Main Character: Private Investigator Kate Shugak
Series/Title: Kate Shugak Mysteries; Though Not Dead
Setting: Current day Alaska in “The Park” a rural area about a two hour trek/drive outside of Anchorage as well as Anchorage. Small native village feel contrasted with a modern day city. In Though Not Dead there is a lot of historical materials and passages which really fleshes out the history of the area.
Point of View: Third person but the reader only sees what Kate (or in the case of this book with the historical bits her Great Uncle) sees
Style/Pacing: Slower paced with periods of intense action. Life, when you need to worry about hypothermia at every turn, takes a different pace. Thinking about what to bring and also thinking through when to journey where is an important part of life. As is moose meat, which you get a lot of details about how to prepare.
Main Character Traits: Native Alaskan; small statured; in a stable relationship with a State Trooper; well known and loved by the community; inseparable from her Wolf-Husky mix Mutt; spunky; tenacious; involved with the politics and future of her village
Language/Writing: Detail oriented; step-by-step crime solving; great on audio for correct name/place pronunciations
Emotional Impact/Degree of Violence: Violence is kept to a minimum as are descriptive passages about gore. The body count is quite high in this book.
Humor?: Some light humor
Vulgarity/Sex?: Occasional swearing, all sex is off the page. Rated: PG
Special Points: You don't need to start with the beginning of the series, but some readers may want to see Kate and the villagers grow. There are some stories mentioned in this book which would be missed or uninteresting to someone unfamiliar with the series. A great suggestion for those interested in learning more about Alaska. A good read-alike choice for Sue Grafton – the PIs have similar personalities and investigative styles.