Hunting Season by Nevada Barr

When Park Ranger Anna Pigeon answers a call to Mt. Locust,  she’s somewhat relieved to be spared the social awkwardness of attending a wedding reception with her still-married-to-someone-else boyfriend.  It’s far from a routine call however:  there’s a dead man in one of the historic home’s bedrooms and the scene implies sex-play gone awry.  The only thing clear about this case is that all is not as it appears and there’s more than one mystery to solve.  As Anna tries to fit the pieces together, she finds herself on uncertain terms with her colleagues and targeted for murder by persons unknown.

As usual, Barr excels at creating a vivid setting.  The mystery was layered and satisfying and I loved the historical angle.  I admit, I was somewhat frustrated with Anna this time around because I figured out most of the mystery before she did and I don’t think it was due to a sudden spike in my IQ.  I was particularly exasperated with her acceptance of Randy Thigpen’s various antics; I understand that she’s just counting down the days until he retires but given his behavior in Deep South, I did have a hard time believing that she wasn’t more suspicious of his activities.  That said, she did have a lot going on and while frustrating, it is believable that she wasn’t quite on her A-game this time: one of the very best things about Anna is that she comes across as a real person, complete with flaws.  Even on her worst day, Anna is still a force to be reckoned with!


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