It’s a book!

We officially launch the twentieth Kate Shugak novel this evening at 7pm at the Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale, Arizona!

This is the slideshow I will be narrating this evening. Without, you know, the narration. You have to show up for that.

How to get to The Poisoned Pen.

Other author appearances listed here.

Here are some buy links (like I’d leave those off):

Some of the nice things said about Bad Blood so far:

This is Dana’s most lyrical writing about Alaska, truly gorgeous in content and prose. I reread several descriptive paragraphs to savor them (again). Plus, as I wrote to her, what you’ve got is the kind of thing that honor killings and blood feuds are made of, so in fact while acknowledging Shakespeare, completely contemporary but in a surprise context.

—Barbara Peters, Poisoned Pen Booknews

Hiaasen has his Florida, Memminger now has his Hawaii, and Dana Stabenow most definitely has her Alaska. I may never make it all the way up north but, Stabenow takes me there with every Kate Shugak mystery she writes. Each of these penetrating novels is good, from the very first, A Cold Day for Murder (available practically for free as an e-book) to Stabenow’s latest, Bad Blood. Bad Blood comes out later this month and is the 20 Kate Shugak mystery in 20 years. Congratulations to Stabenow and lucky for us. Twenty years on, Shugak is just as determined as ever, and when her badass trooper boyfriend gets involved in the feud between two neighboring communities, she does not hesitate to jump in to help out. Stabenow does it all: ample history, rich socio-political background, vivid atmosphere, complex characters, hot sex, twisted plot, and solid conclusion. What more could anyone want from a midwinter escape?

—Nina Sankovitch, Huffington Post

And since you asked, click here for your own Kate 20/20 mug, which includes a bag of Tsunami Blend, which as you will remember from Midnight Come Again is that known coffee snob, Chopper Jim’s favorite coffee.

And thank you all so much for your support for lo these twenty years! Kate and Mutt really appreciate it. Me, too.

68 thoughts on “It’s a book!

  1. It’s 12:03 am in Oregon, and I just finished Bad Blood. I am so pissed. How can you end the novel like that? As a loyal fan and devoted reader, I have been counting the days to Feb. 26th. Twenty books in twenty years — does that mean I have to wait a year to find out Kate’s and Mutt’s fate? If this is the last book and it ends this way, I promise to haunt you. Not a happy fan at this moment.


  2. Tracey, Sharon–

    All I will say is that Bad Blood is not the last book in the series.

    And learn to read slower. I thought I’d have a least a day before the outrage and anguish started pouring in.


  3. Emily Lee says:

    Well, Dana, I’m awfully glad you said this isn’t the last book in the series. Because I was thinking of packing up my entire collection of hard copies and donating them to the library, as well as asking them how I could transfer my Kindle versions to them as well!

    Now I’ll trust you to make it well worth waiting another year to find out more about my two favorite female leads in the world. In the past the waits have been justified. And I would never push an author to write faster. Never. Well, almost never.

    Wish you’d make it to an Albuquerque signing one of these tours.


  4. Tracey Steele says:

    When I got to the last pages, I actually raised my hand to my mouth and gasped in horror. Like the damsel in distress that I am.

    Shock and awe!


  5. Karen says:

    I agree with Sharon and Emily … what a way to end the book! But thank you, thank you, thank you for not ending the series this way. I know this is fiction, but you can not let the life force that is Kate Shugak die. End the series with her alive and happy. Now for a plea: please, please, please do not kill off Mutt. Yeah, ten years old is getting up there for a canine, but your readers (and Kate, I am sure) are not ready for her to go.
    Already looking forward to the next book :-)


  6. Jackie Renner says:

    As always I enjoyed the book- the story, the characters, the glimpse of Alaska. I reached the end of the book and in disbelief kept hoping I missed a page or 17 but still only the acknowledgments were present. The wait for the next book will be interminable.


  7. D. McCaulley says:

    Holy Crap! I just finished the last page and had to come running in to the computer to see if there was anything about Kate and Mutt surviving!


  8. Tricia Mattson says:

    I posted on your Facebook page too about this terrible ending!! Why did you go to such an extreme length? It was like that when you killed off Jack Morgan. I like Jim and Kate together but it almost felt like a betrayal when you put them together and even now it seems traitorous. PLEASE do not let Mutt die?? She is such an integral part of the books and without her, the characters of Jim and Johnny will not be able to leave Kate alone. They trust Mutt to protect Kate and while we all know she is fine on her own, the really nasty situations she gets into are that much easier to read because Mutt is there. Plus Kate was so messed up for how many books due to Jack’s death that the books were almost hard to read. Mutt’s death would be too much. Yes, I know they are characters in a book series but you have made them so REAL that it’s hard not to be so invested! Can you maybe do a short story if not a new book before another year’s time??


  9. Gloria Zimmer says:

    I have to agree with all the comments. My heart literally stopped when I realized that the last few paragraphs were the last paragraphs! I have been an avid fan since the first book and was actually in tears at the end of “Bad Bood”. I have always admired your true life writing style and have suffered right along with Kate through all her losses! A wonderful wonderful series. I have a lot of feelings tied up in Kate. I want her to get her “HEA”!


  10. Andrine Nichols says:

    Nooooooo!! How am I going to last?? I count days when I finish one Kate until the next Kate is due out!! I was listening to it at work before the library opened, my co-workers were startled, to say the least, when I got to the end. They were trying to ‘console’ me!!


  11. Elaide Gahn says:

    YUM!!! What a beautifully crafted piece of work this is, Ms. Stabenow! The end was such a shock I felt like collapsing – my own ears buzzed for a few seconds – Wow! Hope Jim’s okay! What’s next? More, please! And, thanks from a faithful reader in Vermont…


  12. I just finished Bad Blood and I just have to say, “Well done, again!
    With all of the hoopla here and elsewhere over the ending, I can’t say that it came as a surprise. I approached the final pages with great curiosity rather than dread. Because after all these years of reading your books, I trust you.
    And then the ending….
    I can’t help it, this is what popped into my head: Remember the scene in Groundhog Day where WPBH-TV9 Weatherman Phil augers his truck into a deep quarry and Larry, the news photographer says “He might be OK….”? Well, I was thinking “They’ll be OK!” A fatal fireball at the end was totally out of the question.
    Live long and prosper my distant friend, and know that there are many of us who hold you in our hearts and have faith in you, knowing that you will eventually pull Kate and Mutt through with flying colors. I just know you will!


  13. ELlen says:

    One word……aarrrgh! But a great book none the less. :) Great to find an author that doesn’t disappoint …even on the 20th book. Thanks! Now…can we have the coffee cake recipe that inspired a proposal from Chopper Jim please!!


  14. Jon Spead says:

    Son Of A Gun Stabenow! You sure know how to get Kate’s and Mutt’s friends in an uproar. Know that this can’t be the end, but sure is a Hell of a Cliff-Hanger. Your getting better with every book you write. Not sure how we’ll all last for the next twelve months. How is “Silk and Song” coming along??

    Best Regards, J.W.S.


  15. Gail says:

    I have never been so dissatisfied with an ending in my life!…You’re just lucky that you said this would NOT be the last book in the series.


    • Gail, forgive me, but I edited your comment for spoilers. Anger, outrage, a prayer for my slow and painful death, these are fine, but please don’t spoil the ending for others. And I’m happy to talk about that ending during the Danamaniacs chat on March 27th.


  16. Judy (different Judy) says:

    Gosh I was in Mexico when Bad Blood launched. After watching the slide show and the Q & A and knowing it will be more than 1 year for the next ‘installment’, then reading all the angst-filled comments –maybe I should wait to buy my copy?? NAH! this week to the local bookstore for sure! Got to do my part to move Dana up on the NYT list!


  17. DONNA THOMAS says:

    WOW is all I can say!!! I had to read the ending 3 times because I couldn’t believe it. Please oh please let them both be safe. I came into the series midway and am somewhat is awe of Kate and Mutt. I oh so look forward to their adventures and Kate continuing to show that she is a women true to herself and Mutt – what a critter – a dog after my own heart.

    thank you and I look forward to the next book.


  18. Nancy L. Warne says:

    Like others, I had to run to the computer to see if Kate and Mutt survive. Now I’m hoping that all three will survive, Kate, Mutt and Jim. In some ways this was more about Jim than Kate. But Jim would have to or there is no one to help Kate. Besides, counting of the bad guy’s shots doesn’t leave one for Jim, I think. I figured Kate has to survive at to deal with that creep Erland Bannister. Unless you are going to let Jim do that.
    I especially agree with the comment that you bring Alaska alive in so many different ways, and knowing that it has been your home means that you know what you are writing about.


  19. Susan Collard says:

    OMG Dana,
    Thank goodness I googled or I would have been so down! Unfortunately life took over and I couldn’t just sit and read the book so it was spread over weeks. I felt like this one didn’t quite have enough brilliant Kate in it, working with the brilliant Jim and then the ending happened. Well done on the devastated feelings I had! Good grief, can you not do that too often!!! Ah we’ll better check where I’m up to with Liam whilst I wait……


  20. Missy Price says:

    OK, embarassed that I am, I just discovered Dana Stabenow and Kate Shugak. But…. I’ve now read all 20 novels in less than 3 weeks (it helps that I had a couple of long business trips so I was able to READ without having to call in sick to work!). I have learned a lot about Alaska and because I’ve read all 20 books in one sitting (so to speak) I have relished the cultural changes that have occured during the 20 years it took to write 20 books. I’m really so glad that I actually finally found out just HOW Mutt managed to stay on a snowmachine. This South Carolina native has no experience with snowmachines! LOL. Keep the series going and here’s to a speedy recovery for Kate and Mutt. (BTW what happened to Mutt’s puppies when she sneaked out for the rendezvous with the wolf early in the series).


  21. I’ve been away for a couple of weeks and am just now catching up with the comments here on the site. My thanks to everyone for weighing in. Missy, I’ve seen dogs riding on the backs of snow machines and four-wheelers both. (Besides, you know Mutt has super powers.)


  22. Debbie Salkeld says:

    Wow! I’ve been waiting for a new book, and when I saw the latest at the local library, I was thrilled. I just finished “Bad Blood” and wanted to cry. I rushed to the computer and found this website, and it has calmed me somewhat!! I too, have a wolf hybrid and know all too well what I would do if I lost her. The first time I read “Hunters Moon”, I was hooked. Here is a heroine I can believe in, and relate to. Don’t let us lose them!!! I see puppies in the future! Thank You, Dana for all you’ve written. Keep up the good work.


  23. Elizabeth says:

    Oddly enough I found this series about a week before I left Rhode Island for a 3 month contract doing clinical massage on the oil workers in Prudhoe Bay. I’ve never been farther west or north than Chicago prior to this. (I grew up in Georgia and relocated to Rhode Island three years ago.) So needless to say I was intrigued by the glimpse of Alaska I was getting through the books.

    That was the reason I got the first one when it was offered for free in the Kindle daily deals. After that I proceeded to buy all the others because I fell head over heels in love with Mutt and Kate and all of the various other Park Rats. What a wonderful world you’ve made Ms. Stabenow. Thank you so much for inviting us in to share it.


  24. thecliffhangerhaltonregion says:

    Never mind what the name of my business implies, I too agreed with everyone about this book. Did not want it be the last so happy to hear there will be more!


  25. Donna says:

    I too finished Bad Blood and was horrified at the ending … I immediately searched to see if #21 was in the offing — am now so relieved but can’t wait to read it.


  26. Michele Kenney says:

    It’s hard to believe it’s been 20 years. I never dreamed to possess such insight into the Alaskan bush in my lifetime. Every book held fascinations. I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, but most of all, I’ve been throughly entertained by a splended storyteller.

    You’ve never bored me, never got too silly or ridiculous like so many series have after several books. I’ve grown to love, or hate or be frustrated with every character introduced. The Kate Shugak books sit with pride in my library.

    Keep up the great words Dana! And if you’re ever in SC….


  27. Sharon says:

    I don’t usually voice my opionion on books. I missed the book where Jack Morgan dies. I started reading the next one …. I couldn’t finish it. I was sooooo pissed. I really enjoyed the series up to that point, you know, you become attached to the characters. but I’ve now gone back to read more of Lee Child and i really don’t know if I’ll be back.


  28. Catherine says:

    I got into the Shugak series from the middle and had to work my way back then forward to Bad Blood. When I read the last page I almost went into shock and was fearful of going into total withdrawal before reading these comments. You simple can NOT let Mutt and Kate leave us. Your descriptions of the scenery, particularly the light changes, are wonderful. I actually sometimes dream I am in Niniltna! Please bring out the next one as soon as possible (no pressure!)


  29. Marcy says:

    I had read all the Kate Shugak novels starting some years ago and was fascinated with the setting, the people, and the varied lifestyles of Alaska. So this summer, my husband, and my brother, and I went to Alaska. For us, the trip took a total of 49 days, to Alaska and back home. Counting the ferry, we covered a total of 8,200 miles, mostly camping and sleeping in our trucks. When we returned home, I read the whole series again and found that We had walked in or visited many of the locations in the novels. We loved being in Alaska! Thanks for writing one of the sources of inspiration that got us there!!


  30. anna says:

    I started this series 2 months ago, with the free kindle download. wow…..i was hooked. I am so glad I found it. Have now read the entire series…..It is wonderful. Love the Liam Campbell series also. Please hurry on the 21st….don’t let Kate and Mutt leave us. Plus I hope Jim asks Kate to marry him…. and also how do you make fry bread? Thanks Dana for making this story so like family…


  31. Lesley says:

    I had the great good fortune to live in Alaska for 7 years and had a crew fishing licence and a half-wolf dog – not that I knew it until I took him to the vet for his shots! Loved Alaska and the people and hated to leave (29 yrs ago)and return to Uk when my marriage broke up. |I was thrilled to discover the Kate Shugak books not least because the descriptions of Alaska are just brilliant and have brought back wonderful memories. I’m really glad to hear that there will be another book. I’ll start on the series with trooper Liam while I’m waiting.


  32. 2016, Anna. This year I write the second and third part of Silk and Song, next year I write Kate21, and in 2016 it publishes. Sorry about the wait.


  33. Roberta Martin says:

    Dana – having been raised in Kodiak, Alaska, 1955-1968, I love your
    books. The names you use in Kate’s books are so familiar with the
    people that I grew up with. Please keep them coming.

    It will be hard to wait until 2016 to see what happens to Kate & Mutt.

    You can take the girl out of Alaska but you can Never take Alaska out of
    the girl.

    Thank you. Roberta


  34. Lorraine says:

    Dana, just finished reading Bad Blood on my way into work this morning, can I tell you I totally freaked that there no more pages!!! Talk about a cliffhanger!!! Scared the bejesus out of my husband who was driving. The poor dear advised me to buy the next book, but it isn’t out yet!!!!

    I have to say I have totally enjoyed the series and am a proud owner. I hope that both Mutt and Kate live on to tell more stories!!!!


  35. Sue Mill says:

    I absolutely love the Kate Shugak novels. I think it would be a lot of fun to write a story from Mutt’s point of view (his interpretation of Kate’s actions and the many people they come in contact with). I love to read about the Alaskan scenery and the wonderful people who live there. Keep the books coming, can’t wait for the next books ! :)


  36. I would like to know if has ever been established where Kate got Mutt ? I started thinking about it, and started reading the series all over again and I don’t think I have found it referenced ? I am just terribly curious.


  37. Jane Joyce says:

    Hi Dana, only discovered your books this year! I have been enjoying them as slowly as possible and am as far as ” Though not Dead”….
    What I love about your books is that as well as having great characters and exciting stories that keep me held til the last page, I’m reading all about Alaska, and its seasons, people , customs and other fascinating facts that I’d never even considered before…..! The “Park” sounds amazing, and while I know the places are fictional, I’m guessing they are based on places you know and obviously love! Thanks you so much for this!!


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