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Restless in the Grave [Hardcover]

Dana Stabenow
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 14 2012 Kate Shugak Mysteries (Book 19)

New York Times bestseller Dana Stabenow returns with her most outstanding novel yet, teaming up two of her most beloved characters, Aleut private investigator Kate Shugak and Alaska state trooper Liam Campbell, in the same story for the first time.

Alaska aviation entrepreneur Finn Grant died in the fiery crash of his Piper Super Cub. Someone sabotaged his engine, and virtually everyone in southwestern Alaska has a motive, including his betrayed wife, his bullied children, and Liam’s wife, bush pilot Wyanet Chouinard. With few places to turn, Liam asks his former mentor Niniltna post commander Sergeant Jim Chopin, for help, and Jim quickly brings Kate onto the case.

Working undercover as—of all things—a waitress at Bill’s Bar and Grill, Kate learns over beer and burgers that Grant’s business had expanded meteorically over the last two years. After buying the closed Air Force base south of town from the federal government at a bargain-basement price, he became a fixed-base operator running his fishing, hunting, and flight-seeing business, servicing planes flying through the area, and most interestingly and lucratively, getting into the air freight business. But what kind of freight was he moving, and where?

The answers involve Kate in her most challenging case to date, one that starts with murder and quickly sprawls into a much larger conspiracy ranging from the darkest family secrets to treason and beyond. Restless in the Grave is a treat for fans and another outstanding addition to Dana Stabenow’s acclaimed and award-winning series.


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Product Description


Acclaim for Dana Stabenow

“Entertaining 19th novel featuring the brash, fearless PI [Kate Shugak]… The book sparkles with energy and wit, and packs an unexpected punch.”
--Publishers Weekly on Restless in the Grave

Though Not Dead is the latest in Dana Stabenow’s robust series. It’s her most far-reaching Shugak story yet, ambitiously incorporating some of Alaska’s colorful history”
Seattle Times on Though Not Dead

“In Edgar winner Stabenow’s brilliant eighteenth novel to feature the feisty Alaska detective … Kate is at her butt-kicking best as she and Mutt, her inseparable half-wolf, half-husky companion, deal with murder, theft, and deception.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review) on Though Not Dead

“Stabenow is blessed with a rich prose style and a fine eye for detail. … It’s an outstanding series.... If you’ve never visited Alaska, it’s also an intriguing introduction to that big, brawling, rather bewildering state.”
The Washington Post on A Night Too Dark

“Kate Shugak, the Aleut private eye, demonstrates why she is considered one of the best among female sleuths, in A Night Too Dark.”
San Diego Union-Tribune on A Night Too Dark

“Grade: A. Some of the greatest mystery writers enrich us with their wonderful sense of place. Stabenow is one of them: Alaska’s answer to Tony Hillerman, she brings us the sights and sounds that few visitors will ever know.… If you haven’t discovered Stabenow yet, start here—then go back to A Cold Day for Murder and enjoy the whole story.”
—Rocky Mountain News on Whisper to the Blood

From the Back Cover

Aleut P.I. Kate Shugak teams up with Alaska state trooper Liam Campbell—for the very first time—in this stunning thriller from New York Times bestselling author



When aviation entrepreneur Finn Grant dies in the fiery crash of his Piper Super Cub, state trooper Liam Campbell has reason to believe it’s sabotage. Virtually everyone in southwestern Alaska has a motive—including Grant’s betrayed wife, his bullied children, and even Liam’s own wife, bush pilot Wyanet Chouinard. With few places to turn, Liam seeks outside help from the friend of a friend—a private investigator named Kate Shugak…


“AN OUTSTANDING SERIES.”—The Washington Post


Working undercover as a waitress at Bill’s Bar and Grill in Newenham, Kate learns over beer and burgers that Grant’s business had expanded meteorically. After buying a closed Air Force base from the government, he ran a fixed-base operation for fishing, hunting, and flight-seeing, as well as a lucrative air freight service. But what kind of freight was he moving, and where? The answers lead Kate on her most challenging case yet, from the fateful wreckage to family secrets to full-scale conspiracy and beyond…



Kirkus Reviews


--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By L. J. Roberts TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
First Sentence: They kept it simple. They could cut off his right hand, or he could use it to learn how to fire the weapon they gave him.

PI Kate Shugak is surprised to receive a call from State Trooper Liam Campbell. An even bigger surprise is being offered a job to investigate a murder; however, one of the possible suspects is Campbell’s wife. Traveling to Niniltana and working undercover doesn’t seem so bad, except someone is taking strong exception to her presence and making that clear in very physical ways. In spite of a handsome actor who is there, is soon becomes clear that the case of murder is only a small part of much bigger, uglier crimes.

As wonderful as are the characters of Kate and Mutt, it was a delight to have Liam Campbell and the cantankerous Moses, seer and master of tai-chi, back in the mix. There is no question but that Stabenow creates wonderful characters; good and bad.

Stabenow’s voice and humor bring humanity and balance to serious mysteries…”Kate marched them [the NNA board members] through old business like Alexander went through Asia…”. At the same time, this book did not, in any way, lack for suspense.

Dana Stabenow is an Alaskan who knows her state and its people. Her descriptions are powerful and create a very strong sense of place. Yet she also recognizes that life in Alaska is not for everyone…”Jim asked her [a perpetrator being extradited to another state] why she had confessed to charges that were five years old and three thousand miles away. “I’m tired of Alaskan winters.” She said.”. She also presents a very good look at the challenges, both in types of crimes and lack of manpower, policing Alaska.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Crossover May 29 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I loved the crossover between the "Liam Campbell" series and the "Kate Shugak" series. Ms. Stabenow paints the Alaskan scenery so vividly with words that you can almost see it as you read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  110 reviews
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional Installment in an Exceptional Series Feb. 16 2012
By Dianne E. Socci-Tetro - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Restless in the Grave by Dana Stabenow

This is the newest and most unusual of all of Ms Stabenow's books. Dana writes 2 separate series set in Alaska. One is about state trooper Liam Campbell and the other is about private investigator Kate Shugak. Restless in the Grave combines the 2 main characters from both series and turns it into one action and mystery filled, un-put-downable book.

Some readers who have never read any of Ms Stabenow's works may wonder if they can read this as a stand-alone book. While I believe these two series to be the best things since sliced bread and I whole-heartedly suggest you DO read them from book one...but with this particular book, there really is no need. You can dive right in because this is just a little different than her usual books. It does revolve around Kate so you might feel you need the full background but Ms
Stabenow's writing is so complex in this novel and the past experiences of Kate really takes a back-seat to the action and adventure you will find in this book. Once you've read this one you may feel compelled to read them all. I hope you do.

This book takes place in Liam's back-yard, where his wife has a shadow of suspicion thrown on her over the recent death of Finn Grant---who is a totally loathsome creature. Liam asks Kate to come and investigate the death of Finn and to put to rest once and for all whether or not it was pilot error or murder.

Kate starts working undercover and during the course of her investigation, gets locked in a chest freezer with her half wolf Mutt, (among other places she is locked into, meets a super hunky male movie star who may have the hots for Kate and find a plot sending American arms meant for our army into the hands of the enemy.

This book does tragically end the life of a much-loved character and that is not unusual for Ms Stabenow. Throughout this long running series fans have had to come to terms with the death both natural and un-natural of many beloved characters. Ms Stabenow does work her magic and never leaves you feeling bereft for too long.

This book is filled with the usual red-herring, humor and sharp wit that we've come to depend on. It has a very large cast of complex characters and leaves us with what appears to be the plot for her next book.
This is an exceptional installment into an exceptional series, or should I say 2 series? I really loved the blending of the two and I hope that Dana will do it again in the future.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars entertaining Alaskan investigative thriller Feb. 14 2012
By Harriet Klausner - Published on
Alaskan billionaire Finn Grant dies when his Piper crashes. Someone sabotaged the plane's engine, but the question is not who had the motive, but who did not have the motive as just about everyone in the western part of the state loathed Finn.

In Niniltna, Alaskan State Trooper Sergeant Liam Campbell asks his former teacher Sergeant Jim Chopin for help in the investigation of the murder of Grant since he cannot because he believes the prime suspect is his wife bush pilot Wyanet Chouinard. Jim introduces Liam to his beloved private investigator Kate Shugak. After Jim explains the situation, Kate agrees to go undercover at Bill's Bar and Grill to learn more about the victim's business practices. She soon learns Grant, hated by his own family, blackmailed anyone and embezzled from everyone as he committed fraud and other felonious activity. As Kate and her sidekick Mutt work the case she wonders what freight the deceased shipped since he bought the abandoned air force base as the headquarters of his myriad of businesses.

The first meeting between Shugak (see Though Not Dead) and Alaska state trooper Liam Campbell (see Better to Rest) is an entertaining Alaskan investigative thriller. The story line is fast-paced from the moment the two Dana Stabenow's prime series stars meet and never slows down as Kate, the lead protagonist in Restless In The grave, goes from one ice box to another.

Harriet Klausner
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ABSORBING PLOT - INTRIGUING CHARACTERS Feb. 25 2012
By Gail Cooke - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Few things are more pleasing than coming across a book that I know will be terrific before reading a single page or hearing the opening lines. For me, that's the case with Edgar Award winning author Dana Stabenow and her Kate Shugak series. Born in Alaska Stabenow well knows the territory she limns, and it is this authenticity along with intriguing casts of characters and absorbing plots that make the series so fine. Restless In The Grave is Stabenow's 19th in the series, which seems only to get better with time.

As the story opens there has been a fatal plane crash - aviation entrepreneur Finn Grant literally went down in flames along with his Piper Super Club. Someone tampered with the engine - problem is there are too many likely someones out there including the wife of Alaska state trooper Liam Campbell.

In an effort to prove his wife innocent he asks Niniltna post commander Sergeant Jim Chopin for help, and Jim brings Aleut private investigator Kate Shugak into the case. She goes undercover (as a waitress at Bill's Bar and Grill) where she not only fries burgers but learns a great deal. Grant's business has definitely been on a solid upswing - after buying a deserted Air Force base he poked his fingers into many pies - fishing, hunting, servicing planes and carrying freight. Question is what kind of freight?

Audio File Earphones award winner Marguerite Gavin has collaborated with Stabenow on a number of the Kate Shugak books, and she does so again with what can easily be described as one more listening pleasure as she perfectly captures the correct pronunciation of native names and places. Not an easy task but she does it while at the same time delivering an engaging performance that holds the listeners' attention.


- Gail Cooke
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing July 6 2012
By Mystery maven - Published on
I love the Kate Shugak series but this book was not worth the read. The number of times the usually self-reliant Shugak falls into traps, the number of things she misses, the stupid things she doesn't pick up on is not worthy of the character I've come to love.

Maybe fans of Ms. Stabenow's Liam Campbell books will like it as he is featured prominently. Perhaps that is the problem. Trying to tie in his character and all the people that come with him just made it a jumbled mess.

Not nearly enough Johnny and Kate, not nearly enough Jim and Kate. Not nearly enough of the Park!

I won't be putting this on my "Keep" shelf!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pretty close to perfect March 4 2012
By Marian Reader - Published on
In too many mysteries, the reader either can guess "who dun it" too soon, or the solution/ending to the mystery leaves the reader thinking "huh?' because the necessary clues to the solution are missing. Neither is true of RESTLESS IN THE GRAVE. Stabenow gives us multiple clues but inserts them so skillfully that the solution is surprising yet satisfying. And she also sets us up for then next book in the series!
I did wonder about a couple of things. Why bring in Diana Prince towards the end of the novel, when she has no bearing on the plot? I decided that Stabenow wanted to have all the major characters in the Liam book in this one. I also wondered why Stabenow named Tina's best friend Jeannie and the Atna bartender Jean? I don't have an answer for that one. And I have to look up Bothams.
Lastly, I like the bits of Stabenow that are scattered throughout the book - praise for librarians and anti-war sentiments for example.
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