Thursday, February 08, 2007

Pg. 69: "A Deeper Sleep"

A Deeper Sleep is the 15th volume of Edgar Award–winning Dana Stabenow's "Kate Shugak" series.

In addition to that series, Dana is the author of three Liam Campbell mysteries, three science-fiction novels, and a stand-alone novel. She also writes an acclaimed column for Alaska magazine.

I asked her to put A Deeper Sleep to the "page 69 test," and here is what she reported:
Okay, you made me look. I had to go see what was actually on p. 69 of A Deeper Sleep before I could answer this question. And the answer is…

I think p. 69 is more representative of the entire Kate Shugak series than it is just the one book. There is Kate, at Bobby’s house, Bobby a very popular recurring character, so that she can contact a DA in Anchorage who has a job for her. Other recurring characters from the Kate Shugak ensemble, Dan O’Brien, a Park ranger, Mac Devlin, a miner, are also mentioned, grounding the reader in the history of the series.

History, yes, but then notice is paid to the times they are a changing, in the Park as they are anywhere else. Instead of talking over Bobby’s ham radio so that all the Park rats can listen in, Kate’s now IM’ing.

During which mention is made of the Smiths, new characters but ones integral to the plot of this particular book, and characters indicative not only of the changing population of Kate’s Park but also of the recurring problem of squatters on public land in Alaska. Which is, not coincidentally, a way into the plot of A Deeper Sleep. It’s also a setup for the next book in the series, and probably more.

Wow. That actually was a pretty good page. Who the hell wrote that?
Many thanks to Dana for the input.

There is one excerpt from A Deeper Sleep at Dana's site, and another excerpt at BookBrowse.

Among the praise for A Deeper Sleep:
"All the elements that have made the author's signature Kate Shugak crime series successful shine in this 15th entry (after 2004's A Taint in the Blood): Kate's personal growth as a woman and as an investigator; the Alaskan environment in all its unforgiving beauty; and a mystery whose solution remains in doubt until the end. The story opens with a brutal murder. The culprit, Louis Deem, who has managed to avoid justice for past crimes, is so odious that his presence is a cancer in the little Niniltna community Kate calls home. Stabenow's rich cast of supporting characters include natives and longtime settlers as well as those newcomers so unprepared that Kate refers to them as committing 'suicide by Alaska.' There is rough humor, a rich heritage of the community necessary for survival, and at the same time a remarkable tolerance for the many idiosyncrasies of those attracted to the harsh realities of Alaskan life. Kate Shugak is becoming a leader among her people and is already a leader in the sorority of women detectives."
--Publishers Weekly

"[A] satisfying exploration of justice on America's last frontier with a twisty ending that marks a new stage in Kate's career."
--Kirkus Reviews

"An engaging plot, the fascinating Native American frame, the well-developed characters, and the vivid depiction of the Alaskan wilderness add up to another strong entry in this consistently satisfying series."
"When I'm casting about for an antidote to the sugary female sleuths who solve crimes without disrupting their social calendars, Kate Shugak, the Aleut private investigator in Dana Stabenow's Alaskan mysteries, invariably comes to mind," wrote Marilyn Stasio in the New York Times. "In more than a dozen novels, Kate has demonstrated that she can shoot a rifle, butcher a moose, overhaul an engine and survive in remote regions of the Alaskan wilderness. More amazing yet, her outdoor skills don't alienate the rugged men in her life."

Want to read the Kate Shugak series from the beginning? Start with A Cold Day for Murder.

Gayle Surrette interviewed Dana last month for Gumshoe Review.

Read a 1998 interview with Dana, a 2000 interview, and a later interview with Jan Burke.

Visit Dana's Amazon blog and her official Website.

Previous "page 69 tests:"
Siobhan Roberts, King of Infinite Space
Erin McKean, That's Amore!
Michael Lowenthal, Charity Girl
Niraj Kapur, Heaven's Delight
Keith Dixon, The Art of Losing
David Edgerton, The Shock of the Old
Mary Sharratt, The Vanishing Point
David Fulmer, The Dying Crapshooter's Blues
Anya Ulinich, Petropolis
Jagdish Bhagwati, In Defense of Globalization
Olen Steinhauer, Liberation Movements
Andrei Markovits, Uncouth Nation
Julie Kistler, Scandal
Robert Ward, Four Kinds of Rain
Tim Harford, The Undercover Economist
William Landay, The Strangler
Kate Holden, In My Skin
Brian Wansick, Mindless Eating
Noria Jablonski, Human Oddities
Ruth Scurr, Fatal Purity
Neal Pollack, Alternadad
Bella DePaulo, Singled Out
Steve Hamilton, A Stolen Season
Eric Klinenberg, Fighting for Air
Donna Moore, ...Go to Helena Handbasket
Louis Bayard, The Pale Blue Eye
Neal Thompson, Riding with the Devil
Sherry Argov, Why Men Marry Bitches
P.J. Parrish, An Unquiet Grave
Tyler Knox, Kockroach
Andrew Rehfeld, The Concept of Constituency
Laura Wiess, Such a Pretty Girl
Jeremy Blachman, Anonymous Lawyer
Andrew Pyper, The Wildfire Season
Wendy Werris, An Alphabetical Life
Laura Lippman, What the Dead Know
Meghan Daum, The Quality of Life Report
Scott Reynolds Nelson, Steel Drivin' Man
Richard Aleas, Little Girl Lost
Paul Collins, The Trouble With Tom
John McFetridge, Dirty Sweet
Michael Kazin, A Godly Hero
Bill Crider, Murder Among the OWLS
Zachary Shore, Breeding Bin Ladens
Rolf Potts, Vagabonding
Matt Haig, The Dead Fathers Club
Lawrence Light, Fear & Greed
Simon Read, In The Dark
Sandra Ruttan, Suspicious Circumstances
Henry Ansgar Kelly, Satan: A Biography
Alison Gaylin, You Kill Me
Gayle Lynds, The Last Spymaster
Jim Lehrer, The Phony Marine
Julie Phillips, James Tiptree, Jr.
Debra Ginsberg, Blind Submission
Sarah Katherine Lewis, Indecent
Peter Orner, The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo
William Easterly, The White Man's Burden
Danielle Trussoni, Falling Through the Earth
Andrew Blechman, Pigeons
Anne Perry, A Christmas Secret
Elaine Showalter, Faculty Towers
Kat Richardson, Greywalker
Michael Bess, Choices Under Fire
Masha Hamilton, The Camel Bookmobile
Alex Beam, Gracefully Insane
Nicholas Lemann, Redemption
Jason Sokol, There Goes My Everything
Wendy Steiner, Venus in Exile
Josh Chafetz, Democracy’s Privileged Few
Anne Frasier, Pale Immortal
Michael Lewis, The Blind Side
David A. Bell, The First Total War
Brett Ellen Block, The Lightning Rule
Rosanna Hertz, Single by Chance, Mothers by Choice
Jason Starr, Lights Out
Robert Vitalis, America's Kingdom
Stephen Elliott, My Girlfriend Comes To The City And Beats Me Up
Colin McGinn, The Power of Movies
Sean Chercover, Big City, Bad Blood
Sigrid Nunez, The Last of Her Kind
Stanley Fish, How Milton Works
James Longenbach, The Resistance to Poetry
Margaret Lowrie Robertson, Season of Betrayal
Sy Montgomery, The Good Good Pig
Allison Burnett, The House Beautiful
Stephanie Coontz, Marriage, A History
Ed Lynskey, The Dirt-Brown Derby
Cindy Dyson, And She Was
Simon Blackburn, Truth
Brian Freeman, Stripped
Alyson M. Cole, The Cult of True Victimhood
Jeff Biggers, In the Sierra Madre
Jeff Broadwater, George Mason, Forgotten Founder
Alicia Steimberg, Andrea Labinger (trans.), The Rainforest
Michael Grunwald, The Swamp
Darrin McMahon, Happiness: A History
Leo Braudy, From Chivalry to Terrorism
David Nasaw, Andrew Carnegie
Leah Hager Cohen, Train Go Sorry
Chris Grabenstein, Slay Ride
David Helvarg, Blue Frontier
Marina Warner, Phantasmagoria
Bill Crider, A Mammoth Murder
Robert W. Bennett, Taming the Electoral College
Nicholas Stern et al, Stern Review Report
Kerry Emanuel, Divine Wind
Adam Langer, The Washington Story
Michael Scott Moore, Too Much of Nothing
Frank Schaeffer, Baby Jack
Wyn Cooper, Postcards from the Interior
Ivan Goncharov, Oblomov
Maureen Ogle, Ambitious Brew
Cass Sunstein, Infotopia
Paul W. Kahn, Out of Eden
Paul Lewis, Cracking Up
Pagan Kennedy, Confessions of a Memory Eater
David Greenberg, Nixon's Shadow
Duane Swierczynski, The Wheelman
George Levine, Darwin Loves You
John Barlow, Intoxicated
Alicia Steimberg, The Rainforest
Alan Wolfe, Does American Democracy Still Work?
John Dickerson, On Her Trail
Marcus Sakey, The Blade Itself
Randy Boyagoda, Governor of the Northern Province
John Gittings, The Changing Face of China
Rachel Kadish, Tolstoy Lied
Eric Rauchway, Blessed Among Nations
Tim Brookes, Guitar and other books
Ruth Padel, Tigers in Red Weather
William Haywood Henderson, Augusta Locke
Jed Horne, Breach of Faith
Robert Greer, The Fourth Perspective
David Plotz, The Genius Factory
Michael Allen Dymmoch, White Tiger
Patrick Thaddeus Jackson, Civilizing the Enemy
Tom Lutz, Doing Nothing
Libby Fischer Hellmann, A Shot To Die For
Nelson Algren, The Man With the Golden Arm
Bob Harris, Prisoner of Trebekistan
Elaine Flinn, Deadly Collection
Louise Welsh, The Bullet Trick
Gregg Hurwitz, Last Shot
Martha Powers, Death Angel
N.M. Kelby, Whale Season
Mario Acevedo, The Nymphos of Rocky Flats
Dominic Smith, The Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre
Simon Blackburn, Lust
Linda L. Richards, Calculated Loss
Kevin Guilfoile, Cast of Shadows
Ronlyn Domingue, The Mercy of Thin Air
Shari Caudron, Who Are You People?
Marisha Pessl, Special Topics in Calamity Physics
John Sutherland, How to Read a Novel
Steven Miles, Oath Betrayed
Alan Brown, Audrey Hepburn's Neck
Richard Dawkins, The Ancestor's Tale

--Marshal Zeringue