“Highly refreshing setting, a great cast of characters and an intriguing plot.”—The Bloomsbury Review
“Atmospheric.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Flashes of the dark poetry of Ross MacDonald.”—Chicago Tribune
“A rich stew of deception and menace.”—Anchorage Daily News
“Outstanding . . . satisfies on all levels.”—The Kansas City Star
Sitka, Alaska, is a subarctic port surrounded by snow-dusted mountains. In addition to honest work, there is a lot of alcohol consumed and other people’s money appropriated. Bars are loud, fights are mean. Rowdy youths party in the ancient Russian cemeteries, sitting on overturned gravestones. Sitka is hardly straight-laced, but murder is uncommon enough to be widely noted—like the Indian big-game guide killed by an ex-miner obeying voices from the earth’s center. The victim’s mother, a Tlingit Indian, summons to her nursing home a local investigator named Cecil Younger. The case is old and ostensibly solved. She wants him to investigate anyway. What he unearths is a virtual fairytale contrived to hide a primal conspiracy.
Set against the modern Alaskan frontier and the surviving pantheism of its indigenous population, The Woman Who Married a Bear is a brooding and exotic novel that touches on mysteries far beyond the conventional.
John Straley, a criminal investigator for the state of Alaska, lives in Sitka with his son and wife, a marine biologist who studies whales. He is the Shamus Award-winning author of The Curious Eat Themselves and The Music of What Happens.