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Breakup (Kate Shugak Series #7)

Breakup (Kate Shugak Series #7)

4.2 100
by Dana Stabenow

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April in Alaska is the period of spring thaw, what the locals call breakup. For Kate, this year's meltdown brings nothing but mayhem. First, the snow uncovers a dead body near Kate's home. Than a woman is killed in a suspicious bear attack. Kate is drawn further into the destruction of breakup - and into tha path of a murderer...

• Winner of


April in Alaska is the period of spring thaw, what the locals call breakup. For Kate, this year's meltdown brings nothing but mayhem. First, the snow uncovers a dead body near Kate's home. Than a woman is killed in a suspicious bear attack. Kate is drawn further into the destruction of breakup - and into tha path of a murderer...

• Winner of the Edgar Award for her book A Cold Day for Murder
• The next book in the acclaimed Kate Shugak mystery series
• Stabenow's hardcover, Killing Grounds, will be on sale from G.P. Putnam's Sons June 1, 1998

Editorial Reviews

The title of Breakup by Dana Stabenow refers to the April spring thaw in Alaska -- a season known for weird happenings. Kate Shugak, in her seventh adventure, is dreading both the thaw and doing her income taxes, with good reason. She is attacked by a bear shortly before a jet engine lands near her cabin, destroying her barn and her truck. While dealing with the crash investigators, Kate learns that a debris search team has discovered a man's body near her homestead. The bizarre string of events, which Kate attributes to breakup, continues with more bear attacks -- one of which leaves a female tourist dead -- the descent of a neighbor's Eastern Establishment parents for a visit, and yet another airplane mishap. Finally, the happenings become too unbelievable even for Kate and she is irresistibly drawn into the hunt for a cunning murderer.

—Sue Reider

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Early spring in Alaska is breakup season: the temperature rises, animals and humans come out of hibernation and the state "melts into a 586,412-square mile pile of slush." This book describes breakup in detail, but if you're looking for a competent Kate Shugak detective story, give it a miss. Stabenow, returning to the milieu of A Fatal Thaw (1992), offers too many picturesque breakup stories and not enough mystery. In an exciting beginning, a jet engine falls out of the sky and smashes into Kate's isolated cabin in the national park, bearing a body in the wreckage. Later, Kate, an Aleut freelance investigator, finds a tourist killed by a bear. Eventually, she realizes that the deaths are related murders and, amidst the hurley-burley of breakup, identifies the culprit. In addition, the strongminded Kate is unwillingly pulled into tribal politics as the Niniltna Native Association expects her to assume the leadership role of her late grandmother Ekaterina. Stabenow writes lively, intriguing descriptions of the magnificence of the Alaska wilderness, its quirky inhabitants and Aleut cultural traditions. But the mystery seems almost an afterthought in this disappointing entry in the Shugak series. (June)
Library Journal
The Alaskan spring brings problems and new hope for Kate Shugak. She must investigate a murder near home even as she takes over the role of clan leader from her Aleut grandmother. A wonderful series.
Kirkus Reviews
Spring has come to Kate Shugak's Alaskan park, and the snow is melting, along with every trace of social inhibition among the human and animal residents. Item: Kate has close encounters with two grizzlies in two separate incidents on the same day. Item: a 747 jet engine falls from a passing plane's cargo bay onto her spread, spreading it out just a little more. Item: the pointy- heads who arrive to survey the wreckage find a ripe corpse just beyond Kate's property line. Item: Kate, reluctantly taking her friend Mandy Baker's visiting Brahmin parents off Mandy's hands and on a tour of the park—she ends up landing a handsome fee for this service—shepherds them into still another grizzly attack, the discovery of another body, and (when they stop for a well- earned drink) a shooting feud between two families who just can't agree on a right-of-way for their neighboring homesteads. Still on tap is a disgruntled wife who takes her husband hostage and a Niniltna tribal council argument about whether the tribe ought to contract with a mental-health group for an on-site counselor. (By this time, you'll swear nobody ever needed one more.) It's no wonder that Kate is joined by every other important character in her seventh appearance (Blood Will Tell, 1996, etc.) in a rousing chorus of "I hate breakup."

Readers will find much more to like in this easygoing, farcical series of not-very-mysterious riffs—even though every separate plot seems like an afterthought, and the whole parcel a circus with Kate more bemused audience than ringmaster.

Product Details

Demco Media
Publication date:
Kate Shugak Series , #7

Meet the Author

Dana Stabenow was born in Anchorage and raised on a 75-foot fish tender in the Gulf of Alaska. She knew there was a warmer, drier job out there somewhere and found it in writing. Her first crime fiction novel, A Cold Day for Murder, won an Edgar award. Her first thriller, Blindfold Game, hit the New York Times bestseller list.

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Breakup (Kate Shugak Series #7) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 99 reviews.
Binker More than 1 year ago
I am stoked that I stumbled upon this author, Ive read four so far and have bought two more! This one was the best yet. Great read......I give it five stars!
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of the most enjoyable reads I have come across. The author piles one unexpected incident upon another until only a strong, resourceful, woman like Kate Shugak could bear up under the burden of infallibilty her fellow Alaskans feel free to thrust upon her I laughed out loud frequently and hated to have it end. Some of the professional reviewers seem to have the missed the humorous nature of the book and the intent of the author to portray the effects of surviving another long Alaskan winter upon its inhabitants. The publisher's cover art and interior grey splotches do not do this author's work justice.
lettore1 More than 1 year ago
In my opinion this is the best of the Shugak books, the description of th breakup period is mesmerizing, linking the changes in nature with the psychological answers to them. It also is the funniest of the books in this series I have read so far, a nice change of pace.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There are 27 Kate Shugak mystery novels to date regarding the rural Alaskan Aleut PI. You can skip this one and still have a lot of material left. A Cold Day for Murder, the first in the series, is a solid reading experience, making Breakup a comparative disappointment. If you are a devoted Kate Shugak reader, you will enjoy Breakup well enough. No boredom here, it runs at breakneck speed from beginning to end. It's just way over the top and devotes too little time to creating any identification much less empathy with any of its many characters. Maybe since its No. 7 in the series, the author assumed the groundwork had been laid and didn't bear repeating. Even assuming that rationale applies to recurring characters, it does not apply to new ones, who range from undeveloped to unlikely.
Sagesplottwister More than 1 year ago
I think Dana was having a good time with this one. I like this series. It teaches me about an area which I have never visited and a people I have never met. Nicely done.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
FreedomLady More than 1 year ago
I enjoy Dana Stabenow's books, but sometimes it seems the descriptions and back story goes on forever. Great story lines, even with the constant reminder that I am having to back off from the "conservative attacks" and just read the story. This one seem to drag a little at times, but since I am trying to read the whole series about Kate Shugak, I stayed with it. Wish writers could leave their politics behind sometimes (Stabenow is not the only one, most seem to have this leaning). Having to ignore the fact that she seems to really dislike "right wing" conservatives" or anyone who seems to have those leanings makes the hair on my neck raise in response. So on with the story already...or I guess she feels that is the backdrop of the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you've never lived through Alaskan breakup, as I have, you may not get it, but the humor in this story kept me laughing all the way. Sure, there's a body, but that's her modus operendi. The combination of all those things that makes breakup so exciting are in this book. I laughed until I had tears. I absolutely recommend it to anyone who knows Shugak's work.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have all of her Alaska mysteries and they're all great! This one was quite fun, as well - in some ways the theme of what goes on at breakup was quite humorous.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Full of mayhem, mischief, suspense and tons of humor to boot! This is a definite must read! Stabenow does it again!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
merwin More than 1 year ago
I enjoy all of the books in the Kate Shugak series. Breakup was fun and humerous depicting all the things happening in Breakup. For those who have lived in Alaska during Breakup when the ice melts and moves out, it will bring a smile to your face remembering your own springtime Breakup season. Different parts of the country experience different effects of going from winter to spring. Non so dramatic and entertaining as Dana Stabenow's BREAKUP.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite Kate Shugak novel -- enjoyable from start to finish.
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Shilo2 More than 1 year ago
The entire series is wonderful. You can't help but love this independent character. Read this one and all the others.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago