Alaskan writer Dana Stabenow is one of my favorite mystery writers. I don’t know if it was the first snow shower of the season that we had here in the Chicago area the other day or what, but I’ve been thinking it was high time I got back on track with reading her Kate Schugak series. Then, while catching up with my email earlier this week, I saw an announcement from Stabenow that her first books, The Star Svendotter Trilogy, are now in ebook format. I followed the link to Stabenow’s website and noticed that the first Star Svendotter book, Second Star, is available as a free download. This series is science fiction and although I don’t read much science fiction, I downloaded it and will give it a shot sometime this fall/winter.
The first books in both of Stabenow’s mystery series are also available as free eBook downloads and it’s this news that I most wanted to share with you all. Here’s the link to the books: http://www.stabenow.com/e-books#star1.
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Stabenow’s first mystery series and the books for which she is perhaps best known, are the Kate Shugak Mysteries. Book #1 in this series is A Cold Day for Murder which won the 1993 Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original. If you’d like an overview, watch this fun 3:56 minute video of Stabenow giving an overview of the series up through book #16, Whisper to the Blood. The next book in the series, #19 Restless in the Grave, is coming out in February 2012. Kate, the title character, is an Aleut who lives in the interior of Alaska within a fictitious national park. She’s a self-sufficient tough cookie who used to work as an investigator for the Anchorage D.A.What I enjoy about this series is the glimpse it gives of life in Alaska and some of the political, racial, and environmental issues residents struggle with.
The second mystery series is The Liam Campbell Mysteries. Liam is an Alaskan State Trooper and the action for this series is set in Southwest Alaska in Bristol Bay. Liam’s love interest is a woman bush pilot and there’s lots of interesting flying info in these books. It’s been a long time since I read this series and I think I may have just read the first two.
I don’t remember who first recommended Stabenow to me or if I stumbled upon her myself, but I do remember that I started reading her shortly after I discovered Nevada Barr and was looking for something similar. Outdoorsy mysteries is how I classify both Barr and Stabenow, as well as another Alaska-based writer, Sue Henry. Stabenow was born & raised in Alaska on a fish tender (hence, the amazing on-board scenes in some of her novels). She still makes her home in Alaska and from reading her newsletter for a few years and now more recently following her on Facebook, she seems to come down to the lower 48 fairly regularly on book tour and for conferences. I had the pleasure of meeting her once about a half dozen years ago at Centuries and Sleuths bookstore in Forest Park, IL. She’s also active on Twitter.
If you haven’t read her yet, now’s your chance to snag three freebies. If you don’t read eBooks or have already blown your 2011 budget for new books, check with your local library. I’ve noticed mass market copies of her books in many libraries.