Dana Stabenow talks about her latest crime novel, her writing career and her support for women writers

Dana Stabenow, Alaska author of nearly 40 books, many in crime fiction. One series focuses on private eye named Kate Shugak, and a second series focuses on a a mythical Alaska State Trooper living in a remote Alaska community. (Dana Stabenow)

Dana Stabenow is having a great writing career.

Her latest book, Spoils of the Dead, is No. 5 in her series about Alaska State Trooper Liam Campbell.

After a demotion from sergeant back to trooper for a serious mistake, he finds himself policing in a commercial fishing town dubbed Newenham, “an ice-bound bush town with a six-bed jail, a busted ATM and a saloon that does double-duty as a courtroom.” You can bet trouble follows.

We talk more about the book on the show, but if you haven’t yet been bitten by the Stabenow bug, you may not know the Liam Campbell series is just one of Stabenow’s works.

Does the name Kate Shugak bring it back for you?

Aleutian Kate Shugak–formerly an Anchorage police investigator and now a private eye–lives on a 160-acre homestead in Alaska’s largest national park. Her roommate is a half-wolf, half-husky dog named Mutt, and her nearest neighbors are a bull moose and a grizzly sow. Farther off are dog mushers, miners, hunters, trappers, fishermen, bush pilots, pipeline workers, Park rangers—and, it turns out, murderers.

Just some of the titles in the Kate Shugak series.

Stabenow produced 22 books in the Shugak series, practically one a year, with the latest one in 2020. Her very first Kate Shugak story, A Cold Day for Murder, earned the prestigious Edgar Award in 1993. Her 18th book in the series, Though Not Dead, took a Nero award in 2012, from a literary society honoring the Nero Wolfe stories of Rex Stout.

And there are other series, as well as travel writing for Alaska magazine and doing the hard work of self-promotion — critical in the contemporary publishing world.

Plus, there’s another chapter: We talk about Storyknife Writer’s Retreat, an up-from-the-dirt complex of cabins high on a bluff in Homer aimed at serving women writers.

HOST: Kathleen McCoy


  • Dana Stabenow, Alaska author


  • Dana Stabenow’s official website
  • Dana’s books by series, webpage
  • ‘How Josephine Tey led me into a life of crime, blog post
  • Josephine Tey Symposium, The Poison Pen, Dana Stabenow on panel, You Tube Dec 17 2020
  • Author Stabenow’s Kate Shugak may be headed for television, Anchorage Daily News, Oct. 27 2009
  • Danamaniacs, Facebook private group, request to join
  • Dana gives the Kate Shugak stories unabridged version, through 2009, YouTube
  • An interview with Dana Stabenow, Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park after Though Not Dead is published, YouTube
  • Going Independent (advice for writers) Dana Stabenow official blog, blog post
  • Storyknife Writers Retreat Homer Alaska website
  • Storyknife Writers Retreat 2019 construction video, You Tube


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  • LIVE: Monday, Feb. 8, 2021 at 10 a.m
  • RE-AIR: Monday, Feb. 8, 2021 at 8 p.m.
  • PODCAST: On this page after the show
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