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Dave Cubiak Books In Order

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Publication Order of Dave Cubiak Books

Death Stalks Door County (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death at Gills Rock (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death in Cold Water (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death Rides the Ferry (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death by the Bay (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death Washes Ashore (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death Casts a Shadow (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Patricia Skalka writes about Dave Cubiak in this series of mysteries. He is a former troubled cop from Chicago. Dave faces off against different clever killers on the Door County Peninsula in the center of the Midwest. The books are set against the backdrop of stunning natural beauty.

“Death Stalks Door County” was a finalist in the year 2014 for Book of the Year Traditional Fiction from the Chicago Writers Association.“Death in Cold Water” won the Edna Ferber Fiction Book Award.

“Death Stalks Door County” is the first novel in the “Dave Cubiak” series, which was released in the year 2014. Six deaths sour the holiday mood as those on summer vacation try to enjoy Wisconsin’s beautiful Door County peninsula. Are they bizarre accidents or murders? Dave Cubiak, the new park ranger, thinks the worst, but will not get involved.

Guilt ridden and grief stricken over the loss of his daughter and wife; he is simply fed up with death. He is forced to confront what happened in the past, a morose Cubiak gets beyond his heartache and begins investigating. All while a popular festival pulls more into potential danger.

Desperately seeking clues, he finds a tangled web of betrayal, greed, bitter rivalries, and some lost love under the veneer of the peninsula’s travel-brochure. He makes friends with a few of the locals but is unsure who he can trust or who to suspect of the murders. This one time cop is tracking a clever killer.

Skalka’s character development, rich and dark prose complements the stark mystery and intricate plot. This is simply a wonderful work of fiction, and is set in a wonderfully drawn town. Dave Cubiak is portrayed in realistic detail in this book as a suffering former cop. This is a great start to a promising series that some will be returning to.

“Death at Gills Rock” is the second novel in the “Dave Cubiak” series, which was released in the year 2015. Dave Cubiak is elected the sheriff of Door County. His current challenge comes when spring brings not new life, but actually tragic death to Gills Rock, the isolated village. Three prominent veterans of World War II who will be honored for military heroics end up dying from carbon monoxide poisoning during their weekly card game.

The blame falls on a faulty heater, but Cubiak starts puzzling over the details. A widow gets a message that says the men got what they had coming to them, and Cubiak knows he is dealing with more than a case of accidental death.

During his search for the truth, he finds that the men’s facade of respectability and success hides betrayal and lies that comes from one desperate act of treachery. It eventually spreads a web of deceit all across the peninsula.

This is a wonderful character, in Dave Cubiak, who is just trying to lay low after the death of his family. The book is a high quality mystery that comes from a skilled author. There is tight plotting, vivid scene settings, and interesting characters. These characters feel like people you actually know, the dialogue feels authentic and real, and the circumstances and actions are believable but at the same time unpredictable.

“Death in Cold Water” is the third novel in the “Dave Cubiak” series, which was released in the year 2016. On a brisk fall day in Door County, a well known philanthropist goes missing. Does Gerald Sneider (called Mr. Packer for his support for Green Bay football) have dementia, or is he just avoiding his greedy son like the plague? Is there any connection to the threats that have been made against the National Football League?

Tourists flock to the peninsula to see the fall colors, Cubiak’s search for Sneider is hindered by the FBI. Human bones wash up on Lake Michigan’s shore, the sheriff has got more than just a missing man to keep him busy. The media demands answers, and there are two puzzles to solve. Cubiak has to follow his own instincts down a trail of local history and some half remembered rumors to find out the shocking truth.

Dave Cubiak is a witty character, and this is a fine tuned story that Skalka has told here. Readers love this series, finding that each adventure is unique from the others, despite the characters being the same and there are strong relationships being built by the characters. Skalka dives deep into the human psyche’s darkness, bringing to life some complex characters and plots.

“Death Rides the Ferry” is the fourth novel in the “Dave Cubiak” series, which was released in the year 2018. A sparkling August day on Washington Island and resonant notes of early classical music float on the breeze on toward the ferries and sailboats that ply the waters in Death’s Door strait. The Viola Da Gamba Music Festival has not happened in forty years, but it is returning this year. Dave Cubiak enjoys a rare day off while tourists as well as a documentary film crew are hovering around the musicians set to play the festival.

The happy mood turns sour as an unidentified passenger is discovered dead on one of the ferries. Longtime residents recollect with sorrow the disastrous festival that happened four decades back, as another female died. As well as a valuable sixteenth century instrument (the fabled yellow viol) vanished and was never recovered.

Cubiak follows a trail that includes false identity, murder, and kidnapping that winds up right back to the calamitous night of the pair of tragedies. The lives of those he holds dear are in peril, and the sheriff hunts for a ruthless killer into Lake Michigan’s stormy northern reaches.

Skalka’s writing allows you to immerse yourself easily into the story. It is not a big buildup to the main story, you just step in and you go. Skalka is at her best in this book, as she is able once again to paint the beautiful vista of Door County with clear and lyrical language. Things are presented effortlessly and the plot moves along at a steady pace.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Dave Cubiak

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