Stabenow’s intriguing characters and fascinating setting bring this mystery to life, but her narrative voice wins Bad Blood a Top Pick. She establishes the histories of the two communities featured in the story with an irony-tinged commentary that carries the reader right into the heart of the Alaskan wilderness.
Officer Jim Chopin’s efforts to solve the murder of a young troublemaker are hampered by a generations-old feud between two rival towns. Soon after the murder, the main suspect disappears and a second murder takes place. Chopin calls in Kate Shugak to help with the investigation in the hopes that her connections might lead them to a break in the case. (MINOTAUR, Mar., 384 pp., $25.99)