“A Cold Day For Murder” Kate Shugak #1 by Dana Stabenow – Good characters but the story is showing its age

cold day for murderThis was the first book I ever downloaded from audible.com. My wife and I listened to this five hours-long book together through a couple of dark afternoons in February 2012. It convinced me that audiobooks were an excellent way to relax while still concentrating. It reminded me of listening to “The Afternoon Play” on BBC Radio 4. It also introduced me to Kate Shugak. She wasn’t the Kate I know now having just finished book 10 but she caught my attention and has since brought me many hours of pleasure.

For some reason the short review that I wrote at the time never made it to this blog, so, in the grip of an obsessive compulsion for order, I’m adding it here now, unaltered. On first listen, I wasn’t impressed with Marguerite Gavin as the narrator. Since then she’s become the voice of Kate Shugak for me and the books wouldn’t be the same without her.

I’m one of those folks who has to go back to the beginning of a series. In this case the downside of that was that this story starts to feel a little slow and a little old-fashioned, although I’m sure it was leading edge when it was published.

The book has a strong sense of place and some deeply (although not subtly) carved characters who make you care what happens to them,

The plot is complicated enough to be interesting without being annoyingly clever.

Perhaps I’m just not used to the accent but I was distracted by the fact that the reader placed stresses in unexpected places. She did dialogue well but the descriptive pieces lacked focus. It seemed her voice needed a little more range.

I will continue with this series on audible.

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