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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

‘A Cold Day For Murder’ by Dana Stabenow

They came out of the south late that morning on a black-and-silver Ski-doo LT. The driver had thick eyebrows and a thicker beard and a lush fur ruff around his hood, all rimmed with frost from the moisture of  his breath.

He was a big man, made larger by parka, down bib overalls, fur mukluks and thick fur gauntlets. His teeeth were bared in a grin that was half-snarl. He looked like John Wayne ready to run the claim jumpers off his gold mine on that old White Mountain just a little southeast of Nome, if John Wayne had been outfitted by Eddie Bauer.

I haven’t started on this book as yet, so I literally switched my kindle on, copied down these first few lines, then left the book, so I have no idea where the lines will lead me.

They are definitely intriguing lines though, especially the comparison between the newcomer and John Wayne.

These people, just from their description, sound intimidating and menacing to me.

Winner of the Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original, this Alaskan mystery is just calling to me to be read soon!

As usual, so as to avoid too many unwanted spoilers, I have not included a full synopsis of the book in this post. However to find out a little more about the story before deciding whether it is your ‘cup of tea’ or not, you can click on the book image.

What is ‘Book Beginnings’ and how can you join in the fun?

Would the first few lines of your book make you want to read on?

If so, would you like to share them with us, (without revealing too many spoilers of course) ?

 Click on the link and visit Gilion @ Rose City Reader

You can then leave a link to your own book beginnings post, or just browse for some great reads, there are always plenty of new authors and titles to be discovered.

Don’t forget that Gilion and all the other contributors to this meme love to hear from you, so why not leave a comment or two at the same time.

Thanking you all for your support and wishing you a Very Happy Easter.

Written by

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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  • Dana Stabenow has a good following. I read (1) of her mysteries and enjoyed it (title escapes me at this time). I also downloaded another (free one) for my Kindle not too long ago but haven’t read it —hope you like this one.

    I do the same thing thing. I still haven’t started my Tuesday Intro, but hope to tomorrow.

    • Hi Diane,

      I hadn’t come across Dana Stabenow, until a fellow blogger reviewed this particular book and left me a comment that she thought I might enjoy it and that it was available as a free Kindle download right now (it might be that you and I have the same book if that’s the case!).

      I see that ‘A Cold Day For Murder’. is the first book in the series and Dana has just published the nineteenth Kate Shugak mystery, so we both have quite a bit of catching up to do!

      It is good to know that you have already read and enjoyed at least one of her books, I am looking forward to getting started on it, as soon as ….

      All my posts are getting a little behind at the moment, as I have received a sudden influx of author requests for reviews, so everything seems to be a bit last minute. At least I have a couple of free days over the Easter period to try and make some inroads into the backlog.

      Thanks for stopping by and have a Happy Easter.

  • This doesn’t immediately look a book I would enjoy … and yet I find it strangely interesting 🙂

    Anyway seeing as it’s free and has such a mixed response on Amazon, with some people loving the description, characters and plot and others finding it slow, weak and predictable, I’ve downloaded it. I wonder what we will make of it?

    • Hello Margaret,

      My thoughts virtually mirrored your own, after checking out the full synopsis of this and some of the later books in the series.

      I am however intrigued, as I haven’t read any Alaskan based stories, or books written by an Alaskan native, so I really wanted to check out the writing style and focus on some of the more descriptive elements of the environment in which the story is set. However, there still really needs to be a strong plot to hold my attention and it might be in this area that I will be a little disapppointed.

      I first came across this book when a fellow blogger mentioned it, although her remarks too were a little undecided:


      I am sure that you will probably get around to reading this one long before I will, so I shall be looking out for your review with interest.

  • Um a ski-do!? Intriguing not sure if I know what one is. Just calling by to thankyou for your latest comments, it has also turned colder here over the last few days, well it is Easter. Have a peaceful Easter weekend.

    • Hi Rikki,

      My thoughts were probably a little different to yours, in that, although the man appears menacing, I couldn’t see the relevance of the John Wayne connection, certainly not when compared to Eddie Bauer.

      I am expecting a good mystery/thriller, so I hope that those first lines are not too indicative of what is to come. The book has met with some very mixed reviews, so I do need to try and keep an open mind about it.

      Thanks for stopping by and I hope that you enjoy a peaceful Easter Day.

  • This seems like quite a menacing start to a book so things cannot bode well? However, it does do the job of immediately drawing you in, even if it is not a comfortable place.

    • Hi,

      With the exception of the reference to Eddie Bauer, which seemed a little superfluous, then I agree that our new arrival doesn’t sound like a very charming character.

      I am not sure where these opening lines sit in the overall synopsis, but they do set the scene of mystery and menace quite well, so I am hoping that the next few pages will continue that trend.

      Thanks for stopping by and I hope that you are enjoying a good Easter.

  • Those lines are intriguing Yvonne, I do like the John Wayne comparison. Happy reading adn I look forward to your reivew 😉
    Happy Easter as well.

    • Hi Naida,

      I was okay with the John Wayne comparison, until Dana added the lines about Eddie Bauer, which seemed to cheapen it a bit for me.

      Although how many people, if you mentioned John Wayne today, would actually know who he was? The days of the Western are long gone, at least here in the UK, unless there happens to be a re-run on one of the more obscure television channels. World War Two films also appear to be on the same demise, so this great star will soon be confined to the archives. Just another reminder of how ‘time waits for no man’ and just how old I am!!

      Have a peaceful Easter day.

    • Hi Nikki,

      This author has received such mixed reviews for her books that I have to read at least one of them, just to make an assessment for myself.

      Many people say that the book has too much in the way of descriptive writing about the Alaskan people, their environmental problems and employment issues and is therefore quite weak on the mystery content.

      I quite like the idea of discovering a little more about this different culture, but I won’t be too happy if the book is so skewed that the storyline then becomes too weak.

      I hope that you are feeling a bit better now nd enjoying the Easter weekend, despite the sudden demise of the weather.

  • I recently read a Stabenow book and liked it, although I can’t remember the name now for the life of me. I like the idea of a mystery set in Alaska — don’t think I’ve ever read one.

    Thanks for participating in Book Beginnings!

    • Hi Gilion,

      I think that the idea of reading a story set in a location and highlighting a culture which is virtually unknown to me, is what attracted me to try this one in the first place and probably the same goes for fellow blogger Cath, who mentioned it in the first place.

      I am hoping for a good mystery storyline to underpin the whole thing, after all, there are now 19 books in the series, so it must be quite a popular combination to have survived for so long.

      Thanks for hosting and enjoy your Easter day.

    • Hi Jo,

      I hadn’t come across this author, before her name was mentioned by a fellow blogger. Given that she wrote this first book in the Kate Shugak series, way back in 1992 and has added a new adventure for her character every year since, I guess she has some pretty substantial enduring qualitites in the world of crime mysteries.

      The only drawback I can see with coming to a series so late in its conception, is that police procedures and methods have moved on apace since then, which have to be taken into account when trying to review the story constructively and fairly.

      I can feel the menace in those opening few lines (leaving out the bit about Eddie Bauer), which hopefully bodes well for the rest of the book.

      Thanks for stopping by and have a peaceful Easter day.

Written by Yvonne