By Nevada Barr
Place: Publisher & Year: New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, c1993
Series: Anna Pigeon mysteries; 1
Intended audience: Adults
Number of pages: 263
Setting: Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas & nearby New Mexico
Time period: early 1990s
Plot summary: When Anna Pigeon finds the remains of a co-worker/ park ranger in a lonely canyon while on backcountry patrol, she documents the evidence as she was trained to do. Unfortunately, the evidence seems to suggest that the ranger’s death was caused by a mountain lion. As the park service and neighboring ranchers prepare for a lion hunt, however, Anna find disturbing evidence which suggests that a lion was framed for the ranger’s death, who was really killed by a human.
Pacing: Barr blends description, dialog, and action in a way that keeps the pages turning and maintains a steady pace throughout the book.
Characterization: Told in third person from Anna’s perspective. The most important secondary character is Anna’s sister, Molly, a shrink in NYC. It is through their conversations that readers’ come to understand Anna better.
Frame: The remote and isolated location of Guadalupe Mountains National Park is essential to the frame of the story. The park is beautiful, but harsh in its unforgiving nature.
Story line: A puzzling story with plenty of twists and surprises as well as beautiful descriptions of wilderness and landscapes. While some elements of the story may seem a bit simplistic, it is a very well-crafted work.
Pigeon, Anna (Fictitious character) — Fiction.
Women park rangers — Texas — Fiction.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park (Tex.) — Fiction.
Similar authors: (From NoveList) Lise Mcclendon, Karen Kijewski, Dana Stabenow, Deborah Crombie, Marcia Muller, Taffy Cannon, Jessica Speart, Sue Grafton
Personal notes: I loved the ending to this book!
Other (themes, diversity):
Diversity – female park ranger, lesbians