the setting. I really liked seeing the Aleut people, and the clash of traditions b..."

The setting was very interesting, to me quite wild west and untamed. I also found the clash between the old and new ways very well described, the battle for the Aleuts to keep their old traditions and also to somehow incorporate new ways into their lives without destroying their ways of lives. I liked when Kate criticized her Emaa about the way she tried to restrict the new ways from coming in but still uses snowmobiles and such.

I also found it interesting the restricting of booze in the town by the tribal elders. When I worked out of Resolute Bay in Nunavut, there were restrictions against us visiting the native village as it was a 'dry' community. The battle against booze is a steady issue in those communities.

One thing I found different from other series that I've enjoyed featuring Native police officers, such as Stanley Evans Silas Seaweed series and Tony Hillerman's Leaphorn and Chee, was that the Shugak book seemed to be more down to earth without reference to any native spiritual elements, unless I forgot that part.


message 9: by T (new) - rated it 2 stars

T (twoo) | 18420 comments Bill wrote: "Suzanne wrote: "I really enjoyed it. I was surprised by the ending, and I thought it was a good mystery. But what I liked most was the setting. I really liked seeing the Aleut people, and the clash..."

Maybe not in the first book, but in the series, Kate will allude to some of the cultural traditions and beliefs. Not to get off topic, but if you like that sort of thing, I believe Garth Stein's "When Raven Stole the Moon" delves into some of the Native American culture. Even if it does, I've enjoyed most of Garth's books. :-)


aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 1216 comments Kate herself is so admirably independent and a very strong character!


message 11: by Bill (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bill aPriL does feral sometimes wrote: "Kate herself is so admirably independent and a very strong character!"

She does seem to control the situation, eh?


message 12: by Bill (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bill T wrote: "Bill wrote: "Suzanne wrote: "I really enjoyed it. I was surprised by the ending, and I thought it was a good mystery. But what I liked most was the setting. I really liked seeing the Aleut people, ..."

Thanks, T.


Tone  | 316 comments I've just finished the book and found it both well written and interesting. The wilderness of Alaska was a place that I knew next to nothing about on beforehand, and I had never heard of the Aleut people. For me it was first and foremost the environment and the almost cinematic description of it that made this book worth reading. As a murder mystery it didn't quite live up to my expectations for an Edgar award winner. However, this is the first in a series, so perhaps the plots get more sophisticated in the succeeding books?


Thomas (tom471) | 1595 comments The author also has a sense of humor, shown in book 21 of the series, although I do recommend that you read them in order.
There is a hilarious bar conversation in book 21, see my review(no spoilers) https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 15: by Bill (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bill Tone wrote: "I've just finished the book and found it both well written and interesting. The wilderness of Alaska was a place that I knew next to nothing about on beforehand, and I had never heard of the Aleut ..."

I find with some of my favorite mysteries that often the atmosphere and characters and locale make the book richer and better, that the mystery, while not necessarily secondary, just becomes another aspect of the whole story.


message 16: by Bill (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bill Thomas wrote: "The author also has a sense of humor, shown in book 21 of the series, although I do recommend that you read them in order.
There is a hilarious bar conversation in book 21, see my review(no spoiler..."


Her sense of humor was evident even in this first story.


message 17: by Carol (last edited Sep 07, 2018 03:42PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Carol (carolmn) | 7 comments Bill wrote: "Suzanne wrote: "I really enjoyed it. I was surprised by the ending, and I thought it was a good mystery. But what I liked most was the setting. I really liked seeing the Aleut people, and the clash..."

I also enjoyed reading this book, but mainly for the descriptions of the setting and the way of life, rather than for the plot, which I didn't find very engaging. (But I did read it on my Kindle, and to be honest I find that I don't engage as well with that as I do with printed books, however good they are!)


Carol (carolmn) | 7 comments Tone wrote: "I've just finished the book and found it both well written and interesting. The wilderness of Alaska was a place that I knew next to nothing about on beforehand, and I had never heard of the Aleut ..."

I'd agree with that, Tone.


Patti Maybe audience expectations have changed since 1992, but I found the mystery part to be, as someone above said, extremely light. And there were only two parts where my blood pressure rose - at 50% and then at 75%. Not early enough to keep my interest.
That said, I adored reading about Alaska as this was my first book set there. And others have mentioned the sense of humor which I also enjoyed towards the end. But for me to continue with the series, I'd need more plot and more twists.


message 20: by Bill (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bill Patti wrote: "Maybe audience expectations have changed since 1992, but I found the mystery part to be, as someone above said, extremely light. And there were only two parts where my blood pressure rose - at 50% ..."

Good points, Patti.


message 21: by Debbie (new) - added it

Debbie Loftis (debbiejusticeloftis) I finished reading 'A Cold Day for Murder' today. I liked the length of the book. The plot was simple but the book was a good read because of all the local background and descriptive scenery.


message 22: by Bill (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bill Debbie wrote: "I finished reading 'A Cold Day for Murder' today. I liked the length of the book. The plot was simple but the book was a good read because of all the local background and descriptive scenery."

It was a suitable length for this story. It'll be interesting to see how her writing and story-telling develop in the follow-on stories.


Gisela Hafezparast | 368 comments It is such a short book, but I found it a real struggle to finish as I just could not get interested enough, really not a good sign for a crime story.

This book is a very good example of how much the crime genre has moved on since the 80s. The interesting points about this book is that it is a tiny introduction into Alaskan life, although the apart from the main character most of the characters are non-Native, especially those who are active decision makers! However, whilst it might have been quite a new thing in the 80s, the female detective still has to life to a considerable degree on her sex appeal and her sexual relations with the strong male main characters, who are all hunks of course. The plot is boring and the detection hidden with the end totally implausible. Not for me.


message 24: by Bill (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bill Gisela wrote: "It is such a short book, but I found it a real struggle to finish as I just could not get interested enough, really not a good sign for a crime story.

This book is a very good example of how much ..."


I'd disagree that most of the main characters are non-Native. Her grandmother is central to the story and a leader in the community and state. And you also have to include her cousin Xenia who dated the victim and Abel Int-Hout, her second cousin who plays a fairly important role.. I do hope future books have a better mystery plot line though.


Thomas (tom471) | 1595 comments Future books have plot lines with native affairs. Kate is shown to be a very strong character.


message 26: by Bill (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bill Thomas wrote: "Future books have plot lines with native affairs. Kate is shown to be a very strong character."

Thanks for that, Thomas.


aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 1216 comments I adore this series. I recently read several of the first ones and she visits her family in them. She is in and out of relationships which is true of ALL detective stories. I would not say it is HARD, but it is not a cozy series. She is a damaged person like all fictional detectives and she only fully trusts herself, and not even that sometimes, like ALL male detectives.


Thomas (tom471) | 1595 comments Bill wrote: "Thomas wrote: "Future books have plot lines with native affairs. Kate is shown to be a very strong character."

Thanks for that, Thomas."


You're Welcome


message 29: by Bill (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bill aPriL does feral sometimes wrote: "I adore this series. I recently read several of the first ones and she visits her family in them. She is in and out of relationships which is true of ALL detective stories. I would not say it is HA..."

I like your analysis. Based on just reading one book I think I can see what your saying.


Tone  | 316 comments Gisela wrote: "It is such a short book, but I found it a real struggle to finish as I just could not get interested enough, really not a good sign for a crime story.

This book is a very good example of how much ..."


Gisela, I do agree with you that this particular book lacks a good plot, but I hope you don't mean to say that crime fiction written before the 1980s was all bad?


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