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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.
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.
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