Monday, December 29, 2014

Adventure in the Upper Midwest With Nevada Barr

It’s a great time of year to think about traveling to new places. How about taking a virtual visit to the national parks with the adventurous park ranger Anna Pigeon?  She notices when things are amiss and finds the answers to each exciting national park mystery.  The author, Nevada Barr, was a park ranger for several summers and writes her stories with actual knowledge of the national parks system.  Her series of 18 mysteries begins at the Guadalupe Mountains National Park in Texas, loops through the Statue of Liberty National Monument in New York to the Nachez Trace Parkway in Mississippi, and Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico, to name just a few.  Barr uses Michigan as the setting for two of her stories, both taking place on Isle Royale National Park in the middle of Lake Superior.

A Superior Death (1994) is a summertime mystery located in the chilly depths of Lake Superior off the
shores of Isle Royale. This is the second book of the series, so the young Anna Pigeon checks on a routine diving permit and stumbles upon an unauthorized search for sunken treasure in the shipwrecks offshore. She also discovers a recently dead body near a shipwreck which leads to intense underwater suspense. Anna finds a little romance and a lot of murder during her stay at the park.
A Winter Study (2008) is Barr’s second Isle Royale page-turner, and takes place during the winter with a   She and two scientists from homeland security are joining the wolf study team to observe the wolf pack, each for their own objective.  Pigeon is collecting data in order to introduce wolves into the Rocky Mountain National Park. The team from homeland security wants to assess the possibility of opening Isle Royale in the wintertime and its implications for border relations with Canada.  The isolated setting, cold temperatures, and the suspicious death of a team member combine to place everyone on alert that a killer is among them.
more mature Anna Pigeon.

The newest novel, Destroyer Angel (2014) is set in the Boundary Waters Wilderness Area north of Ely, Minnesota on the border between the U.S. and Canada. Anna travels to pristine wilderness for a canoeing vacation with friends, one of whom designs recreational equipment for disabled individuals, and another who is a paraplegic. Somebody’s past catches up with them as the group is kidnapped and Anna has to use all her park ranger survival skills and knowledge of the outdoors to keep herself alive long enough to rescue her friends.  The heartless nature of the villains in this adventure is juxtaposed against the spiritual beauty of the wilderness. As always, Nevada Barr’s adventures are available in Adult Fiction on the main floor.  Many are also recorded on CD in the audio book section or available digitally through the library’s website –

Lynette Suckow
Reference Desk

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