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A Superior Death [Mass Market Paperback]

Nevada Barr
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 2 2003 An Anna Pigeon Novel (Book 2)

Park ranger Anna Pigeon returns, in a mystery that unfolds in and around Lake Superior, in whose chilling depths sunken treasure comes with a deadly price. In her latest mystery, Nevada Barr sends Ranger Pigeon to a new post amid the cold, deserted, and isolated beauty of Isle Royale National Park, a remote island off the coast of Michigan known for fantastic deep-water dives of wrecked sailing vessels. Leaving behind memories of the Texas high desert and the environmental scam she helped uncover, Anna is adjusting to the cool damp of Lake Superior and the spirits and lore of the northern Midwest. But when a routine application for a diving permit reveals a grisly underwater murder, Anna finds herself 260 feet below the forbidding surface of the lake, searching for the connection between a drowned man and an age-old cargo ship. Written with a naturalist's feel for the wilderness and a keen understanding of characters who thrive in extreme conditions, A Superior Death is a passionate, atmospheric page-turner.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In her second appearance, after Track of the Cat , National Park Service ranger Anna Pigeon is posted to an island in Lake Superior, where her interest in wildlife is fully engaged by the local population of humans. Two scuba-diving tourists exploring an old, submerged wreck discover a recent addition: the body of Denny Castle, who ran a commercial diving concession in the park. This makes Anna uneasy about the mysterious disappearance of Donna Butkus, wife of fellow ranger Scotty Butkus. Hawk Bradshaw, who worked with Denny, suggests that there was a link between Denny and Donna, but Hawk is less revealing about the nature of the relationship he and his twin sister had with the dead man and the impact Denny's recent marriage (to yet another woman) had on it. The Bradshaws aren't the only reticent ones here; indeed, Barr's characters hide enough unsavory secrets to keep a soap opera humming for months. Despite the wealth of personal intrigue, FBI agent Frederic Stanton looks for a drug connection to the murder: "I'm all for drugs . . . Takes the guesswork out of law enforcement." The levelheaded Anna is again a treat as she and a couple of minor characters whose lives don't verge on melodrama keep the story from floundering on the rocks. Mystery Guild alternate; paperback rights to Avon.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

YA-Transferring to a ranger position at Isle Royale National Park in Michigan, Anna Pigeon misses the Texas sun and heat of her former park. She cringes at the damp, penetrating cold that accompanies the foggy, gray days on Lake Superior. She swaps her horse for a boat but continues to be surrounded by dead bodies in her second mystery. The strange corpse she encounters on her new job is that of a well-known diver. She finds it in the engine room of a ship that sank at the turn of the century with the five original crew still aboard. Those corpses have been preserved by the frigid lake waters and are a grim "tourist attraction" for scuba divers. As Anna seeks the identity of the killer, she is never far from the northern woods, characterized by their earthy scents, lingering midday chill, and multitude of flora and fauna. While detecting, she tries to sort out her feelings about life, her status as a widow, and her need for solitude interspersed with friendships. She is a captivating, daredevil detective whose adventures will delight mystery readers.
Pam Spencer, Thomas Jefferson Sci-Tech, Fairfax County, VA
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the best of Barr's ever Dec 20 2005
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Probably because I live in the Great Lakes area, and because
I travelled over twenty years ago around Lake Superior (called "Great Waters" by the Ojibway people it is the largest and deepest freshwater lake in the world, an enormous reserve of unsalted water which also happens to be underfished for lack of commercial fisheries)this novel really got to me and rings so true and so close to reality that it was a pleasure to read. I have read almost all of Barr's novels and I must say this one left a great memory on my mind.
Jean-Charles Cachon
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Superior Mystery! April 12 2004
By Michele
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is my favorite book in the Anna Pigeon series! Lake Superior is an interesting location for Anna to sleuth, especially since part of her park is buried beneath the cold waters of the glacial lake. I'm chilled by the idea of sunken shipwrecks anyway, so a mystery on one is delightful! As always, Nevada Barr is able to really bring you into her stories. I almost feel like I've visited her parks after each new book. This one is a must for any fan!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Cold, dark danger in the Upper Peninsula March 1 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Ranger Anna Pidgeon has left the dry heat of west Texas, and gone diving in the frigid waters of Lake Superior, as she is now assigned to Isle Royale National Park. An experienced diver turns up dead, 260 ft below the surface in a sunken relic of all places. Furthermore, he's dressed in a comical 19th century boating captain's uniform. Anna has a number of strange characters to deal with in this tale, including a whimsical young couple who think another park ranger is a cannibal.
Although the story is exciting and fresh, I found the transition from scene to scene a bit confusing. Furthermore, there were too many characters and boat names to keep track of. Had Ms Barr made the number of characters a bit more manageable for the reader, this would easily be a 5 star book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Could it be a better book about da UP, eh? Feb. 26 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Once again the magical Nevada Barr takes us to a place where we can see and smell and taste and feel the world around us! As someone who lives on the shores of Lake Superior, I congratulate her for what I already knew was her sense of detail and place, and of respecting and loving something so much as to tell its story well.
This is an intriguing story, and Anna Pigeon becomes both more of an enigma and someone we count on.
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