Book Summaries


The Fisherman’s Daughter, a Mesmerizing FBI Thriller

Author: Robin Barefield

Release Date: 2018

Review by Bella Wright 

A mesmerizing FBI thriller set in the Alaskan wilderness.

After the bodies of four murdered women are found on Alaska’s Kodiak Island, FBI Special Agent Nick Morgan flies to Kodiak to aid in the investigation. Morgan’s local contact, Alaska State Trooper Dan Patterson, fears a serial killer is at work. But finding the perpetrator won’t be easy. The victims have very little in common with each other, and inclimate weather has left few pieces of forensic evidence for investigators.

Author Robin Barefield, herself a resident of the Alaskan wilderness, is fast becoming as synonymous with Alaska as Dennis Lehane is to New England. As in her first novel, Murder Over Kodiak, the island culture she channels provides an atmosphere that renders The Fisherman’s Daughtercompletely unlike anything else on the bestseller list.

More than just the weather — driving rain, snow, ice and high wind — it’s the people that inhabit Barefield’s world that set The Fisherman’s Daughter apart from most crime thrillers. The islanders are fishermen, boat motor repairmen, hunters, prostitutes, cannery workers. Real estate agents close during the summer salmon-fishing season. And pilots, who make rapid transportation around the state possible despite relatively high crash rates, are everyday heroes. The overarching effect is a palpable, almost sensory literary experience that is nothing short of mesmerizing.

As for the investigation, Barefield’s characters execute deliciously old-fashioned detective work. The pair interview witnesses who can identify a truck, a person in a child’s drawing, a subtle change in hairstyle. They gather whatever evidence the weather hasn’t erased. And simmering underneath it all is the threat that the perp may strike again. Highly recommended.

Blair Has Messy Hair

Author:  Jerri Young

Publisher:  Publications Consultants

Release Date: September 2019

Blair feels lucky to have a special daddy who spends free time 

making fun and creative projects for them to enjoy.  Blair Has 

Messy Hair is perfect for new little readers with its melodic and 

rhythmic word patterns.

"So adorable and the illustrations are perfect.  I’m glad I ordered 

a copy for myself also, I can read it to my “fur” grands." -Colette Mink

Plant Based Recovery
Author/Publisher: Dr. Shirley A. Saucerman, M.D.

Date Published: 2019

Dr. Shirley Saucerman, M.D. shares her brother's story, the recovery of others, and significant research from around the world. By using the principles described in this book people may recover from many chronic diseases including bipolar disorders and schizophrenia. Resources are included to help you get started, thrive and connect with others. 

Riding Into the Heart of Patagonia
Author: Nancy Pfeiffer
Publisher: Bedazzled Ink
Release date: May 1, 2018
Reviewed by: Adventure Journal 
As  a National Outdoor Leadership School instructor in Chile's Aysén Region  in 1993, Nancy Pfeiffer watched a man on horseback gracefully navigate a  swollen river. Standing with her college students, hungry and wet and  not at all at ease, she vowed to return on horseback herself—to try to  experience
the land like a local. At the age of 38, she saddled up  for lessons at home in Palmer, Alaska, where she worked as a  mountain guide, and a few years later she was back in Coyhaique, looking  to buy a horse and head south. Riding Into the Heart of Patagonia is a  memoir of growth—of a self-reliant adventurer learning patience and  ceding the urge to control—and also of a changing countryside, with dams  proposed and roads being paved.Pfeiffer's observations beckon:  flowering calafate, gnarled branches in the lenga forest, the deeply  rooted, welcoming people. It all smells of horsehair and rivers and mud  and maté, and I didn’t want any of it to end.

The Matter of the Vanishing Greyhound
Author: Steve Levi
A  request for consultation on a case in San Francisco diverts Captain  Heinz Noonan of Sandersonville, North Carolina from his exciting Alaska  vacation to fish for king salmon. He accepts the assignment begrudgingly  and makes every effort to solve the case before the king salmon fishing  season closes. The case that meets his arrival is the disappearance of a  Greyhound bus off the Golden Gate Bridge. Knowing the bus was going  toward the Golden Gate Bridge, the far end was closed before the bus  could reach it. Police chased the Greyhound onto the bridge. The  Greyhound carries four perpetrators of a bank robbery, $10 million  dollars, and safety deposit box contents. In addition the bus carries  hostages. Noonan, the San Francisco Police, the Insurance Company, a  newspaper reporter, and the owner of the $10 million in cash all break  into a frantic dash to do their part to reclaim the stolen goods. A  compelling and well-crafted read.  Recommended for personal reading  lists and community library Mystery/Suspense shelves.

The Matter of the Deserted Airliner 
Author: Steve Levi
Chief  of Detectives for the Sandersonville, North Carolina, Police  Department, Captain Heinz Noonan is a well-drawn, likable character. Can  he find out what happened to the ninety-five missing passengers and  crew from Unicorn Airlines Flight 739 that landed in Anchorage, Alaska?  The Matter of the Deserted Airliner: Alaska Disappearing Crew and  Passengers Caper (Impossible Crime Mystery Book 2).

The Matter of the Dematerializing Armored Car 
Author: Steve Levi
Why  would anyone rob an empty armored car and how did they do it?  A book  that will hold your interest all the way through!  Ending is very good  and quite unexpected. NICE wrap-up. Well worth the read!!!

Alaska's Animals, You and I
Publisher/Author: Shannon Cartwright
Release date: November, 2016
Reviewed by : Edward Bovy

Those  following the career of Shannon Cartwright know that she has been in  hibernation, battling a neurological disease that made it impossible to  continue producing the artwork for her beloved line of Alaska’s  children’s books. Now, thanks to an amazing medical procedure, she  returns in a big way with her first new release in seven years, Alaska’s  Animals You and I.
Living off the grid in the Bush and away from  modern distractions for more than 30 years has sharpened her powers of  observation.   While most of her other books teach basic phonics and  reading with interesting stories and colorful animals, this one not only  does all that, but also packs a powerful message that will prove  irresistible to her readers as well as the educational community.  
Alaska’s  Animals shows how animals are different, comparing things like noses,  feet, tails and dwellings with colorful, detailed and clever close-up  compositions, all accompanied by her lyrical verses that roll of your  tongue while reading it aloud.  
The book stands on its own, but the  underlying theme uses Alaska’s animals to introduce the concept of   “diversity” in an entertaining subtle way.  Recently news reports  announced that an estimated 20 percent of US residents speak a language  other than English at home, so her message becomes more important every  day.  A surprise ending extends her message to a worldwide application. 
Having  achieved “senior citizen” status has gained Cartwright a new  perspective, or perhaps even wisdom, in a work that may not have been  possible earlier in her 40-year career.  Thanks to a highly skilled team  of doctors, she is back, better than ever.
Alaska’s Animals, You and I is for sale at the Dancing Leaf Gallery in Talkeetna and other stores throughout the state.

Where Water is Gold

Publisher: Braided River
Photographer: Carl Johnson 

Release Date: 2017
"The  book is simply beautiful, outstanding. I read through it several times,  particularly delightfully after the Alaska Supreme Court decisions on  the Pebble law suit. Carl really did a great job providing an intimate  view of Bristol Bay and its people." - Victor Fischer, Alaska  Constitutional Convention delegate
"Where Water is Gold is a  masterpiece and a visual delight, but Carl's caring commitment is what  takes it to a higher level." - Jim Brandenburg,
"So often, these  kinds of issues are framed as jobs versus the environment. In the case  of Bristol Bay, Alaska however, it is clear that a massive proposed mine  will destroy already-existing jobs, the environment, and a way of life  that has existed for thousands of years. People have been migrating to  Bristol Bay every summer to partake in the bounty of the world's largest  sockeye salmon fishery. Carl Johnson shows us what's at stake through  his beautiful photographs and insightful profiles of people who rely on  Bristol Bay remaining what it currently is -- a thriving intact  ecosystem with people as an integral part." - Amy Gulick, Founding  Member, International League of Conservation Photographers, author  of Salmon in the Trees
"The book is absolutely beautiful and the  photography is outstanding, and everything about it is wonderful." -  Bella Hammond, former Alaska First Lady.

Bread Box for the Broken
Author: Rebecca J Wetzler
Publisher: Publication Consultants
Release date: May 1, 2018
Anyone  else have childhood memories of watching the comedy variety show Hee  Haw? Their silly song ‘Gloom, despair and agony on me-e! Deep
dark  depression, excessive misery-y,’ was meant to be funny. And it  was. However, it resonated with my young heart and spirit on a deeper  level; already, from that young age, a shadowy melancholy plagued my  quality of life and threatened my necessary daily functioning. How does  one conquer deepening internal blackness? For me, it has only been  through faith in the Lord that my soul is able to challenge the untruths  forecast by the darkness. John 8:12 says, ‘When Jesus spoke again to  the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me  will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”’ This has  proven true over and over again; no matter how black the darkness gets,  there is always the Holy Spirit’s steady glow to lead me out again.  Through Bread Box for the Broken I share the scriptural light I have  found through the years, proving there is blessed hope for  life’s journey through God’s Word. Jesus says in John 6:35, “I am the  bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who  believes in me will never be thirsty.” Just as bread and water nourish  our bodies, partaking of spiritual bread nourishes the soul with  timeless truths, and we all may realize our lives are full of blessings  the darkness can no longer hide.
"I love the way Rebecca's  writing sounds like it is coming from the heart of the reader, rather  than listening to something an author has written. It gives voice to the  reader's soul. The short passages also give a clarity that could be  missed if the reflections were longer." -Pastor Kent Redfearn, MCA Church,  Assembly of God, Anchorage Alaska.

Traditional Food Guide for the Alaska Native People
Publisher/Author: ANTHC
Release date: April 1, 2015
Traditional  foods are an important part of Alaska Native cultures and an excellent  source of nutrition for health and healing. The first edition of the  Traditional Food Guide (2008) was designed to support Alaska Native  cancer patients who wanted to continue to eat their comforting and  nutritious traditional wild foods during treatment. The second edition  builds upon this information and serves as a tool that can be used by  anyone who includes Alaska’s wild foods as part of a healthy diet and  lifestyle, from the youngest child to oldest elder.  The food guide  includes information for food choices for special dietary needs, as well  as a visual guide to healthier eating and understanding nutrition  facts.  There are more than 70 food pages that reference the traditional  wild food’s Alaska Native name, history, preparation information, and  Alaska Native stories.  The recipes section was expanded and includes  several children’s recipes.

Land Mammals of Alaska for Children and Marine Mammals of Alaska for Children:
Books #1 and #2 in the I Saw It! Series of Field Guides and Journals for Children.
Publisher: OceanOtter Publishing Anchorage, AK
Author: Barbara L. Brovelli-Moon
Release date: August 10, 2015
These  new, innovative books are field guides written specifically for  children. Thirty-five land mammals and twenty marine mammals are named  (Mortimer Moose, Bernice Beaver, Bella Polar Bear, etc.), and they each  “tell” their own story, first-person, relating facts, details, and  information in a “child-friendly” way. Additionally, each mammal’s story  page includes its name in one of the Alaska Native languages as well as  their scientific name, a map of where the critter can be found in  Alaska, and journal space for the children to write their own story when  they see the mammal. A detailed, pen-and-ink drawing accompanies each  story page, and the children may color or simply enjoy these amazing  drawings. Finally, the books include charts of the mammals’ families,  gender and groups names, glossaries, and other creative highlights for  the children. These books are the first of their kind - educational,  interactive, and entertaining field guides and journals for children,  and visitors to Alaska as well a children living in our wonderful state  will love reading and learning from these creative books. Parents and  grandparents will learn right along with their children as they share  these family-favorite, read-aloud books.

Dead Men Do Come Back 
Publisher: Crime Wave Press
Author: Steven Levi
Steven  Levi’s murder mystery DEAD MEN DO COME BACK is the saga of United  States Marshal Gordon Whitford in Juneau in the summer of 1910.   Whitford is called to the city dock where he finds a dead sourdough  floating in the frigid water of the Gastineau Channel.  The sourdough  has been shot and then frozen solid. The sourdough’s daughter-in-law  comes in Juneau to claim the body where she begins an affair with  Whitford. What Whitford does not know is that the murder of the  sourdough is a set up for a robbery of the Scarborough Mine for 250  pounds of gold.  What the thieves do not know is that they are being set  up by the manager of the mine who wants to steal the gold ‘from himself  for himself,’ collect the insurance money and still have the gold.  As  two concurrent robberies proceed – twice – Whitford will pull the body  of the sourdough out of Alaska’s Inside Passage two more times while he  tries to figure out who is trying to steal what from whom.

Have We Met?
Published by 31 Fifty Books
Author and Illustrator: Gina Edwards
Released: July 1,2015
A  curious little bird named Huey decides to make some new friends in  Alaska.  Come along as Huey meets the animals that live in the Great  White North.  This hardy, 16 page board book is perfect for babies and  those starting to read.  The bright, bold colors keep kids’ interest  while they follow Huey through his travels.  Along the way they will  learn the names of several Alaska animals.

MIGRANT ALASKAN : Cajun to Sourdough, ASCERTAINING ALASKA : Cajun to Sourdough, ALASKA CONGLOMERATE : Cajun to Sourdough
Outskirts Press Inc.
Author: Francis Ivey
Released: 2013, 2014, 2015

MIGRANT ALASKAN : Cajun to Sourdough, 2013
From  Francis Ivey: This 1st book explains where and how I was brought up,  with the lessons I learned from Granddaddy on his porch. Many an hour I  would spend in my Pirogue {Pero} with my dog, Stub, hunting nutria which  I sold for 50 cents each. Granddaddy always said “You don’t know how to  spend money if you don’t know how to earn it.”
EXCERPT:  I was born in 1950 in Hereford, Texas. My mom is from Louisiana and my  dad is from Mississippi. We traveled from oil-field to oil-field in all  the states west of the Mississippi River. My final oil-field was in  Alaska and that is home and where I live today.

ASCERTAINING ALASKA : Cajun to Sourdough, 2014
The  2nd book continues as Alaska 101 on the working end of a Mayhew  Drilling Rig and the many adventures in the oil-fields of Alaska. My  roots began in Louisiana and have since been transplanted deep in the  heart of Alaska which is where I call home.
EXCERPT:  If there was a storm I can not imagine how violent it might be, but  from the size of the driftwood trees it must be something to behold. The  whole time we were at the base of the Robinson Mountains with the  larger St. Elias Mountains behind them we never had a big storm. On a  calm day the breakers that broke on this endless sandy beach were ten to  twelve footers. The amount and size of the Brown Bears in this country  cutoff on both ends by the Malaspina and Bering Glaciers made the Brown  Bears feel small. With the great Gulf of Alaska constantly roaring at  you, then the mighty St. Elias Mountains shooting up behind you and the  Bering and Malaspina Glaciers on both sides, it made me feel like a  termite on a Redwood.

ALASKA CONGLOMERATE : Cajun to Sourdough, 2015
In  the 3rd book life metamorphosis from Driller, to Plant Operator, then  Environmental Engineer. From Bride-Groom, to Family Man, then Divorcée.  The story of an Ass being drug back to Jesus.
EXCERPT: Be careful of the toes you stomp on today, because they may be connected to the Ass you have to kiss tomorrow.

Dead Man’s Dancer: The Mechele Linehan Story
Publisher: Epicenter Press
Author: Tom Brennan
Release Date:  September 17, 2015
Five  times Tom Brennan wrote and rewrote his account of Mechele Linehan’s  life as an exotic dancer in Anchorage, her three fiancés and her murder  conviction; the story kept changing. “This was by far the most  fascinating case I’ve ever worked on,” Brennan said. “And it has yet to  be solved.” Which makes Dead Man’s Dancer: The Mechele Linehan Story,  Brennen’s fifth book, the most provocative true crime story he has  researched.

Modestly Alaskan
Publisher: Epicenter Press
Author: J. Stephen Lay
Release Date:  October 15, 2015
Most  people don't understand Alaska because they don't know how to see it.  Stephen Lay, a resident for more than a quarter of a century, explains  the real way to see the 49th State. Alaska's a big state with a lot to  brag about, but with typical Alaskan modesty, Lay shares the Northland  experience and promotes understanding, not only with his words, but with  a series of scale maps comparing individual states to Alaska.

How to Speak Alaskan
Publisher: Epicenter Press
Author: J. Stephen Lay (3nd edition)
Release Date:  October 15, 2015
Bunny  Boots?  Where can you see an ear pull or a knuckle hop?  What goes in a  honey bucket?  How is a winner determined in the famous Nenana Ice  Pool?  Who uses the “mukluk telegraph? Sitka Samsonite? J. Stephen Lay,  author and educator who moved to Alaska in 1971 will delight, amuse and  inform you with his irreverent yet factual explanations of Alaska’s own  unique vocabulary.

Cold Starry Night (3rd edition) An Artist's Memoir
Publisher: Epicenter Press
Author: Claire Fejes
Release Date:  11/15/2015
Young  Claire Fejes was a promising sculptor and painter in New York City in  1946, when her husband gave in to “gold fever.” She held the  unconventional view that her career was as important as his. But in  those days, a woman followed her husband, so Claire did - to Fairbanks,  last stop on the Alaska Railroad, in the heart of the immense northern  territory, where Joe Fejes intended to mine for gold. In a refreshingly  candid memoir, Claire describes a remote outpost where the young couple  joins a hardy breed of Alaskans who transform loneliness into powerful  friendships and where the artist overcomes soul-aching cultural  isolation. This 3rd edition commemorates an upcoming museum show of  Claire's artwork.