Cover Image: Never Name the Dead

Never Name the Dead

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Member Reviews

Engaging and entertaining. A recommended purchase for collections where crime and thrillers are popular.

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While I’m sure this book is great, I did not finish it. It just wasn’t for me. I did enjoy and can say good things about the historical, cultural and details of this book though.

Thank you for this opportunity even though it wasn’t for me

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This was a very disappointing book. The writing was pulled down by childish writing and phrasing by the main character in addition to repetitive ideas within a handful of pages. An overall unpleasant reading experience.

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I’ve been trying to diversify my reading habits and this was a good one and felt like I was being immersed in the Kiowa culture. The narrator of the audiobook really added to the realism.

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Thank you Netgalley and Dreamscape Media for accepting my request to review an advancecopy of this audiobook, convincingly narrated by Katie Anvil Rich.

The main character is a queer woman who who left home feeling unaccepted by her Kiowa tribe and built a new life for herself in Silicon Valley. When her grandfather calls for her help, though, she drops everything and flies home. Mae (whose name is literally Mud among the tribe) then finds herself confronting several crimes as they slowly reveal themselves, from illegal fracking to stealing tribal artifacts to accepting bribes and selling out.

The theme of Mae/Mud coming to realize that being with and helping her people is more important than her high-powered career is presented with blunt-force trauma, no subtlety, but the book is fast-paced and enjoyable and taught me some about the Kiowa people. I would recommend this novel.

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I always try to diversify my reading each month, and really wanted to include a book to my reading that had indigenous culture, and was excited to read NEVER NAME THE DEAD, which is a Native American thriller.

I really enjoyed learning more about the cultures as part of the story, and thought the Kiowa traditions were so fascinating, making the descriptions and rich influences a vital piece to the book.

As an audiobook, I thought it was well done, and really added to the storyline.

*many thanks to Crooked Lane Books, Dreamscape Media and Netgalley for the gifted copy for review

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I appreciated the Indiginous cultural elements within this novel but I found the story itself a bit dry and forgettable.

Disclaimer I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

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Thank you NetGalley and Dreamscape Media for accepting my request to audibly read and review Name the Dead.

Author: D.M. Rowell
Narrator: Katie Anvil Rich
Published: 11/08/22
Genre: Mystery & Thrillers

This was an interesting Native American mystery/thriller. I am a voracious reader and believe I have had less than five come to my attention. Mystery/Thrillers is a favorite genre of mine.

I had trouble sorting through the tribal ways and traditions; some were explained more than others. A third of the way into the book, I focused on the story and let the Native American traditions fall where they may. I was intrigued by The Grandfather, and really wanted to know more about his beliefs. The statistics given regarding abuse in this country were and still are sickening. I found the ending to be really rushed.

Overall, I enjoyed the book. I will seek other works by the author.

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Learning about different cultures in a fabulous story keeps me reading. I hope this author will do a series. Interesting characters, compelling story.

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This book was excellent and I loved reading it. I really enjoy learning about other cultures and ways of life from the books I read! I loved seeing Mud returning to her roots and stepping into the shoes her grandfather knew she was going to fill. I would love to read more about how she ties her two worlds together or if she has to leave her Silicon Valley life behind entirely. I can't wait to find another book by this author!


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I like the way the author plugged in the native American beliefs involving death in the story. There were many different issues going on in this book and just when i thought I figured it out.... bam there was another twist and another option of "who dun it". I really enjoyed this book.

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Never Name the Dead is a great debut novel. While it felt a bit choppy at the beginning of the audiobook with such short chapters, the story soon hits a good stride and draws you in to the mystery of missing Kiowa artifacts and murder. I enjoyed the story of Mae and her grandfather and was fascinated by the history and cultural aspects of Kiowa life. I will most definitely recommend this book to my patrons. Thank you to Dreamscape Media and NetGalley for the early listen to this entertaining book in exchange for my honest opinion.

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Never Name the Dead is an amazing mixture of mystery and culture. When Mae gets an urgent call from her grandfather asking her to come back home with little explanation, she drops everything at her fast-paced agency job in Silicon Valley. Upon her arrival, she finds things to be tense back home with frackers destroying their ancestral land and Kiowa families being forced to sell off their heirlooms — and there's a dead body in her grandfather's room, with little sign of him anywhere.

What I liked most about this read is the way the author explained the Kiowa culture and traditions as well as how those traditions incorporated with the story.

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Enjoyable debut novel by D.M. Rowell!
I really liked the storytelling aspect as well as the plot, character development and Kiowa history, culture and traditions.
Solid 3/5 stars! Excited to see where this series takes us!

Thank you to NetGalley and Dreamscape Media for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.

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Thank you Net Galley for an audio copy of Never Name the Dead by D.G. Rowell. This is a story of Native Americans. I liked the story, but the narrator killed it for me. Sorry.

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“Old grudges, tribal traditions, and outside influences collide for a Kiowa woman as forces threaten her family, her tribe, and the land of her ancestors.”

This book had all the makings of an amazing tale: Indigenous heroine, murder mystery, LGBTQ+ love interest, ancient artifacts, eco-warriors.


I loved the Kiowa history, the descriptions of the landscape, and the diversity of the characters.

I, however, quickly got bogged down in cast members, iffy dialogue, and the narrator’s repetitive inner thoughts (Georgie’s wearing what kind of perfume again?).

I would, 100% read a non-fiction work by this author, but I think I’ll wait until the writer has a few more works under her belt before I attempt another novel.


Thanks to NetGalley and Dreamscape Media for this ARC.

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I really loved this book. It accomplished so much for a debut, especially with regard to the push and pull of indigenous lives in and outside of the colonized world. There were some issues with the actual audiobook, like parts repeating or skipping--although there were very few, hopefully it will be caught before publication!

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Interesting story centered around the Kiowa tribe in Oklahoma. Stealing of artifacts, illegal fracking, family inheritance are all contained in this who dun it.

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Never Name the Dead is a decent story surrounded by great education of Kiowa culture. The story involves a lot, from murder to fracking and a lot in between. It was so much that I lost sight of the focal point which should be who is the murderer.

The characters are well written and do a great job at letting us learn all about the Kiowa. The main character, Mae, left her home in Oklahoma to go to Silicon Valley. She is trying to solve a murder, trying to find her missing grandpa, and trying to take a company public. It’s a lot. Priorities did not always seem where they should but Mae got there in the end.

A lot of the conversations between characters unfortunately were not all that interesting and I found myself getting a little bored while waiting to progress the murder plot further or learn more about the Kiowa.

I did like the resolution in the end but it was a bit of a drag to get there. If it was not for the education in Kiowa culture I don’t know if I would have made it to the end. This book did its job though. I now want to do more research and continue my education on the Kiowa. Thank you for that.

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First of all this book gives a lot of information about Natives and their way of life and tribes. I really loved this so much, I do refuse to use the word ‘Indian’ and I’m going to use the word ‘Native’ it seems right. I really enjoy our MC, she’s very intuitive and I love the character dynamics, and relationships. Mud and her Grandfather are close and she’s making sure he’s alright. There is a strange mystery that involves her grandfather and she’s getting down to the bottom of this. I enjoyed this so much but I’m unsure what rating to give it, even so I recommend to anyone who likes a good mystery with some culture mixed in it all. Slow but very interesting!

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