Dana Stabenow, author of the Kate Shugak series and the Liam Campbell series, is a mystery author born and raised in Alaska.  She writes about what she knows and loves,  Alaska and its colorful inhabitants.  Her most popular character is Kate Shugak, an Aleut private detective who lives on her 125 acre homestead in a national park, 25 miles from the nearest village.  Previously an officer for Child Protective Services in Anchorage, she moved back home after nearly being killed on the job.  She enjoys the isolation of her home, but does take occasional jobs as a private investigator while dealing with the demands of her grandmother and Tribal Elder, Emaa. Although Kate is yet another, strong, smart, sarcastic female detective, her Native American background and Alaskan way of life set her apart from others in the field, lending her a certain authenticity that characters by other authors may lack.

Stabenow’s knowledge of Alaskan Native life, lore and customs is impressive, yet never does she romanticise it, as so many authors are wont to do. The descriptions of Alaskan nature, wildlife and subsistence living are also detailed, yet never in a pedantic way.  They only add to the story, with Alaska itself being one of the main characters.

Books in the Series

There are several books that I believe really stand out, but I can’t tell you why without spoiling them for you.  My suggestion would be to start from the beginning of the series and work onward from there, as there is a major change in the storyline about halfway through the series.  If you start with a later book, you may not fully appreciate it.  Although I usually stick to the Sci-fi/Fantasy genre, there are several mystery authors that I love.  Dana Stabenow is my favorite.  Try her books and you will see why.

TTFN-  Ta Ta For Now!

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