THE SINGING OF THE DEAD.

Stabenow, Dana.

ISBN 10: 0312209576 / ISBN 13: 9780312209575
Published by New York: St Martin's, (2001.) dj, 2001
Hardcover
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SIGNED hardcover first edition - First printing. Mystery featuring Aleut investigator Kate Shugak, set in Alaska's remote back country. SIGNED on the title page. 321 pp. Very near fine in a like dustjacket. Bookseller Inventory # 34391

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Bibliographic Details

Title: THE SINGING OF THE DEAD.

Publisher: New York: St Martin's, (2001.) dj

Publication Date: 2001

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

With MIDNIGHT COME AGAIN, Dana Stabenow took a giant step forward, delivering her most ambitious book to date in her series of novels about life and death in Alaska. Now, with Aleutian PI Kate Shugak on her way toward recovering from devastating recent events, Stabenow ups the ante once again with a daring novel paralleling the lives of her series characters with their ancestors, the settlers of the wilderness of America's forty-ninth state. In THE SINGING OF THE DEAD, Kate joins the staff of a political campaign to work security for a Native woman running for state senator. The candidate has been receiving anonymous threats, and Kate, who went to college with two of the staffers, is to become her shadow, watching the crowds at rallies and fundraisers. But just as she's getting started the campaign is rocked by the murder of the staff researcher, who, Kate discovers, was in possession of some damning information about the pasts of both candidates. In order to track the killer, Kate will have to delve into the past, in particular the grisly murder of a "good-time girl" during the Klondike Gold Rush in 1915.

Review:

Politics has a way of bringing out the worst in people. Anne Gordaoff is running for Alaska state senator, glad-handing everyone she sees (and who doesn't see her first); her campaign manager will stop at nothing to get her candidate elected; her randy husband is exploring alternative methods of interacting with the constituency; her campaign researcher is digging up dirt on Anne as well as on her opponent; and said opponent has planted a mole in her campaign. All in all, it's the sort of situation PI Kate Shugak would do anything to avoid. Kate is still recovering from a job gone horridly awry--"World War III, Denali-style"--that killed her lover, Jack Morgan, and left her with a brutal scar on her throat and a glacier-sized lump of bitter grief within it. Machiavellian maneuvering is not her style. But when Anne, a Native American, starts receiving anonymous threats, Kate allows herself to be talked into a temporary stint as Anne's bodyguard.

The first body to turn up, however, isn't Anne's but that of her fundraiser and future son-in-law. The police are tempted to chalk up the murder to an adulterous liaison interrupted by a jealous husband, but Kate's not convinced. And when the campaign is rocked again by the murder of Anne's campaign researcher Paula Pawlowski, Kate must dig through closets filled with skeletons and dirty laundry: Paula had been combining standard politicking with research into her burgeoning historical novel. Old sins have long shadows, but could Anne's campaign really be connected to the 85-year-old murder of a Klondike prostitute?

Kate may make you think of Kinsey Millhone, Sue Grafton's California PI. Neither woman suffers fools gladly, both are fiercely independent, and both are as adept as porcupines when it comes to keeping people (and their unwanted attention or embarrassing sympathy) at arm's length. Dana Stabenow, in turn, shares Grafton's gift for capturing a character or a scene with a few words and a touch of humor. Here's her take on the rigors of the campaign trail--"Kate slept in a lot of different beds, and some were comfortable and some were not. She ate a lot of her meals standing up or out of a bag. She became sick of the sight of the back of Anne Gordaoff's head."--and on Mutt, Kate's 140-pound, half-wolf companion--"Like Kate, Mutt didn't care for a lot of noise about her person."

If The Singing of the Dead, the 11th novel in the Kate Shugak series, is your first introduction to Kate and the vast, unforgiving corner of Alaska she calls home, it will most likely send you scrambling for installments one through 10. If you're already a confirmed Shugak fan, it will have you waiting impatiently for number 12. --Kelly Flynn

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