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A Superior Death (Anna Pigeon #2)

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  6,630 Ratings  ·  400 Reviews
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 di ...more
Paperback, 310 pages
Published September 2nd 2003 by Berkley (first published 1994)
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A Cold Day in Paradise by Steve HamiltonMiddlesex by Jeffrey EugenidesAbby Cooper, Psychic Eye by Victoria LaurieBetter Read Than Dead by Victoria LaurieA Superior Death by Nevada Barr
Books set in Michigan
5th out of 319 books — 108 voters
Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne FlukeThe No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall SmithMurder at the Vicarage by Agatha ChristieAbby Cooper, Psychic Eye by Victoria LaurieThe Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
Best Cozy Mystery Series
306th out of 1,466 books — 1,528 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Bill  Kerwin
Oct 10, 2016 Bill Kerwin rated it liked it

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
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
Aug 10, 2015 Kathleen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, mystery
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
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.

May 09, 2011 Nancy rated it it was amazing
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
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
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
May 22, 2012 Liza rated it it was amazing
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.
Nadine Jones
For a while they sat without talking. Anna got her daypack and dug out a paperback copy of Ivanhoe. It produced a book’s inevitable effect. In cats it stimulated the urge to sit on the pages. In humans it stimulated conversation.
Yes! so true! And who can resist reading a book with witticisms such as these? and then there's this:
“What if he wasn’t psychotic? What if he just ate her to dispose of the corpse?” “Anna, you’ve been out in the woods too long. If he ate her, for whatever reason, doe
Sara Cat
Sep 17, 2016 Sara Cat rated it really liked it
Shelves: pulp-fiction, mystery
I've found me a mystery series. This time, the national park of Lake Superior is used, and instead of the park's nature providing the murder weapon as in the last one, it provides the most unusual crime scene - a shipwreck at the bottom of the lake, putting a twist on the crime scene investigation. And of course, the creepiest chase scene I think I've read, at depth underwater in the dark.

Anna now misses her desert, but has more James Bond-esque adventures deep sea (lake?) diving. And it makes
Sarah Sammis
Jun 04, 2008 Sarah Sammis rated it it was amazing
Shelves: released
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
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
Jan 08, 2011 chris rated it it was amazing
Shelves: anna-pigeon
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
Jul 05, 2016 Karen rated it liked it
3.5 stars. I didn't feel this book was as good as part one, The Track of the Cat. I didn't realize that Anna would be transferred to different parks and guess I just assumed each book would have the same set of characters....and wildlife! That, however, is not a negative point! While a decent mystery, I felt this book got a bit bogged down with maybe a bit too much information and interaction with fellow park people who didn't seem to have anything to do with the story. There also seemed to be l ...more
Jan 08, 2009 Nicole rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
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
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
Sep 05, 2016 Laurene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Where there is water -- there is diving. The description of the diving was remarkable. I was having a panic attack with Anna Pigeon. Loving this series!
Mar 20, 2012 Alice rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
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
Nov 01, 2015 Stacy rated it really liked it
I liked this much more than the first book. Anna seems nicer, more human. And the mystery is a good one, twisty and dark.
Feb 17, 2016 Geri rated it really liked it
Had a little problem getting into this book.
Quite a few charactors but when it got
moving it was pretty good. I did enjoy it.
Jan 03, 2013 Sarah rated it really liked it
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.
Jan 02, 2016 Jimmy added it
Shelves: fiction, series
The very first Nevada Barr book that I read. I was hooked.
Feb 23, 2016 Jeff rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
this was a great book to read while spending 9 days hiking on Isle Royal
Aug 23, 2016 Mary rated it it was amazing
Love these books by Nevada Barr
Jun 08, 2013 Dana rated it it was amazing
Good mystery. Being from Minnesota I loved the descriptions of the north...
Oct 25, 2016 Sharyl rated it liked it
It was fun not earth shattering.
Oct 15, 2016 Chandra rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries
I like Anna Pigeon, but I don't know... too many red herrings and too many really disturbing alibis. Plus I felt cold the whole time since she was describing the cold! Take me back to the desert!
Oct 10, 2016 Cheri rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio-unabridged
This was vastly "superior" to the 1st book. This is the Anna Pigeon that I was used to in later books (read out of order).
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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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