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Catalog Archive / Spring 2022

Death Casts a Shadow

“Moving and suspenseful.”
Nick Petrie

The final book in the Dave Cubiak Door County Mystery Series

With Door County caught in the grip of a fierce winter storm, Sheriff Dave Cubiak agrees to do a simple favor for a friend of his wife: he stops by to check in on an affluent widow with a questionable new suitor. His initial disquiet is easily dismissed—until she is found dead the next morning in her home. Lying at the bottom of a flight of stairs, clutching a valuable bronze sculpture, she points her outstretched hand in the direction of a nearby, nondescript ring.

The scene bears all the characteristics of an accidental fall, not unheard of for a person of her age, but something is not adding up. Later that week, an explosion in an ice fishing shack on the frozen bay leads to the discovery of another body, burned beyond recognition. Was this the widow's missing handyman? Could the two deaths be related? With what has become a hallmark for books in the series, past and present collide as Cubiak's search for answers uncovers the sad legacy of loneliness and the disquieting links between wealth and poverty on the peninsula.


Author. Photo credit, Name. Patricia Skalka is the author of Death Stalks Door County, Death at Gills Rock, Death in Cold Water, Death Rides the Ferry, Death by the Bay, and Death Washes Ashore, the first six books in the popular Dave Cubiak Door County Mystery series. She divides her time between Milwaukee and Door County, Wisconsin.

Patricia Skalka's Website -

Patricia Skalka's Blog -




“Skalka’s descriptions of the wintery landscape ring true, as does the relationship between Cubiak and his wife and son. His many fans will miss him.”
Publishers Weekly

“Skalka’s brisk pace keeps the pages turning.”
Kirkus Reviews

Death Casts a Shadow is a moving and suspenseful tale of greed and heartbreak during a vivid Wisconsin winter. Protagonist Dave Cubiak is in fine form, and Skalka’s award-winning storytelling chops make clear, yet again, the enduring appeal of this elegant and haunting series.”
—Nick Petrie, author of The Runaway

“Sheriff Dave Cubiak is back! Patricia Skalka’s Death Casts a Shadow is a tight, sleek, satisfying installment in her Door County mystery series. What a wonderful writing style! What seamless dialogue! Readers know right off the bat they’re in capable hands. Can Cubiak figure out what connects a woman’s fall down the stairs, an exploded fishing shack, and stolen Remington statues before a killer strikes again? You bet, but it’s a kick watching him get there. I’ll miss Cubiak, but my fingers are crossed Skalka returns soon to enchant us anew.”
—Tracy Clark, author of the Cass Raines Chicago Mystery series

“A finely crafted mystery where past meets present and murder isn’t the only type of revenge, Death Casts a Shadow is a masterpiece. Skalka expertly integrates two crimes with two victims with more than enough reasons to kill in this exciting conclusion to the Dave Cubiak Door County Mystery series.”
—Tracey S. Phillips, author of Best Kept Secrets

“After the summer tourists go home, Door County locals settle their quarrels and feuds during the swirling snows of Wisconsin winter. I eased into the slipstream of Skalka’s smooth writing and cruised effortlessly to the end. She’s brought Sheriff Dave Cubiak a long way since Death Stalks Door County.”
—John DeDakis, author of the Lark Chadwick mystery novels

“Set against a northern Wisconsin in winter backdrop, Death Casts A Shadow by Wisconsin novelist Patricia Skalka will be of special interest to readers with an appreciation for the kind of narrative driven storytelling that plays fair in terms of 'whodunnit' plot twists and clues. The stuff of which award-winning movies are made.”
Midwest Book Review

“Skalka has a knack for writing even the most minor characters in a way that gets to the core of who they are in just a few words. Plot and characterization, both of which are quite strong in this book, aside, it is the weather and location which truly stand out. Skalka writes in such a powerful manner about the snow storms and biting cold during a Door County's winter, that I felt I needed to put a sweater on even in the heat of the summer as I read the book. She describes the frigid weather so convincingly that I not only could see it in my mind, but I could feel it in my bones. Likewise, her descriptions of the desolate locations, whether in the snow-covered backwoods or the wind-scoured frozen lake, transport the reader. Although this book is the final in this series, I am hopeful that Skalka will find another vehicle for her beautiful writing.”
—Sharon Mensing,

“Skalka gives her readers a satisfying mystery with all the quirky residents of the peninsula and nicely wraps up loose ends from earlier books in the series. Fans of atmospheric locations and quirky characters will want to give this one a try.”
Library Journal



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Also by Patricia Skalka

Death Washes Ashore: the cover shows a picture of a lone canoe on a foggy lake, a forest at the water's edge. The title text is written in transparent white font at the top half of the page. Design by Sara DeHaan.

Death Washes Ashore
Book 6

Death Stalks Door County: cover art of a lake, within which lies a small island, beside a tree covered shore. The edges of the image fade to black, giving the cover a sinister look.

Death Stalks Door County
Book 1

Death Casts a Shadow: cover depicting an island in a lake during the winter, an orange sunset filling the sky behind tall pine trees.

Larger images

July 2022
LC: 2021049362 PS
270 pp. 5.5 x 8.5
1 map

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Cloth $24.95
ISBN 9780299338701
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