Bad Blood and Less than a Treason by Dana Stabenow

Bad Blood (Kate Shugak #20)Romeo & Juliet, the Alaska version.
(Once again, I need a Shakespeare shelf. See also Hambly’s Die Upon a Kiss…)

Two villages, alike in dignity – no, not any more. When Alaska got the big federal payout several presidents ago, one village chose to stay traditional, and the other said fork it over. Guess which is living hand to mouth, and which has new fishing boats and supermarkets and phones and really big TVs? (And drug&alcohol smuggling, but that’s just because of all the money.)

If someone from one village is killed, of course it was by someone from the other village… but what about the second body? And wait, who really died first?

The small village’s headman has a beautiful (very beautiful, and tall, and smart, and a good hunter, and all-around wonderful, and what else would be the point?) daughter. She’s just out of high school, and being set up to marry the local young man her father approves of. He’s a nice enough guy, but she can’t stand him.

The big villages headwoman has a handsome (very handsome, and tall, and smart, and a good hunter, and all-around wonderful, and what else would be the point?) son. He’s not being set up to marry anyone, because he’s just out of high school.

They manage to start a romance in high school without anyone noticing, and when they are spotted by a local get-rich-quick guy who is then whacked on the back of the head, was it the handsome boy? It might have been, logistically.

* Wonderful family and legal drama, and a view of The Old Aunties that they might not approve of – or they might, smugly.
* Lots of romance between Kate Shugak and Sgt. Chopper Jim
* Some nice scenes with the kids – who are prepping for college! all done with high school!
* Kate is smart.
* Chopper Jim is smart.
* The Law is not always just, but breaking the law has consequences – for some people.
* Rich murder from previous book has a cameo just to remind everyone that Justice might be blind, but she still takes a bribe.
* Wonderful end scene where Chopper Jim goes to (place) and shouts, Do you think I’m stupid? I don’t have evidence, but I know you done it!

Less than a Treason (Kate Shugak, # 21) Great story, not sure how the title fits.


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