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Bad Blood (Kate Shugak Mysteries) Hardcover – February 26, 2013


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Product Details

  • Series: Kate Shugak Mysteries (Book 20)
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (February 26, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312550650
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312550653
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.9 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (302 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #652,873 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* In the twentieth novel in the Kate Shugak series, the part-time private investigator teams with her friend and occasional lover, Alaska State Trooper Jim Chopin, to try to solve the murder of a young man. It’s a complicated situation. The murdered man lived in the village of Kushtaka, and the prime suspect lives in the neighboring village of Kuskulana. The two villages have been bitter rivals for a long time (Kushtaka is a traditional Alaskan village; Kuskulana is more modern and more prosperous), and the elders of neither village seem interested in helping Jim and Kate get to the bottom of things. Jim, a representative of the state, is counting on Kate’s tribal connections to help smooth the investigation, but Kate, a native Aleut, soon discovers her connections don’t seem to mean much here. Long-time devotees of this popular series will devour the book in a single sitting, and if there happen to be any fans of Alaska-set mystery fiction—books by John Straley, for example, or Sue Henry—who have not yet made the acquaintance of Kate Shugak, they should change that sooner rather than later. --David Pitt

Review

Praise for Bad Blood

“Long-time devotees of this popular series will devour the book in a single sitting, and if there happen to be any fans of Alaska-set mystery fiction—books by John Straley, for example, or Sue Henry—who have not yet made the acquaintance of Kate Shugak, they should change that sooner rather than later.”
Booklist (starred review)

“Stabenow’s intriguing characters and fascinating setting bring this mystery to life, but her narrative voice wins Bad Blood a Top Pick. She establishes the histories of the two communities featured in the story with an irony-tinged commentary that carries the reader right into the heart of the Alaskan wilderness.”
RT Book Reviews (4½ stars, Top Pick)

“To her usual atmospheric detection, Stabenow adds more than a hint of Romeo and Juliet, or the Hatfields and the McCoys.”
Kirkus Reviews

Customer Reviews

SPOILER ALERT The ending was not good.
Elizabeth J. Moore
Disjointed, convoluted, very little character development - it really felt like Stabenow didn't even write this Shugak offering.
Cheryl Stout
By the time you finish all 7 books in their series [if you last that long] You suddenly realize you read half a book.
Philocrates

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

77 of 83 people found the following review helpful By Anonymous Reviewer on February 28, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Oh dear!
What's up with Bad Blood?
Is Dana Stabenow ill and not up to writing a good story?
Somebody else said it read like it had been "phoned in" and I'd say that about sums it up. Surprised and disappointed, to say the least.
It's one thing to master the art of writing, and another to write an overly formulaic book that lacks soul, which is what the author has delivered.
I might have forgiven the lack of including many of the usual characters that inhabit her stories, but I won't forgive the sloppy, lazy ending. Was it meant to make us pine for the next book, or was it that the author had something more important that she needed to do and didn't have time to finish up.
I have the entire Kate Shugak series and have read them multiple times, and a `little bit of Kate' is better than none, but sorry to say, this book was a huge disappointment.
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79 of 86 people found the following review helpful By Emily07 on February 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First, let me say I love most of Dana Stabenow books, and especially the Kate Shugak books.

This book is a little flat, and is 75 pages or so shorter than most of her books. I never pay full-price for books under 300 pages, and after this one, I never will again.

Kates character was almost a "Stepford Kate", and there were some inconsistencies in the book that absolutely drove me crazy.

Toward the beginning, some tourists find Kates homestead and want to know where the gold mine is, and she sends them to Ninilitna, which she says is 50 miles away, when in fact the other books say it is only 25 miles.

She talks about Kates birthday being on the day of the great earthquake in 1964, which would make her 49 friggin years old, instead of the 37-39 years old she actually is. I like Bernie, I love Katya and the Aunties and I love Dan. Where were they?? Where is the fried bread?? Where is the everyday life in the Park??

And, I was very very very disappointed in the ending. Is this like the whole Jack situation, where they talk about a more permanent relationship and then someone dies (Sorry, spoiler alert) ?? If you end it this way, it will be the last Dana Stabenow book I ever read.
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98 of 109 people found the following review helpful By Nuria on March 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I first discovered the Kate Shugak books when I lived in Alaska for seven years as a mental health clinician. I loved the way Stabenow illustrated the quirky lifestyles of most Alaskans both native and otherwise, and she made my own observations intelligible to me in many ways. After we returned to the "Lower 48," I continued to read every book and was never disappointed, until this one. I should say that I include the Liam Campbell series in my mind as I make these comments, because those books are quite similar, and Liam and Kate even get together in one of the most recent Kate books. Dana is a good, competent writer. She is not a great writer, but she has created a set of characters who are very engaging and funny, and her depictions of Alaskan life are spot on. I do not understand her tendency to kill off principle characters, but thus far, I have been willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, although I tend to think these deaths are more of a cheap device to keep readers involved than actual good writing. All in all, I have enjoyed this series very much, and I have given Stabenow the benefit of the doubt when I think she could have stretched herself farther as a writer through fully developing the relationships of her characters, rather than killing them off when she didn't know where else to take her plots.

But "Bad Blood"... Well, here is my theory: I think this book was adapted from the Alaskan television series that was supposed to happen, but didn't. It is so unlike the other books that I'm not even sure she wrote it. The sections and chapters are even sectioned like a play, rather than a book: "Act One," etc. Whoever did adapt the script to masquerade as a book could have at least made an attempt to fool the reader, for heaven's sake!
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Russell Williams on March 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Bad Blood was a disappointment: it felt like a sitcom episode that was filmed during a writer's strike. The story was an obvious Romeo & Juliet play from about a third of the way through, it developed slowly, and Kate was a flat character with none of her usual interesting interactions with other characters & events. The Jim & Kate relationship isn't moved forward during the story. The central episodic characters in the Bad Blood story aren't developed. To top it off there was a very abrupt cliffhanger and this book was noticeably shorter than usual. I hope that Ms. Stabenow redeems the series with a better effort next time. Bad Blood should have been the first half of a longer book, and improved at that!
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A. Miller on March 6, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
If I didn't "know" the characters in this book, it would have been flat and boring - just a whodunit crime with the ONLY interesting character being the scenic descriptions of Alaska. I recently recommended the Kate Shugak series to a friend, but sure hope she doesn't pick this book up first. It has little of the fun, toughness, and humor of the previous books. There is a major cliffhanger at the end -- a cheap trick for a series writer. It's like the publisher knew this was a dud, so made the author put in a cliffhanger so people will buy the next book. The writing is so flat that I didn't believe any of the story. The romantic romp in the middle was a complete re-hash of previous books (some of the same jokes even), but was out of place here and rang false. Again, it's like the publisher said "sex it up," so the author threw in some old work. I read the "Stepford Kate" comments in other reviews - I agree.
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More About the Author

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 and found it in writing.

Her first science fiction novel, Second Star, sank without a trace (but has since been resurrected as an e-book), her first crime fiction novel, A Cold Day for Murder, won an Edgar award, her first thriller, Blindfold Game, hit the New York Times bestseller list, and her twenty-eighth novel and nineteenth Kate Shugak novel, Restless in the Grave, was published February 14, 2012.

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