Mystery Authors You May Have Missed
Dana Stabenow

Photo of Dana Stabenow

Dana Stabenow was born on March 27, 1952 and is an American author who has produced works in the science fiction, mystery, and suspense/thriller genres. Many of Stabenow's books are set in her home state of Alaska, where she was raised by her single mother who lived and worked on a fish tender in the Gulf of Alaska. Stabenow received a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Alaska in 1973 and, after deciding to try her hand as an author, later enrolled in UAA's MFA program.

What she writes: Stabenow does a little bit of everything, but she is most famous for her Kate Shugak mystery series, set in national parks around the country. Kate is a Native Alaskan, an Aleut, living in a fictional national park in Alaska, based loosely on the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve. Formerly an investigator for the Anchorage District Attorney's office, an incident during which she is badly injured on the job causes her to quit and return home to live on her own. Other than novels featuring Kate Shugak, Stabenow also writes a Liam Campbell mystery series, standalone thrillers, science fiction novels featuring continuing character Star Svensdotter, mystery short stories (some featuring her continuing characters), and essays.


List of works
Kate Shugak series
  A Cold Day for Murder (1992) Midnight Come Again (2000)
  A Fatal Thaw (1992) The Singing of the Dead (2001)
  Dead in the Water (1993) A Fine and Bitter Snow (2002)
  A Cold-Blooded Business (1994) A Grave Denied (2003)
  Play with Fire (1995) A Taint in the Blood (2004)
  Blood Will Tell (1996) A Deeper Sleep (2007)
  Breakup (1997) Whisper to the Blood (2009)
  Killing Grounds (1998) A Night Too Dark (2010)
  Hunter's Moon (1999)  
Liam Campbell series
  Fire and Ice (1998)  
  So Sure of Death (1999)  
  Nothing Gold Can Stay (2000)  
  Better to Rest (2002)  
Star Svensdotter series
  Second Star (1991)  
  So Sure of Death (1992)  
  Nothing Gold Can Stay (1995)  
Standalone titles
  Blindfold Game (2006)  
  Prepared for Rage (2008)  
Stabenow's short stories can also be found in these anthologies
  The Mysterious West (1994)
  Star Colonies (2000)
  And the Dying is Easy (2001)
  The Mysterious North (2002) - also editor of the anthology
  Wild Crimes (2004) - also editor of the anthology
  Powers of Detection (2004) - also editor of the anthology
  Unusual Suspects (2008) - also editor of the anthology
  At the Scene of the Crime (2008) - also editor of the anthology
  Wolfsbane and Mistletoe (2008)
  Two of the Deadliest (2009)
Stabenow also was editor of the essay anthology Alaska Women Write (2003) whixh inxludes an essay by her entitled, "The Gift," about her childhood onboard a fish tender in the Gulf of Alaska. She has another essay entitled "A Son of Martha" in Our Alaska (2001).


Her first Shugak book, A Cold Day for Murder, won the Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original in 1993.

What the critics say
... about the Kay Shugak series
"Grade: A. Some of the greatest mystery writers enrich us with their wonderful sense of place. Stabenow is one of them: Alaska’s answer to Tony Hillerman, she brings us the sights and sounds that few visitors will ever know. . . . If you haven’t discovered Stabenow yet, start here—then go back to A Cold Day for Murder and enjoy the whole story."Rocky Mountain News
"Excellent . . . No one writes more vividly about the hardships and rewards of living in the unforgiving Alaskan wilderness and the hardy but frequently flawed characters who choose to call it home. This is a richly rewarding regional series that continues to grow in power as it grows in length." Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"There are now sixteen Kate Shugak novels in this excellent series set in backwoods Alaska, and rather than losing steam, Stabenow is building it. Whisper to the Blood is the best Shugak so far. . . . Stabenow is terrific at building a story and keeping the suspense tight and the story moving." — The Globe and Mail
"One of the best . . . A dynamite combination of atmosphere, action, and character." — Booklist (starred review)
"When I’m casting about for an antidote to the sugary female sleuths . . . Kate Shugak, the Aleut private investigator in Dana Stabenow’s Alaskan mysteries, invariably comes to mind." — The New York Times
"Stabenow once again presents us with a cleverly conceived and crisply written thriller that provides a provocative glimpse of life as it is lived and justice as it is served on America’s last frontier." — The San Diego Union-Tribune
"A splendid series." — USA Today
"All the elements that have made this series successful shine." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
... about the Liam Campbell series
"Liam Campbell is a delightful character, already fully formed in the skilled, inventive mind of Miss Stabenow, and meeting him is a pleasure." — Washington Times
"Evocative writing, intelligent plotting...intensely believable." — Dallas Morning News
"Lots of quirky people, adventures, and scenery." — Kirkus Reviews
"This much mayhem has rarely been in surer literary hands."— Publishers Weekly
... about Prepared for Rage
"A frightening, tightly written thriller."— Kirkus Reviews
"Apollo 13 meets United 93... Stabenow knows Coast Guard and astronaut lingo." — Entertainment Weekly
"Stellar... entertainment and suspense of a high order." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
... about Blindfold Game
"Edge-of-seat quotient: High." — Entertainment Weekly
"Action-packed... an ingenious plot." — Denver Post
"The author jacks up the adrenaline." — People
"[An] explosive climax." — San Francisco Chronicle
"The drama [is] so harrowing you’ll be looking for a life vest before the last wave drenches you.... [A] smashing maritime adventure." — Mystery Scene
"Stabenow’s descriptions of the ensuing duel at sea... make for edge-of-seat stuff... And the creepy, authentic-sounding terrorist scenario will make readers sit up and take notice of a state that some Americans forget is actually there." — Booklist
"Blindfold Game, like its predecessors, can be read on two levels—as a cleverly-executed thriller with an intriguing protagonist or as a fascinating exploration of an exotic society with its own unique culture. Either way, you can’t lose." — San Diego Union-Tribune


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