Select one of the keywords
A Fine and Bitter Snow    by Dana Stabenow order for
Fine and Bitter Snow
by Dana Stabenow
Order:  USA  Can
St. Martin's, 2003 (2002)
Hardcover, Paperback
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

It's good to see Kate (and Mutt) back in their home territory in Alaska, after Kate's prolonged grief on the death of Jack in Hunter's Moon and a stint in Bering in Midnight Come Again. This time Kate is drawn into political networking by the discovery that respected park ranger Dan O'Brien has been invited to take early retirement due to his opposition to drilling in Iqaluk.

For some time, Kate and State Trooper Jim 'Chopper' Chopin have been circling each other warily, sparks flying every time they get close. This episode escalates their relationship, as Jim makes plans to move in to Kate's home ground. Jim wants Kate, but she is leery of his long list of conquests ('She was a one-man woman. He was a very-womaned man.') and trying to decide whether she wants to sleep with old college flame Ethan. She also feels crowded by the presence of Jack's son Johnny.

Then there is a vicious attack on Ruth and Dine, old friends of Kate's grandmother. The suspect for the killing doesn't even know himself if he did it, but Kate and Jim have their doubts. They investigate with equal determination that takes Kate into the usual perilous situations. To call Kate a feisty heroine would be a wild understatement. She's a fiery loner, who invented stubborn and will not be deterred by anything or anyone.

As usual, the mystery is enriched by its Alaskan surroundings, especially a 'singing' for a dead victim this time. Mutt is getting an ever stronger role, which is just fine with me, and the sub-plots of Kate's relationships with Jim and with Johnny develop nicely. A Fine and Bitter Snow is one of the better episodes in a brilliant series. It left me anxiously awaiting the next to see if Kate moves further into politics, and how she handles her feelings for Jim Chopin.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Mystery books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews