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The Singing of the Dead


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About the Author

Dana Stabenow is the New York Times bestselling author of the Kate Shugak mysteries and the Liam Campbell mysteries, as well as a few science fiction and thriller novels. Her book A Cold Day for Murder won an Edgar Award in 1994. Stabenow was born in Anchorage, Alaska and raised on a 75-foot fish tender in the Gulf of Alaska. She has a B.A. in journalism and an M.F.A. in writing from the University of Alaska. She has worked as an egg counter and bookkeeper for a seafood company, and worked on the TransAlaska pipeline before becoming a full-time writer. She continues to live in Alaska.


Anne Gordaoff, candidate for the Alaska state senate, is receiving threatening letters. Though sharp, fiesty Aleutian PI Kate Shugak is still recovering from her last job, she allows herself to be talked into protecting Anne. When two of Anne's campaign workers are killed, Kate must find the connection between the senatorial race and the unsolved death of Angel Beecham, an Alaskan Gold Rush prostitute who was murdered in 1915. Debates between Anne and the incumbent senator about fishing and hunting rights and Native self-governance are informative without being heavy-handed, and Stabenow's love of the Alaskan bush is infectious. Side stories involving a 14-year-old runaway and a rekindled romance for Kate add interest, but there is so much going on that the mystery doesn't build much suspense before it is rather precipitously and predictably resolved. Nonetheless, this 11th book of Stabenow's award-winning series is a good read and is recommended for public libraries. Jane la Plante, Minot State Univ. Lib., ND Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

"One of Stabenow's best." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)"Dana Stabenow excels at evoking the bleakness and beauty of the far north." --Seattle Times/Post Intelligencer"If you haven't discovered this splendid North Country series, now is the time...highly entertaining." --USA Today

HThe background of a hard-fought political campaign in Alaska (where "in a gathering of four people there are five marriages, six divorces, and seven political parties") and the devastating effect of a century-old scandal on the candidates gives even greater depth than usual to Stabenow's 11th Kate Shugak mystery. Kate, slowly recovering from the death of her lover, Jack Morgan, in 2000's Midnight Come Again, is hired as a security expert by Anne Gordaoff, a state senate candidate of partial Native heritage who has received threatening letters. Also appealing to Kate for protection is Jack's teenage son, Johnny, who has run away from his abusive mother. When Gordaoff's future son-in-law and a woman doing background research for Gordaoff are murdered, Kate joins state trooper Jim Chopin and local police chief Ken Hazen in the investigation. The novel shifts effortlessly between the present and the past, tracing the career of one of the state's most notorious "good time girls" from the gold mining era. The author paints a strong, striking picture of the tough life in Alaska 100 years ago and the narrow choice offered women housekeeper or whore. The character of Angel Beecham, known as the Dawson Darling, is compellingly portrayed as a complex woman whose relationship to the contemporary characters is slyly revealed in the epilogue (but wait until you've finished the book to read it). With well-drawn characters, splendid scenery and an insider's knowledge of Alaskan history and politics, this fine novel ranks as one of Stabenow's best. (May 15) Forecast: Striking but rather generic jacket art may attract non-mystery readers, and planned national publicity should push Stabenow out of the "regional" category. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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