When you think of Alaska, you probably think of sprawling wilderness—miles of pine and evergreen, snowcapped mountain ranges, or grizzly bears fishing for salmon along white rapids. It’s no wonder that Alaskan cruises are so popular, from the breathtaking views off the deck to the promise of a warm stateroom just a few steps away. They’re an easy sell for anyone.
However, Alaska has earned its nickname “The Final Frontier” for a reason: Beyond that lush view is a land of unforgiving expanse, at times dense with nature’s harshest elements. In a desolate place where literally anything can kill you—from weather exposure to a wild animal to something as precarious as a wrong step while hiking.
The people who call it home, who’ve decided to settle there, sometimes mirror that of the landscape: They’re often people living on the edges, on the frontier, for a reason.
Alaska novels by John Straley
Alaskan native and author John Straley is the master of capturing it all: the beauty, danger, and, most importantly, the resident misfits. His atmospheric, poetic, and award-winning mystery series, starring private investigator Cecil Younger, is everything you need to experience the real Alaska.
Cecil is neither good at his job nor staying sober. And he always finds himself pulled into a string of worsening problems—a missing person investigation leads to an assassination attempt (Cold Water Burning); a reopening of a cold case leads to a multi-million-dollar corporate conspiracy (The Curious Eat Themselves); and even finding himself trapped on a cruise line when he must find a killer before he finds himself sleeping with the fishes (The Music of What Happens).
The latest, Baby’s First Felony, just went on sale in July 2018, after a 16-year hiatus from the author. The New York Times noticed, saying in a recent review,
“Straley knows how to wrap deadly violence in a bubble of black humor that suits the novel’s beautiful but harsh setting, where whales open their maws to dine on oceans of salmon fry and men kill one another while ravens fly overhead, screaming with laughter.”
In celebration of Cecil Younger’s return, Soho Crime has repackaged all the books with new, beautiful covers. Check them out by clicking any of the book titles listed or by visiting the John Straley page on Soho Press.
As far as where to start? Well, we’ll always say, it might be best to start at the first book with The Woman Who Married a Bear, though they can be read in any order. Armchair travel just got a bit wilder, a bit more dangerous. Enjoy!
About Soho Crime
For more than 25 years, Soho Crime has been publishing atmospheric crime fiction set all over the world in places like France, China, England, Laos, Northern Ireland, Thailand, Australia, Japan, Germany, South Africa, Italy, Denmark, India, Cuba, and Palestine, to name a few.
Lovers of crime fiction, whether it’s detective fiction, police procedurals, thrillers, espionage novels, revenge novels, stories of thieves, assassins, or underworld mob bosses—can count on an immersive adventure steeped in cultural detail.
- To win the complete set of 7 John Straley books, including the newest one, Baby’s First Felony, leave a comment below, before midnight EST, September 15, 2018, telling which of the author’s books you would read first if you win the set.
- One reader of MoreTImeToTravel will be randomly selected and announced here.
- Limited to mailing addresses in U.S. and Canada only.
Thanks to Steven Tran of Soho Press for writing the copy and arranging this giveaway!