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A Superior Death (Anna Pigeon #2)

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  5,863 ratings  ·  342 reviews
While diving at her new station near Lake Superior, Park Ranger Anna Pigeon, last seen in Track of the Cat, discovers evidence of a grisly murder connected to an old sunken cargo ship.
Hardcover, 303 pages
Published March 23rd 1994 by Putnam Adult (first published 1994)
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This author sets her murder mysteries in national parks, like Yosemite. This book is set in my home waters (Upper Michigan / Wisconsin) , on a national park that covers an entire island in the Great Lakes — Isle Royale on Lake Superior. Hence the title.

I read this murder mystery some years ago. As I recall, the mystery itself was slow going at first (the heroine, Anna, was sad and pensive because her husband recently died in NYC). Eventually, the plot picked up and became suitably intense at tim
Lisa Kay
Isle Royale National Park,
Lake Superior, Michigan
Photo by Lorelei Lane

Lorelei Lane, Isle Royale National Park

Rocky lichen-covered shoreline of Mott Island
Photo by gsgeorge

Shoreline on Mott Island

Rock Harbor Light in Fog
Photo by ohkayeor

Rock Harbor Light in Fog

Underwater photo from: Scuba Emporium
Chicago, Illinois

(This is a review of the audiobook.) Though this novel isn’t written in first-person point-of-view, Barbara Rosenblat sounds like the way I think Anna Pigeon would. She does a nice job here narrating. While she doesn’t do a lot of vocal ranges for the many character
Bill  Kerwin

I enjoyed my five-day/four-night trip to Michigan, but the two nights I had reserved for the U.P. left me no time to visit Isle Royale (the island national park a six hour ferry ride from Houghton), so when I returned to Ohio I decided to extend my vacation mentally by reading "A Superior Death," a Nevada Barr mystery in which Ranger Anna Pigeon solves a murder while stationed on the Isle. I got the park atmosphere I was looking for, and an enjoyable mystery too.

I guessed the solution to the mu
Jane Stewart
OK as a mystery. Fabulous audiobook narrator. Bad recording equipment.

Authors: one way to get people to read your books is to have a great narrator. The best ones have fans. I wanted to buy more books narrated by Barbara Rosenblat, and this was on her list. I probably would not have purchased it otherwise. The narrator was great.

I am so glad that I went back to this series. The first book, Track of the Cat, was very good, but I am beginning to think that I liked this one better. Nevada Barr has a way of drawing in the reader in from the very beginning and holding your full attention straight through to the end. Even if you think you have figured out where she is going, you still hold on to each word in case there is something there that you might not have picked up on in the beginning, but you are darn sure you want to ...more
The book started very slowly, and much of the book revolved around Anna guessing who was behind the various crimes or her personal loss of her husband, killed by a NYC taxicab. There is a murder, with the dead body being dressed as an old time sailor and left in a wreck on the bottom of Lake Superior, and the disappearance of his supposed lover. Mix in some mischief by her fellow park rangers, who are suspects at various points, but guilty of transgressions other than murder. The ending was a su ...more
This was the first Nevada Barr mystery I read. I think I've read them all now. It is well written, full of surprising twists and gripping- just what you want in a mystery. I am JEALOUS that Ms. Barr gets to travel around living in our wonderful national parks and making up great stories about them. Fortunately she is very good at it.
Anna Pigeon is back for another season. This time she is serving as a ranger for Isle Royale National Park, an island in Lake Superior off the coast of Michigan which is known for its sunken ships and great deep fresh water diving. This second book is packed with even more colorful characters than the first book - the whimsical Coggins-Clarke duo, the oddly well-coiffed Patience and her tweenaged daughter Carrie Ann, twins Holly and Hawk with a big secret and their diving company partner Denny C ...more
Sarah Sammis
A Superior Death by Nevada Barr is the second in her Anna Pigeon series. Anna has transferred reluctantly from Texas to Lake Superior where it is too cold and too wet for her tastes but she's making her best effort to make a new life for herself as a ranger here along the "frigid waters." Just as she's still learning the different cliques in and around the islands that make up the park, one of the locals is found buried in a historical captain's uniform in a 1927 wreck at the bottom of the lake. ...more
I can only read these when I will not empathize to strongly with Anna's pensive and periodically doleful outlook on life as she mourns her husband. I enjoy the procedural process of the mystery and prefer Anna's redeeming moments of personal contentment as she finds new attachments. This makes Anna very believable with her cycling moods. The villains are never to clever nor utterly evil giving these stories a good balance between the risks Anna runs and the benefit she gains from pursuing the mu ...more
Transferring to a ranger position at Isle Royale National Park in Michigan, Anna Pigeon misses the Texas sun and heat of her former park. She cringes at the damp, penetrating cold that accompanies the foggy, gray days on Lake Superior. She swaps her horse for a boat but continues to be surrounded by dead bodies in her second mystery. The strange corpse she encounters on her new job is that of a well-known diver. She finds it in the engine room of a ship that sank at the turn of the century with ...more
My favorite Anna Pigeon novel so far. This is the 2nd in the series and the third book of Nevada Barr's that I have read.

I found it interesting because I have never been to Lake Superior. Apparently, there is a National Park on an island and you can visit and go boating and diving and camping and fishing. Sounds like fun - I'm in! Well, except for diving. I know nothing of that so that was also a good point about the book - there were old shipwrecks buried in the lake.

Easy to read, plot moved fo
The author does a nice job of showing how quickly (and correctly!) Anna Pigeon can size a person up. For example, she knows that the slighly kooky couple of seasonal volunteers are harmless romantics whereas the cultural artifacts guy is a real lemon: "No, she decided, he wasn't trying intentionally to provoke her. He was just naturally irritating. At his age--somewhere in the neighborhood of forty--he probably knew he rubbed people the wrong way. Anna suspected he'd never figured out why and so ...more
Shawnee Bowlin
A Superior Death was my first Anna Pigeon read. I was not immediately hooked and had to force myself to keep reading. While a decent story, I found too many in-depth and boring details. I kept at it and discovered the overall story was worth a first read.
However, I would recommend A Superior Death to readers who just want a fill-in while they await their next good book. It's a pass-the-time book.
Diving is not one of my passions, which may explain part of the ho-hum attitude. I was mildly interes
Lissa Notreallywolf
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I was surprised because I always thought that Anna Pigeon was a park ranger in West Texas--which she was in the first one. In this the second Anna Pigeon book she is a ranger on Lake Superior! Quite a switch. The story was interesting enough. Light reading
This was my first introduction to Nevada Barr...A strange mystery with lots of twists and turns. Especially fun to read if you have ever experienced Lake Superior for yourself.
I didn't realize this Anna Pigeon novel was so close to the start of the series when I read it! I have read a number over the years but usually not too close together nor in order. So I have some difficulties following the overall personal dramas in her life. However, the mysteries and settings always draw me in! This one centers around diving in the freezing waters of Lake Superior. While I had more trouble connecting with the desire for that particular outdoor experience than those in many of ...more
Mikki Cober
Nevada Barr takes our heroine, park ranger Anna Pigeon, from the heat of the desert to the cold, dark depths of Lake Superior.

I personally don't like dark water, and while reading the scuba diving portions of this novel, the creepiness of this lake really got to me. I felt every moment of the terrible pressure of that dark water and the fear of being stranded under the lake.

As usual, Ms. Barr writes one heck of a great story with believable characters and a strong plot that takes the reader alo
Jenny Evans
I liked this one quite a bit. I've read several Anna Pigeon stories and I like the outdoor settings taking place in national parks. I thought this one was one of her better ones. I always learn something in Nevada Barr books. The only problems I had with this one was near the end--there was quite a coincidence as a plot point, but I guess it could have happened. There was also a death of an antagonist that seemed a little over the top. It made me think she had a loose end to tie up so she killed ...more
Bryan Higgs
On the recommendation of a librarian friend, I read the first in this series, and found it OK, albeit rather slow starting. This book, the second in the series, was rather better, and it encourages me to continue on with the series. The author has a talent for describing the surroundings and atmosphere of a National Park and its staff. In this particular book, she very effectively conveys what a deep dive down to an old shipwreck in Lake Superior might feel like - - something I never plan to ver ...more
Good mystery. Being from Minnesota I loved the descriptions of the north...
I've read a lot of Nevada Barr. She is one of my go-to airport authors. (Reliable, but pulpy, read. Easy to find. Can be bought in an airport and read on the plane.)

I read one of her most recent books just before Christmas, and i found it to be ... hard. It was a bit more intense than i was ready for. (Dealt with child pornography, which is just hard to read about. It was a compelling story, though.) Don't know if she has been moving in that direction generally. This one was older though, and h
Book Concierge
Anna Pigeon returns for her second mystery. This time she has left the southwest and is now assigned to Isle Royale National Park, in Lake Superior, just north of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It’s remote and a very different environment from what she was used to, and she’s having some trouble adjusting. She continues to rely on frequent phone calls to her sister, Molly, in New York, and to the numbing effects of a bottle of wine. When a body is found floating within a wreck on the lake bottom, An ...more
Linda Day
I am a Nevada Barr fan, so my reviews are probably tainted. But, "A Superior Death" served a dual purpose for me, a Michigander, in learning so much about the UP (Upper Peninsula) part of my State.

This mystery, starring one of my favorite sleuths, Anna Pigeon, takes place in the Nat'l Park known as Lake Superior. Barr once again shows that a mystery can be written w/o the "f" word appearing in every sentence, w/o vivid sex and violence, but simply with GREAT suspense and by revealing layers of c
Bruce Snell
Book Two in the Anna Pidgeon series by Nevada Barr - 3.5 stars. Since book 1 Anna has been reassigned to Lake Michigan where she continues to work as a law enforcement Park Ranger. A body is found under 200 feet of water in a submerged wreck, and he appears to have been murdered. Anna investigates (mostly in her spare time) and eventually determines who committed the murder - and along the way, she uncovers a case of child molestation, a case of blackmail, some smuggling, and two attempts to mur ...more
In Nevada Barr's A Superior Death, National Park Ranger Anna Pidgeon has moved from the punishing heat of West Texas (Track of the Cat,) to the pristine and icy wilderness of Michigan's Isle Royale National Park - ISRO to those in the know. When two scuba-diving tourists discover the body of local diver Denny Castle submerged in the wreck of the Kamloops 195 feet below the surface Lake Superior, Anna must riddle out the mystery of his death - a tragic accident, or vicious murder?

After reading A
"Park ranger Anna Pigeon returns, in a mystery that unfolds in and around Lake Superior, in whose chilling depths sunken treasure comes with a deadly price. In her latest mystery, Nevada Barr sends Ranger Pigeon to a new post amid the cold, deserted, and isolated beauty of Isle Royale National Park, a remote island off the coast of Michigan known for fantastic deep-water dives of wrecked sailing vessels. Leaving behind memories of the Texas high desert and the environmental scam she helped uncov ...more
The 2nd installment in the Anna Pigeon series. I usually like these pretty well - they're a nice light thriller to read between all the science books I've been going through, and the national park aspect is fun in the summer. This book in particular was on my hold shelf for months, and I was really hoping it was worth the wait. And at first it was - the mystery was intriguing, there was some scuba diving talk (I know Anna was terrified of diving but this made me want to go even more! She's looki ...more
Jennifer Entwistle
This review will contain spoilers.

I picked up this book because it was on a list of books about diving. Unfortunately for me, there were only two diving scenes. The only part I really enjoyed of this book, were the last 50 pages as everything came together, which is a shame, because the premise of a good book was really there.

This woman's writing made me crazy. It's one thing to use a couple of 50 cent words but I found the whole book to be pretentious to say the least. It's like she used a the
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Nevada Barr is a mystery fiction author, known for her "Anna Pigeon" series of mysteries, set in National Parks in the United States. Barr has won an Agatha Award for best first novel for Track of the Cat.

Barr was named after the state of her birth. She grew up in Johnstonville, California. She finished college at the University of California, Irvine. Originally, Barr started to pursue a career in
More about Nevada Barr...

Other Books in the Series

Anna Pigeon (1 - 10 of 19 books)
  • Track of the Cat (Anna Pigeon, #1)
  • Ill Wind (Anna Pigeon, #3)
  • Firestorm (Anna Pigeon, #4)
  • Endangered Species (Anna Pigeon, #5)
  • Blind Descent (Anna Pigeon, #6)
  • Liberty Falling (Anna Pigeon, #7)
  • Deep South (Anna Pigeon, #8)
  • Blood Lure (Anna Pigeon, #9)
  • Hunting Season (Anna Pigeon, #10)
  • Flashback (Anna Pigeon, #11)

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