Thursday Quotables: A Cold Day for Murder


Welcome back to Thursday Quotables! This weekly feature is the place to highlight a great quote, line, or passage discovered during your reading each week.  Whether it’s something funny, startling, gut-wrenching, or just really beautifully written, Thursday Quotables is where my favorite lines of the week will be, and you’re invited to join in!

NEW! Thursday Quotables is now using a Linky tool! Be sure to add your link if you have a Thursday Quotables post to share.

Cold Day 2

A Cold Day for Murder by Dana Stabenow
(published 1992 )

This is a long passage, but it says a lot about some of the characters and conflicts in this award-winning mystery set in Alaska. (To find out more, check out my review, here.)

Kate kept talking, compulsively, the words spilling out of her as if he had not spoken. “Every time she says it, ‘Katya’, she says it in that voice of doom. I see fifty generations of Aleuts lined up behind her, glaring at me. Every time she says it, she’s telling me I betrayed her and my family and the village and my culture and my entire race by running away.” She gave a thin smile. “And now, she’s believes I’ve betrayed myself by running back. I’ve been preaching, and I quote, ‘assimilation into the prevailing culture for the survival of my people.’ Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Sounds like I’ve had seven or eight sociology classes. Sounds like I know what I’m talking about.” Kate smiled, and Jack winced away from the sight of it. “And I live in a log cabin five miles from the closest neighbor and twenty-five miles from the nearest village. I’m shipping Xenia off to town, but I can’t bear to go in myself.”

“Kate,” he said.

“Don’t you understand, we’re not all like this,” she said fiercely. “We’re not even mostly like this. We’re not all drunks and adulterers and murderers. We’re just people, like anybody else trying to get along in this goddam world. We’re starting from behind and we’re just trying to catch up.”


What lines made you laugh, cry, or gasp this week? Do tell!

If you’d like to participate in Thursday Quotables, it’s really simple:

  • Write a Thursday Quotables post on your blog. Try to pick something from whatever you’re reading now. And please be sure to include a link back to Bookshelf Fantasies in your post (, if you’d be so kind!
  • Click on the linky button (look for the cute froggie face) below to add your link.
  • After you link up, I’d love it if you’d leave a comment about my quote for this week.
  • Be sure to visit other linked blogs to view their Thursday Quotables, and have fun!

6 thoughts on “Thursday Quotables: A Cold Day for Murder

  1. Great quote! You actually feel sympathetic to them, they sound like they’re trying so hard but no one is recognising their efforts

    • Hmm… maybe it doesn’t work as well out of context as I’d hoped. I do recommend the book — it’s really an interesting snapshot of the competing interests, politics, affiliations, etc that come into play around land management issues in Alaska. Plus, the descriptions of the landscape are just amazing!

        • Oh, no, I’ve only read the first one — just this past week! I’d like to read more (I think there are 20). So, I can’t compare to the rest of the series, but I’d guess that starting with this one is important, since it introduces the main characters, the village, the general issues, etc. Would love to hear what you think if you read it!

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