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A Cold-Blooded Business (Kate Shugak Mystery) Mass Market Paperback – April 1, 1995

4.4 out of 5 stars 99 customer reviews
Book 4 of 21 in the Kate Shugak Novels Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Stabenow's hardcover debut marks the fourth outing for Kate Shugak (last seen in Dead in the Water ), a native Aleut who is building a solid reputation as a tough freelance investigator. Although Kate has no love for the oil companies drilling in Alaska, she accepts a commission from Royal Petroleum Co. to find out who is bringing drugs into the Prudhoe Bay work site where there have been several overdoses and one death. Over the objections of RPetCo's security chief, Lou Childress, Kate goes in as an employee, getting a good look at her surroundings as a driver for Toni Hartzler, who gives PR tours to visiting dignitaries. She gains an instant "in" with the locals when she encounters Jerry McIsaac, an old acquaintance who works there as a medic. Kate spots plenty of drugs at her first party but doesn't observe anyone dealing. Of equal interest to her are the Native American artifacts being unearthed by archeologists at a local dig. While Kate is getting caught up in artifacts, she fails to notice that the dealers themselves are playing sleuth, putting her in danger. Throughout, Stabenow makes effective use of the regional setting, culture and Kate's personal heritage to add depth and color to this brisk and thoughtful tale. Mystery Guild alternate.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

YA-This title finds Kate Shugak investigating apparent drug trafficking among the oil workers of the Royal Petroleum Corporation in the Arctic Circle. She has been recommended for the job for several reasons-her Aleutian roots, her past experience in the Anchorage District Attorney's office, and her outstanding record. Readers will not be overly surprised by the unraveling of the case, but they will find the several story lines to be enjoyable. As Kate locates the source of the illegal drugs, so are the subplots revealed, producing a unified, engaging read.
Diane Goheen, Topeka West High School
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Kate Shugak Mystery
  • Mass Market Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (April 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425158497
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425158494
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 0.7 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,111,916 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Sheila L. Beaumont VINE VOICE on August 13, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is an exciting, suspenseful and atmospheric mystery set in Alaska. Aleut investigator Kate Shugak goes undercover working on the pipeline for an oil company to find out who's supplying cocaine to its employees. I could have done with a little less detail on the processes involved in oil extraction, but there's a lot to enjoy here. Much of Kate's first day at the base camp is quite funny, and there are enough colorful, eccentric people to satisfy anyone. I enjoyed the interlude in Anchorage with Kate and her wolf-Siberian husky mix, Mutt, one of those dogs you find in mysteries who obviously have more sense than some of the human characters. The identity of one of the drug dealers really surprised me. Not only is this a good, entertaining story; it's also true to life in showing, as Kate points out, how drugs can make smart people stupid and greedy.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The oilfields of Alaska's North Slope is the setting for the fourth installment in Dana Stabenow's Kate Shugak series, A COLD-BLOODED BUSINESS. Kate is a native Aleut who is a private investigator and this time she takes on a job that takes her to the oilfields where life is lived under harsh conditions, with employees working in isolated conditions and a hard-partying lifestyle after hours is ignored by management.

Kate is asked to go undercover as an employee for Royal Petroleum to find out who is dealing drugs that have caused several overdoses and a death at RPetCo. Jack, the Anchorage DA, has asked Kate to take this job and for good pay, more money than Kate has seen in a long time. She agrees to take the job and goes to the North Slope of Prudhoe Bay as a driver taking dignitaries on PR tours. Kate finds out soon enough that this is not going to be an easy job. While she is there, there is an archeological dig going on and some Native American artifacts are found which Kate is very interested in and she gets caught up in the findings. This becomes a distraction to her as she goes about her investigation to find the drug dealer.

This is the slowest of the first four in the series for me. Usually I read Stabenow's Shugak novels in two sittings, if not one, but I thought this one dragged on a bit. I enjoyed it, but not until the end did it really pick up and I was on the edge of my seat and turning pages fast. However, the artifacts were of interest and as always, the setting is a major part of the story, and this one was cold and unforgiving. Mutt, Kate's dog, is present as always, and it wouldn't be a Kate Shugak novel without her best canine friend.

I highly recommend this series to mystery lovers and to readers who like the outdoors and especially for those with interests in Alaska and its native culture.
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Format: Hardcover
It is such a pleasure to read these early entries in the wonderful Kate Shugak series, and to get to know our main character book by book.
In this fourth book in the series, Kate, working undercover to find the source of a mighty cocaine habit among workers on the Pipeline (unnamed, but obviously a conglomerate of existing pipeline behemoths), hires on as a roustabout in Alaska's Far North. Knowing that her very presence at the oil company's home base will offend her formidable grandmother for all time, Kate nevertheless quickly gets used to the work, the comraderie--and most of all, the nonstop food, akin to a cruise ship. Between gorging herself on luscious steaks, homemade fries and all-you-can-eat ice cream sundaes, Kate begins to sense the evil and dangerous drug busines that lurks beneath the surface.
With some much-needed "down time" with lover Jack and wonder dog Mutt (half huskie, half wolf) to clear her head, Kate uncovers a plot that threatens to undermine not only the giant oil company, but her very life as well.
Fun, fast read...absolutely delightful.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Once you read one of these books in the Kate Shugak series, you just have to stop and buy the first book to read them
all in sequence. It's like living in Alaska right along side of her. What a great series. If i comment on one book, I have commented on all the books in the Kate Shugak series. You cannot find a better read, and the author did an excellent job of writing these books. The history of Alaska through Kate Shugak's eyes is so amazing and forthwith. Just love them. I truly recommend you start from the first book and you can take it from there.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really like the character of Kate Shugak. Although Stabenow's writing is sometimes choppy, Kate keeps me coming back. A reader can learn interesting things about Alaska and the native people. In A Cold Blooded Business, however, Stabenow jumps on an anti-Christian bandwagon and just keeps pounding away. The premise was interesting, but she seemed to be brushing every Christian with too broad of strokes. Terrible stereotyping. I've read the first four books in the series now and I won't let one poor one stop me from reading the rest. I only hope A Cold Blooded Business was a miscue and the other books rise to the level of the first three.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I lived in Alaska for 15 years "back in the day" but have been in the lower 48 for 35 years now. Reading Dana Stabenow's books is like being there again. I can smell it, taste it and see it in every sentence she writes. If you want to know what Alaska is really like, try this series.
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