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Track of the Cat [Mass Market Paperback]

Nevada Barr
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 3 2003 An Anna Pigeon Novel (Book 1)

Anna Pigeon takes a job as a park ranger looking for peace in the wilderness-but finds murder instead.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

The texture, scents and sounds of the West Texas wilderness permeate this forceful debut, in which the murder of a National Park Service ranger illuminates the conflicts between those who want to place our country's open spaces and wildlife under government protection and those who want to profit from them. Anna Pigeon has fled New York City after the accidental death of her husband, and she now works as a law enforcement ranger at Guadaloupe Mountains National Park. There she finds the remains of fellow ranger Sheila Drury, who apparently was clawed to death by a mountain lion. Although an autopsy confirms this judgment, Anna becomes convinced that the claw marks have been faked. Her superiors discourage her from probing further, but another supposedly accidental death goads her into investigating Sheila's activities before her death--her campaign to open up the park to the public and her relationships with a young divorcee and with a powerful rancher opposed to Park Service policies. Anna is sure that clues reside in the thousands of snapshots the dead woman took--photos that show signs of having been rifled through. A park ranger herself, Barr develops a complex, credible and capable heroine who believes in truth and justice while remaining conscious of the ambiguities of human existence.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

YA-On a biannual trek, park rangers check for signs of mountain lions. While climbing along her assigned route, Anna sees a dozen vultures circle above a canyon. Checking on their carrion, she discovers the body of fellow ranger Sheila Drury, apparently killed by a mountain lion. Believing the animal tracks and scratches are a set-up, the young woman conducts her own investigation, putting her life in peril as she encounters ardent hunters. Anna Pigeon is a great new addition to the cadre of female detectives, especially since her job as park ranger involves hiking through the spectacular scenery of the Guadalupe Mountains of west Texas. Several dollops of ecology and conservation of resources mingle with the murder clues, making this an exciting, almost "good for you," book.
Pam Spencer, Thomas Jefferson Sci-Tech, Fairfax County, VA
Copyright 1993 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
By Peter
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I really want to like and get into this series but I could not get through the first one. I will try others hoping this was just beginners oops. It seemed poorly written and slow. I hope I'm wrong with the others in series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A desert thriller Feb. 17 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I loved the descriptions of the west Texas terrain, and the tough character of Anna Pidgeon in this unusual mystery. Anna, a park ranger who escaped NYC after the death of her husband, discovers "accidents" are happening a little too frequently at Guadeloupe Mountains National Park. The descriptions of her and her fellow NPS employees is fascinating. I also loved the relationship she has with her psychiatrist sister, whom she frequently calls back in NYC. The end scene is terrific, as the killer is unveiled and Anna struggles to save her own life in the middle of nowhere. And I loved the way Anna serves justice in the end.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A different kind of mystery Feb. 10 2003
By Matthew
Format:Mass Market Paperback
My mother of all people recommended this book to me and I must say that if my mother and I can both be pleased by a mystery novel then so can you. It does not take long to get hooked on Anna Pigeon and her life as a Law Enforcement Ranger. This is a mystery like I have never seen. Nevada Barr is excellent at bringing to life the vivid detail of the SW United States and uses it wonderfully to spin her mystery. A must read!!
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2.0 out of 5 stars Off track with this Kitty Jan. 25 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I was tempted to toss this book into the trash after reading the first two paragraphs that pronounced God dead and the character Anna master, oh, excuse me, mistress of the earth. But then I begin to wonder just what kind of point was this author trying to make. I forced myself to trudge forward with the novel and found the story line and characters quite novel. But too many times shivers ran down my back as the author pronounced, through the heroine, Anna, her hatred of people, especially those who believe in God. How can anyone who cares so much for plants and animals wish for "an Old Testament God to visit the peak with one of His famous scourges: a lightning storm that would blast the rock clean of cloying humanity"...
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5.0 out of 5 stars I never saw it coming... Sept. 2 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
She got me again. I can never figure out who the bad guy is! This is a great book and I highly recommend it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mystery, Park-Ranger Style May 28 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I judge mysteries on how fast they hook me. And I was hooked on "Track of the Cat," the first in Barr's Anna Pigeon series, within one page.
The fascinating plot revolves around the intrigue and in-fighting among the park rangers on the border between Texas and New Mexico. Who knew? Even among diehard environmentalists such as Anna and her coworkers, political pettiness exists. That's why, when a fellow ranger is found supposedly murdered by one of the park's protected cougars, Anna goes from 1 to 10 on the rage meter. She doesn't believe it's a lion kill--and she knows that the intricate politics and age-old fighting between ranchers and rangers will result in a sanctified lion kill.
Racing against time, Anna sets out to solve a murder that only she believes is a murder. The more she finds out, the more sinister the seemingly beautiful and pristine canyons and mountains become. Two more rangers disappear...and are ultimately found dead. Just what is going on, and how can Anna stop it? The solution, which comes at the very end of the book, is completely unexpected, and quite satisfying.
Barr's talent does not stop with the mystery, however. Her unique ability to draw the reader completely into Pigeon's milieu is seemingly effortless. I could feel the intense heat of the Texas desert, feel the rocks under my feet, feel the need for water as Anna and I hiked miles and miles through wild and achingly beautiful country. I felt that I was there alongside her, sweating with the heat and the knowledge that a crazed murderer was stalking us.
Take this book with you to the beach, to the mountains, to the pool, or just sit under a tree and sip some iced tea. It's a quick, fun, and fascinating read for any mystery lover!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Catch the killer... if you can. April 19 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Anna Pigeon is independent, strong willed, determined, and a very good observer; all of these qualities are necessary for a good sleuth. She is a Park Ranger who follows clues to find the truth like she were filling in a crossword puzzle, which I'm addicted to. So, when a rogue mountain lion kills, she must find the animal... however, she finds a murderer who will kill anyone in the way of a clandestine enterprise. No matter where the clues of a mountain lion attack leads her, Anna follows her instinct and logic; it's quite a treat to "read her mind" as she does. After being lured into a death trap, she knows she is on the right track. There are many suspects and motives, and the details are rich as only one who has been there can describe. That's what makes Nevada Barr's books so good -- she is a park ranger.
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3.0 out of 5 stars MIXED FEELINGS!!!!!!!! Feb. 17 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the first Nevada Barr book I have read. In my openion it was not really good and not really bad. It had parts I enjoyed and parts I had to struggle through. Anna Pigeon is a ranger in Texas hill country. Two different rangers are found dead, everyone but Anna thinks they were accidents. She goes about proving they were murder. In doing so an attempt is made on her life. But, why were the rangers killed? What is going on??? I think the action is a little slow, maybe to much talk and thought. I don't really know but it just never grabed me the way others have. I notice the second book has her at Lake Superior, thought she was to be a ranger in the Southwest. May or may not read another one, won't if I have something I know I like on hand.
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