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Bear Witness (Alaska Untamed Mystery #1) by…
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Bear Witness (Alaska Untamed Mystery #1) (edition 2022)

by Lark O. Jensen

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1051,593,074 (3.4)None
Alaska tour boat guide Stacie Calder faces the deep freeze in this scenic cozy series debut perfect for fans of Paige Shelton. No nine-to-five cubicle career will suit Stacie Calder--the naturalist much prefers working in the great outdoors. Specifically, the spacious and spectacular Alaskan wilderness, whose rugged charms she shares with sightseers on the top deck of the tour boat where she works. But one May afternoon, Stacie's passengers see more than glittering glaciers, frolicking harbor seals, climbing bears and soaring seabirds...they also witness a man lying dead in the frigid Alaskan waters. And it seems likely that someone gave him a fatal push.   Stacie didn't know the unfortunate victim, but he sure wanted to know a lot about her. He spent most of his final afternoon bombarding her with questions quite awkward to answer. And when he wasn't in her hair, he was arguing incessantly with the boat's beleaguered crew. Which makes for a suspect list about as long as the passenger manifest. Furthermore, as police helicopters relentlessly circle her boat in search of any clues, Stacie is shaken to find herself on that suspect list.   Before the tour boat reaches shore Stacie--accompanied by her beautiful blue-eyed husky, Sasha--must deduce just who sent the testy tourist tumbling into the turgid waters and have the authorities take custody. Because if she can't, then the killer might aim a fatal ice-cold stare at Stacie.… (more)
Member:Ireadwhatuwrite
Title:Bear Witness (Alaska Untamed Mystery #1)
Authors:Lark O. Jensen
Info:Publisher Unknown, Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:blogged-about, cozy-mystery, read-in-2022, womens-fiction

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Bear Witness (An Alaska Untamed Mystery) by Lark O. Jensen

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Showing 5 of 5
Bear Witness is a solid start to a new series. This series is set on the frontier of Juneau Alaska. Stacie Calder is a boat tour guide, spending her days telling tourists about the wildlife and Majestic landmarks of the Alaskan wilderness. She is interrupted by a tourist who seems bound to convince others that there are issues with the boat and the cruise lines. When he later turns up dead, she is tasked with catching up with her fellow employees for information about what almost has to be a murder.

The beautiful descriptions of the Alaskan wilderness and its inhabitants were breathtaking. Visit inducing even. I never really warmed to Stacie but I enjoy her fount of knowledge of the wildlife. I did appreciate her style of investigation. There were plenty of timely reveals to keep the story on pace, and I most certainly did not catch on to the killer, though in hindsight there are a few obvious moments.

⭐⭐⭐⭐
Rating: 4 out of 5.
I received an advance review copy for free through Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, and I am leaving this review voluntarily ( )
  Ireadwhatuwrite | Jun 23, 2022 |
Bear Witness by Lark O. Jensen is the debut of An Alaska Untamed Mysteries. I like the premise of Bear Witness. The author’s detailed descriptions allowed me to visualize traveling on the boat. I could envision the beautiful Alaskan countryside along with the flora and fauna. I did feel that the author used too much detail at times. We really do not need to know what Stacie is wearing every day, where Sasha goes to the bathroom on the boat (or how it is cleaned up), the details of getting from work to home (driving down this street, getting out keys, opening door, taking off shoes), or about Stacie’s stomach problems (TMI). I thought Stacie’s dog, Sasha was a sweetie. Huskies are intelligent and loving dogs. I enjoyed learning about the various Alaskan wildlife. I can tell the author did her research for this book. I thought the characters lacked depth (they were as flat as cardboard). The emotions are lacking. We are told details, but they are not felt. We are told Stacie loves wildlife, but it does not come across. I want personality and depth in the characters. The mystery has Stacie asking questions and searching for clues. She feels the need to help because she loves her job and cares about her employers (she is a wee bit too perky). The whodunit has several suspects along with a few clues (I mean hardly any) to help readers solve the crime before the suspenseful reveal. I like how Sasha helps Stacie with her investigation. I was surprised that Liam allows Stacie to help out (he does try to warn her off in the beginning). He also shares details of the case with her. I like that they get along, but I expected Liam to be more professional. Stacie lacks subtlety (her sleuthing style resembles badgering). I wish the mystery had been more complex. I identified the killer before they found Truit’s body (it was obvious). A romance springs up between Liam and Stacie. I did feel it was a little rushed for a cozy mystery. There is a great deal of repetition (how much she loved her job, information about animals, details about her job and bosses, how handsome Liam is, etc.). From a seasoned author, I did not expect such repetitiveness. There is mild foul language in this story. I wonder what adventure Stacie will have in the next An Alaska Untamed Mystery. Bear Witness is a wild tale with scenic cruises, a dead deckhand, a helpful Husky, a striking trooper, a careful killer, and wandering wildlife. ( )
  Kris_Anderson | May 11, 2022 |
This first book in the Alaska Untamed cozy series seemed to suit me right down to the ground. I've enjoyed several tour boat excursions myself, and I certainly love learning about wildlife while getting the chance to see it and photograph it. However, Lark O. Jensen's Bear Witness is more suited to those cozy readers who like a large dollop of romance in their mug of mystery.

Stacie, always accompanied by her faithful blue-eyed husky, Sasha, ostensibly gets involved in the investigation because she's worried about the job she loves so much, but she's really in it because she's strongly attracted to handsome Alaska State Trooper Liam Amaruq. Since I don't much care for romance in my mystery, I soon tired of her longing glances and quivering hormones. In addition, the wildlife in Bear Witness is really mere window dressing, a hook to get wildlife lovers like me to read the book.

As you can tell, this book simply was not my cup of tea, but I know that I just described a cozy mystery that many other readers will love. To them, I say bon appétit!

(Review copy courtesy of the publisher and Net Galley) ( )
  cathyskye | May 8, 2022 |
Stacie Calder, a naturalist, has what she considers the perfect job - a guide on a tour boat in the Alaskan wilderness. However, things get a little too wild for her employer when a former employee turned competitor is discovered murdered after taking none of their cruises. Stacie works with the Alaska State Trooper Initial Response Section to find out what happened and who is responsible.

I really enjoyed this book because brought back great memories of a trip to Alaska as well as being entertaining with great characters. ( )
  cyderry | Jan 3, 2022 |
Alaska, law-enforcement, tour-boats, murder-investigation, naturalist, dog, friendship, cozy-mystery*****

Who knew that an Alaska tour guide could be a degreed wildlife naturalist? And I like the idea of an Alaska State Trooper Initial Response Section, a division that is just what is implies and then turns it over to the appropriate department. In this case the trooper and his sergeant need to investigate to find probative evidence to answer the old *was it a fall/jump/push* that got the victim dead in the water. The plot was kind of slow, but since that was what I was looking for today it was a big positive. The characters are well done without a lot of extraneous fluff, and I totally approve of the dog involvement. There were just enough plot twists, but not as many red herrings due to the locked room/limiting of space and suspects aspect. I liked this one, but I'm really looking forward to the next installment. Kind of like when I used to watch the TV show Alaska State Troopers. I hope the next one brings in a little more about the animals seen on the boat tour.
I requested and received a free ebook copy from Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley. Thank you! ( )
  jetangen4571 | Sep 11, 2021 |
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Alaska tour boat guide Stacie Calder faces the deep freeze in this scenic cozy series debut perfect for fans of Paige Shelton. No nine-to-five cubicle career will suit Stacie Calder--the naturalist much prefers working in the great outdoors. Specifically, the spacious and spectacular Alaskan wilderness, whose rugged charms she shares with sightseers on the top deck of the tour boat where she works. But one May afternoon, Stacie's passengers see more than glittering glaciers, frolicking harbor seals, climbing bears and soaring seabirds...they also witness a man lying dead in the frigid Alaskan waters. And it seems likely that someone gave him a fatal push.   Stacie didn't know the unfortunate victim, but he sure wanted to know a lot about her. He spent most of his final afternoon bombarding her with questions quite awkward to answer. And when he wasn't in her hair, he was arguing incessantly with the boat's beleaguered crew. Which makes for a suspect list about as long as the passenger manifest. Furthermore, as police helicopters relentlessly circle her boat in search of any clues, Stacie is shaken to find herself on that suspect list.   Before the tour boat reaches shore Stacie--accompanied by her beautiful blue-eyed husky, Sasha--must deduce just who sent the testy tourist tumbling into the turgid waters and have the authorities take custody. Because if she can't, then the killer might aim a fatal ice-cold stare at Stacie.

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