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Barr, Nevada, Deep South (An Anna Pigeon Novel) Hardback Book

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After her urban adventures on New York's Ellis Island in Liberty Falling, park ranger Anna Pigeon has finally "heeded the ticking of her bureaucratic clock" and signed on for a promotion in the boonies: district ranger on the Natchez Trace Parkway. Anna's mental images of Mississippi come from black-and-white stock photos from the civil rights movement of the 1960s, so it's not surprising that she finds it beautiful but strange, its residents caught in a teased-hair, fried-food time warp. But she's got more than an unhealthy diet to worry about--as the first female district ranger on the Trace, she immediately encounters more than a few good ol' boys and local miscreants who resent her authority, especially after a 17-year-old beauty is murdered on a booze-soaked prom night near the Trace, her head covered with a KKK-style sheet.

There are plenty of reasons her friends and family might have wanted Danielle Posey dead, ranging from her $40,000 insurance policy to jealousy to flat-out insanity. Anna wonders whether the sheet's a red herring, but she can't dismiss it entirely. Though the local culture's no longer built around segregation, racism still exists at a deep level that Anna finds unsettling. Both Danielle Posey and the prime suspect--her boyfriend--are white, but Danielle had secrets her friends won't reveal. Still, no one else appears to be in danger, until a prankster--or could it be a murderer?--sets an alligator loose in Anna's garage (nearly killing her faithful black Lab, Taco) and a local preacher commits suicide.

With the help of the handsome local sheriff, Paul Davidson, Anna pulls together clues from local history, Civil War reenactors, and the Mississippi mud and kudzu. Anna Pigeon's one tough bird--she survives not only a little alligator wrestling but also a brutal attack that leads her to the truth of what happened to Danielle Posey and why. What's most fascinating is how much of her famous emotional shield she lets slip in the process. --Barrie Trinkle --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Since 1993 and Track of the Cat, Barr has been writing about National Park ranger Anna Pigeon. Each novel has been set in a different park, but one constant has been how the gutsy and deeply independent Anna has drawn her strength from, and maintained her sanity by, living among some of the most glorious and remote landscapes in America. Now, having decided that she needs to think about her financial future, Anna has snagged a promotion to district ranger. The catch is that she must leave her beloved Western parks behind and move to the Port Gibson section of the Natchez Trace Parkway in Mississippi. There's no wilderness here, and she feels overwhelmed by the humidity, the streams of tourists and campers and the ever-encroaching kudzu vines. But then Anna discovers one teenage girl in a prom dress dead drunk in an old cemetery and another murdered in the deep woods of the Trace, with a KKK-type hood and noose tied over her head. Anna and the local sheriff uncover plenty of suspects and motives as they team up to investigate. As the first woman ranger in the district, Anna must also learn to deal with male subordinates who challenge her authority. Whether Anna, for whom the solitude of the wilderness has always been essential, can find her equilibrium remains to be seen. But Barr produces another suspenseful and highly atmospheric mystery, illuminated even in this new setting by her trademark lyricism in writing about the natural world. Author tour. (Mar.)

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