Book Club Review: A Cold Day for Murder

murderTitle: A Cold Day for Murder
Author: Dana Stabenow
Genre: Mystery
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: June 1, 1992
Pages: 208 pages
Format Read: Book
Standalone or series: Book One of A Kate Shugak Mystery series
Where I got the book: Library
Date finished reading: April 9, 2019

Goodreads Description: Kate Shugak returns to her roots in the far Alaskan north, after leaving the Anchorage D.A.’s office. Her deductive powers are definitely needed when a ranger disappears. Looking for clues among the Aleutian pipeliners, she begins to realize the fine line between lies and loyalties–between justice served and cold murder.

My Review: Since Agatha Christie is the mystery writer that made me fall in love with this genre, I tend to compare all mysteries to hers. In my opinion, it has been hard to find a mystery writer who can set a scene and describe/develop characters, while still moving the plot along in a thrilling way like Agatha Christie can. I can definitely argue that Dana Stabenow did set the scene and included some thrilling moments, especially toward the end. I thoroughly enjoyed her descriptions of the Alaskan scenery/terrain and the cultural/tribal topics that were addressed. However, character development left something to be desired. It is hard to lend support to the main character, Kate Shugak, when you feel like you’ve come in during the middle of her story. I just found the introduction to the main character abrupt and confusing. Maybe a prologue of some kind would have been useful. I also never bothered to try to guess who was behind the disappearance of the two men, because I never felt like I knew enough about any of the characters to offer a guess. My favorite character in the book was Kate’s dog, Mutt. He seemed to have more of a personality than the rest of the characters. I did try to take into consideration that this was her first published mystery book, but I expected more since it won the Edgar Award. This was a quick read and entertaining/thrilling at moments, but it was an overall miss in my opinion. It definitely didn’t interest me enough to continue reading the rest of the series.

It should be noted, that other members of my book club enjoyed this novel and some of the characters much more than I did, as you can see by the overall club rating below.

My Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦

Book Club Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ¼