Hunting Season Mass Market Paperback – Feb 4 2003
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When the body of Doyce Barnett turns up in unsavory circumstances in Mississippi's Natchez Trace National Park, district ranger Anna Pigeon finds her investigation stymied at every turn. The dead man's brother, an undertaker with a secret that's been kept by three generations of his family, will do anything to protect it, even if his cover-up puts Anna's life in danger. Her own deputy, jealous because she got the job he wanted, seems to be sabotaging her case in order to advance his political ambitions. A bunch of Mississippi good old boys who've been poaching on park territory are gunning for her, and something strange is going on in a slave cemetery that's also in her bailiwick.
In this, her 10th outing, the prickly, ever-likable Ranger Pigeon puts all the pieces together in a lively, well-paced mystery that evokes two dimensions of the Deep South: its lush beauty and its tangled racial history, dimensions that, as Anna herself puts it, are "both a balm. History because its sins had already been committed, nature because she was supremely indifferent to the petty hysterias of the human race." --Jane Adams --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
After an interlude in Montana and Canada in Blood Lure (2001), Anna Pigeon returns to the Mississippi Natchez Trace Parkway of Deep South (2000) in Barr's 10th book to feature the peripatetic national park ranger, though with its haphazard plot and fitful action it's not one of the author's best. The feisty Anna, now district ranger of the Port Gibson District, is still adjusting to her supervisory position and dealing with her resentful male staff. Her quiescent love life has blossomed with Paul Davidson, an ordained Episcopal minister and the sheriff of neighboring Claiborne County. When the nude body of Doyce Barnette turns up at Mt. Locust, a historic plantation and inn in the Natchez Trace Parkway, the dead man appears to have been the victim of a ritual killing, but it doesn't fit with his prosaic lifestyle. Anna works with the local sheriff, Clintus Jones, on a slippery case with a few motiveless suspects and fewer clues. Although it's hunting season, there doesn't seem to be a connection; the body shows odd marks and the cause of death is vague. Barnette's brother, an undertaker with political ambitions, is helpful but curt, his mother belligerent and uninformative. After Anna receives a couple of threats, she and Clintus discover they're investigating two different cases, and Anna finds out she has an enemy within the park service. As usual, the writing is first-rate, with vivid characters and atmospheric background. Even when she's not at the top of her form, Barr outshines most other authors in the mystery genre. National author tour. (Feb. 18)Forecast: Some fans may be disappointed that Barr has stopped moving her heroine around the national park system, but Anna's ongoing romance with Paul should attract new readers and keep existing ones happy.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
First there is the body that is found in the Old Plantation/National Park Site bedroom. This is not a run of the mill tourist it is a well known man of a local family, and trussed up to look like he did more than just die.
Then there is the deer stand that Anna and her Deputy are trying to catch in use. Well Anna catches more than she barging for with this one.
After a few harrowing disasters and learning a lot about the history of the area I just couldn't stop listening and was disappointed that it ended.
I discovered Anna Pidgeon while on a hiking trip in the Sierra (bought it in Bishop) and have waited eagerly for each new book. I love Barr's exquisite descriptions --those who have not read firestorm are in for a treat.
The sad truth is: Hunting Season is awful.
After forcing myself to chapter 3, I doubt I'll be able to continue reading it. From the beginning I have been wondering if Nevada herself wrote the book. It is extremely flat and coarse in plot, descriptions, metaphors, etc.
Consider the very poor simile of comparing the way an old lady utters of the word "poker" to that of a Nun saying "Sodomy." We are flying really low, no fine writing here.
Many descriptions make no sense--consider Anna and Clintus entrance into the grand mansion home of Doyce--Barr goes off to describe the big mess in supposedly a big room just beyond the portico entrance. Hello? Those big mansions have a foyer, and indeed Barr describes the landing on other floors.
There are so many examples of what is wrong and I am only on p.55 but I am too bored to go back to track them down. Yawn.
Hope this is only a glitch, but I'll check the next book carefully before I buy it.
Once again, this book takes places in the Deep South. The ability of Barr to use words to draw and color the areas in which the mysteries take place is one of the great things about her writing. She doesn't have to go into long explanations or use big words to get across the local flavor, the prejudices (of everyone!), even the time of year is so well drawn you can almost smell the time after the leaves have fallen and just before the winter sleep. Since this is a favorite time of year for me, that description alone was worth the read.
Anna gets herself into a situation, one that is confusing for her where she has a strange murder that seems 'set-up- but also then immediately runs into some 'good-ole'-boys' who chase her in order to keep their hunting rights on Federal property (or so she thinks at first). Eventually, the story ties everything in...and I have been waiting for her nasty under-ranger (with a hilarious name) Thigpen to show his true colors. I knew from the moment she first described him a few books ago, that he was so prejudiced against women in what he considered a 'man's job' that one way or another, he would try to 'get' Anna for taking the position he coveted (and not the position he earned...too lazy for that).
Once again, a very enjoyable read. The history of the slaves and stories about the freemen is something I very much want to know more about, especially as geneaology is an important topic to me.Read more ›
The sheriff with whom Anna had begun a romantic relationship in the last book is now a very serious boyfriend, but all we see of their relationship is Anna's usual (and by now exceedingly annoying) prickly self. Yes, she cares, but no, she's not going to let him know in case she gets hurt. Yada yada yada.
The plot, which held my interest not at all, concerns a murdered hunter, brother of the local undertaker, who is found in circumstances that suggest a sex crime, thereby causing quite a stir. Anna noses around, breaks the rules, solves the crime, as usual tells nobody what she should, and as usual gets in a life-threatening situation. Yada yada redux. What has happened to Nevada Barr's fabulous storytelling skills? I hope this is just a slump--but I must say one thing. Nevada, get rid of your terrible editor. In my review of "Blood Lure" (a much better book than this one, by the way), I mentioned that Anna's inherited dog, Taco, had mysteriously morphed from a golden retriever into a black lab. Well, surprise, surprise....Taco is now a golden retriever again--for half the book.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Of all the Anna Pigion books I have read, this is the worst. The charecters are shallow and stiff, the dialog stillted and meaningless, and the park is not well described and in no... Read morePublished on Dec 16 2003 by A lindgren
This was not by favorite Nevada Barr, but only because I didn't find the Nachez Trace to be as interesting as some of the other parks visited in this series. Read morePublished on Sept. 18 2003
This is the 3rd Anna Pigeon mystery I have read, the others were first Deep South, the second Liberty Falling and now Hunting Season. Read morePublished on July 12 2003
This book was EXCELLENT, much better than the last and very suspenseful. I haven't read a book in a long time that I couldn't put down until the end, but I couldn't rest until I... Read morePublished on June 11 2003 by agnes bonaparte
I do not find the lead character likeable. Ranger Pigeon has little sense of humor and typical left wing prejudices. Read morePublished on May 31 2003 by Mr. Mitchell E. Ayer
Noting my own prickliness in reading this book, at first I thought it was my mood. It wasn't, it was the book itself. ... Read morePublished on Feb. 12 2003 by California Will
What makes a good mystery novel? Well, a mystery helps. But all mystery fans know that the real fun of a mystery novel is the setting and the characters. Read morePublished on Oct. 30 2002 by Mike Garrison