Tuesday, 29 April 2014

A cold Day for Murder

Dana Stabenow kicks off her long running series featuring Kate Shugak, a native detective in the frozen wilds of Alaska. The mystery is slight with much of the page count given over to developing the characters and establishing the close knit community. For such a short book it has a slow, some might say glacial pace that some will welcome if they're looking for a cosy few hours with crackling fires, plenty to drink and more culinary creations featuring moose than you could possibly eat. I'd drop it in the same sort of bracket as Craig Johnson's Walt Longmire books. Stabenow's own experience of growing up in Alaska are perhaps the main reason the books work so well, with the natural nostalgia and affection for the locale and its people coming through strongly and which no amount of research or googling could ever imitate. The lead character is a diminutive though fiery character, strong willed and forthright and if that doesn't scare the bejeebus out of every suspect, the half wolf half husky dog who follows her about everywhere she goes should finish the job. I had a few slight issues with her using randomly the first and second names of the characters to mark dialogue in the early chapters (bit confusing) but other than that early stumble I found the book very readable.                             

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