Thanks to Nic Cheetham and all the wonderful people at Aries Fiction, today sees the return of the first three Kate Shugak novels in paperback!
[There is a buy link beneath each of the cover art images above. In case you were interested.]
It’s been about twenty years since Kates 2-9 dematerialized from paperback existence. Believe me when I say I noticed when you complained about not being able to get the first Kates in print.
We heard you, et voila!
Here’s a brief Kate character study Aries had me write up to help promote Kate23 (cover art and buy links below). Enjoy!
500 Words on Kate
Kate Shugak was born Alaska Native, orphaned young, and raised partly by her white neighbors because she kept running away from her grandmother’s house back to her parents’ homestead. Said homestead was grandfathered in as a national park was created around it, an Alaskan wilderness that borders Canada in the east and the Gulf of Alaska in the south. She grew up tough, capable, and fiercely independent. She catches her own salmon and she shoots her own moose.
Her grandmother sent her away to school at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and her education (a BA in criminal justice) and work experience (five years as an investigator for the Anchorage D.A., the last ten years as a PI) gives her entrée into the white world, while her family background (Aleut, Park rat, formidable elder Ekaterina Shugak as her grandmother) gives her credibility in the Alaska Native world. She’s equally comfortable sitting down to maqtaq or mac and cheese, and she has no problem playing Monopoly with the kids of whatever village she’s stuck in until the blizzard ends and her plane can fly out. She can go undercover to track down a murderous drug dealer in an almost all-white enclave like Prudhoe Bay or help catch a spy while running ground services for an air taxi in the almost all-Native town of Bering.
It helps that she is seldom judgmental, taking people as they are, apart from the crooks she is currently chasing. In only one place does she deviate from that laissez-faire dictum: alcohol. Kate is a teetotaler.
Her first love died saving her life, a hard act to follow. The last person any Park rat would have expected to succeed to his place was a handsome, arrogant state trooper legendary for seducing every marginally attractive female fortunate enough to wander into his ken. It took a long time for Kate to believe she wouldn’t be just another notch on his belt, after which he unexpectedly got cold feet himself and the tables were most delectably turned. Kate never knew she wanted to be a vamp until she had to be one.
And then there is Mutt, her half-husky, half-wolf dog, who appeared on her doorstep as an abused puppy when Kate came home to the Park, herself wounded and broken in spirit. That puppy is now a fully grown, 140-pound partner who sometimes has her own, always effective ideas on how to subdue a suspect.
At present Kate is turning forty, keeping an benevolent eye on her adopted son Johnny who is just beginning his second year at her alma mater, is a silent partner in an increasingly successful detective agency, and is being dragooned into the role of auntie, a position of serious responsibility traditionally shared by four older women in the Park.
She is not going quietly.
Author and founder of Storyknife.org.