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Dead Stick (New Alaskan Murder Mystery) Mass Market Paperback – May 1, 1998


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Product Details

  • Series: New Alaskan Murder Mystery
  • Mass Market Paperback: 201 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (May 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425162966
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425162965
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.6 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,519,827 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 15, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I loved this book. Its set in my own neighborhood and she did a good job or representing the way life really is here. Of all the Alaskan sleuths I've read this one is the most realistic in the small details. At least she is more like the women in my neighborhood and I think more representative of the kind real Alaska women I know. I liked that her romantic relationsip is a cooperative partnership rather than the cliched love/hate thing.
I really hate flying especially in smaller planes and especially in Alaska but the story of this medevac pilot had me totally engrossed. And the writer treated me fairly, putting the clues out there for me and giving me a fair chance at finding them and provided enough red herrings alternative suspects and motives to make it a challenge.
The story included the standard first novel motives (one of which is so cliched its my pet peeve) but it was written with a unique perspective. I've read books with similar plots, and a similar final scene, but never written this well. It was a nailbiter with a suprisingly creative ending.
As soon as I finished it, I bought her second one and I hope she writes a hundred more.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mackie on August 9, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Megan Mallory Rust weaves a colorful portrait of Alaska and displays a keen knowledge of the flying she clearly loves. However, as a mystery writer, she is a disappointment to this die-hard mystery buff. To give her main character something to investigate, she made the rest of her characters unbelievably stupid--I know more from simply reading books than her investigators know about crime scenes! The criminal is obvious almost from the very beginning, and the motive for the crime was quite literally spelled out. Sadly, the only tension she manages to create is within the reader, who wonders when the heroine will finally unravel the obvious.
However, as much as I didn't care for the mystery elements of this story, Rust still manages to convey a good sense of modern Alaska and the thrill of flying. I'll certainly read her next book to see if she's improved her plots.
As with all novels being published today, this one could have used a good editor; I am forced to wonder what the publishers are using for their hiring criteria -- a willingness to work cheap, knowledge of basic English not a requirement?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 1, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This story has eyecatching elements: female pilot, medevac outfit, Alaskan setting. And the plot has potential. Rust has provided Taylor with excellent reasons--such as the threat to her public reputation (as the person who checked out Erica--the killed pilot--and approved her for flight), coupled with a personal anxiety that she had screwed up the check flight and sent five people to their deaths.
Which would be terrific if Rust capitalized on these strengths, but once these motivations are introduced, they are never reinforced and instead we get a story about an amateur sleuth bumbling around for the heck of it.
There are glimmers throughout the book that whisper "This person can write!" Notably, a lone descriptive passage about a drive through Alaskan countryside, and a pretty good final climactic scene. Also an occasional glimpse of insight from the main character, usually in throwaway lines that frustrate the hopeful reader. Unfortunately, the dialog is terribly weak and drags down the entire novel, as do the plethora of cliches.
The aviation details (and the sexist environment) felt authentic to this private pilot. But specific details about Anchorage and Alaska are almost non-existent, as are details about the medevac routine, all of which could have added authenticity to the story.
As to the mystery, well...its there, but you can barely get a glimpse it with all the holes. Once again, it could have been a great plot if played well. Extremely frustrating!
But the author isn't solely to blame. Where the heck was the editor?? AWOL, apparently. This book was obviously published for its marketing potential rather than the quality of the product. I for one am getting really tired this practice. (No, I am not a rejected author.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 25, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book disappointed me in several ways. First because in too many places, I found the writing to be awkward and somewhat amateurish. Clues were dropped with clangs that reverberated with the same resonance as a concrete block dropped into a galvanized washtub. Taylor Morgan, the protaganist of the book, blunders through her investigation, and solves the mystery herself only because the investigating officers, both State Troopers and NTSB investigators, are depicted as boorish, thick-headed sexists incapable of recognizing a smoking gun when it's pointed at them.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By TSchlaack on March 13, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Another new Alaskan writer who has a strong female character. I liked the way the author would mention things in passing like the character noticed something a little different but wasn't sure what. This is so similar to life. There were enough clues to figure out "who" done it and why as things went along. There was enough of the story though, that you didn't see it right at first as with some books. I am looking forward to reading the next one in the series!
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