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The Woman Who Married a Bear (Paperback)
The First Cecil Younger investigation set in Sitka, Alaska Cecil Younger, local Alaskan investigator, is neither good at his job nor great at staying sober. When an old Tlingit woman, unimpressed by the police's investigation, hires him to discover why her son, a big game guide, was murdered, he takes the case without much conviction that he'll discover anything new. But after a failed assassination attempt and the discovery of previously missed evidence, Younger finds himself traveling across Alaska to discover the truth in a midst of conspiracies, politics, and Tlingit mythology. High drama meets local color as Cecil Younger works to uncover the motive and identity of the killer.
About the Author
The youngest of five children, John Straley was born in Redwood City, California, in 1953. He received a BA in English from the University of Washington and, at the urging of his parents, a certificate of completion in horse shoeing. John never saw himself living in Alaska (where there are no horses left to shoe), but when his wife, Jan, a prominent whale biologist, announced she was taking a job in Sitka, the two headed north and never left. John worked for thirty years as a criminal defense investigator in Sitka, and many of the characters that fill his books were inspired by his work. Now retired, he lives with his wife in a bright green house on the beach and writes in his weather-tight office overlooking Old Sitka Rocks. The former Writer Laureate of Alaska, he is the author of ten novels.
Praise for John Straley
“Lesser writers look to their characters’ poor choices and attempts to rectify them, John Straley loves his characters for just those choices. Hölderlin wrote: 'Poetically man dwells on the earth.' Some of us wind up in limericks, some in heroic couplets. But damned near every one of us, sooner or later, ends up in one of Straley’s wise, wayward, wonderfully unhinged novels.”
—James Sallis, author of Drive and the Lew Griffin mysteries
“Like the Coen brothers on literary speed, John Straley is among the very best stylists of his generation.”
—Ken Bruen, Shamus Award winning author of The Guard
"Chandler, Ross Macdonald, James Crumley... Straley proves once again that he is up there with the great ones… His prose is as smooth as a well-tuned cello. He has tremendous feeling for the setting: not only the open waters and frosted countryside outside of Sitka and Juneau, but also the somewhat seedy streets of these cities."
"Superior thriller writing, once again by Straley—an excellent plot against Alaska's gigantic and bizarre backdrop."
—Janwillem van de Wetering
"Now and then a writer dares to flout the rules and in so doing, carves out a niche that belongs to him alone. John Straley's novels are like no others."
—San Diego Tribune
"Like James Lee Burke, Straley transcends the genre.... Marvelous."
—The Tampa Tribune and Times
"Straley's beautifully understated narrative, vivid sense of place and unapologetic, unadorned characters make this a riveting, unpredictable ride."
—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
"Outstanding.... satisfies on all levels."
—The Kansas City Star
"Strong and sobering... with his storyteller's sense of dramatic action [Straley's] in his glory."
—The New York Times Book Review
"Straley hits all the right notes"
—Booklist, Starred Review