I just finished the fifth novel in Dana Stabenow’s Kate Shugak series, Play with Fire…for the second time. There have been a few added to the series since I stopped allowing myself reading time, so I decided to re-read the series starting at number one. I didn’t want to get lost starting in the newer books. Now, don’t think I only read fiction novels about Alaska. I am working on a few other goodies to review for you as well.
Kate and new friend Dinah discover under those mushrooms they're picking, a man’s naked body. Appearing as though he was caught running from the fire. But naked? There are too many unanswered questions for Kate to leave alone. Once the body is turned over to the Alaska State Trooper Jim Chopin, she gets hired by a young boy to find his father, who’s been missing for a year, strangely enough.
This story had the usual laugh out loud moments, the mystery needing solved, the sexual innuendos, and of course Mutt, Kate’s 140-pound half husky, and half wolf. Mutt gets along with Trooper Jim just fine. As he scratches her behind the ears, she practically purrs. “Disgusting” is what Kate thinks of it. There is a little tension between her and the Trooper. Kate spends some time in Fairbanks doing research, so there is a nice description of town. Leaving there and traveling on an Alaska roadway with slow moving tourists, fast moving teens, newly tagged vehicles and old 49ers; the stage is set for passing illegally and the aftermath it causes. Enter trooper Jim Chopin again. After many tickets are written, and all the assorted vehicles sent on their way, he has some pretty interesting information to pass on to Kate. At this point she knows who to target. And Kate is real good at getting folks to spill the truth.
Really another fun read, with lots of great Alaska people and places descriptions to make you feel as though you are right there.
I bought this book with my own funds for my iPad reader. You can get a paperback copy here…Play with Fire (Kate Shugak Mystery) but make sure you read 1-4 first!