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A Superior Death (Anna Pigeon #2)

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  7,024 Ratings  ·  428 Reviews
Nevada Barr quickly attracted the attention of mystery fans when her first Anna Pigeon mystery, Track of the Cat, appeared. Now she immerses the intrepid park ranger in a perilous search that will take her far below the waters of Lake Superior. As Anna spends her days patrolling its shores, the surface of Lake Superior fills with tourists. In the depths below lie an ancien ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published September 2nd 2003 by Penguin Group (USA) (first published 1994)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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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
...more
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 chara
...more
Kathleen
Mar 06, 2013 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
...more
 Olivermagnus
This book is the second in the long running Anna Pigeon series and is set on and around Lake Superior. The main character, Anna Pigeon, is a park ranger who has recently transferred from Big Bend National Park in Texas to the summer chill of Isle Royale National Park on Lake Superior. Due to terrible storms, Lake Superior has claimed many ships including the Edmund Fitzgerald, famously memorialized in a Gordon Lightfoot song, and the Kamloops, which sunk in 1927 and is the focus of this book. In ...more
Nancy
May 09, 2011 Nancy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jane Stewart
OK as a mystery. Fabulous audiobook narrator. Bad recording equipment.

I BOUGHT THIS BECAUSE OF THE AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
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.

THE RECORDING EQUIPMENT WAS POOR QUALITY. YOU COULD HEAR THE NARRATOR’S BREATHING AND SWALLOWING. This was recorded in 1
...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
Skip
Sep 22, 2013 Skip rated it liked it
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
Liza
May 22, 2012 Liza rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Karmologyclinic
I was going to give it one more star or even a 3 as a lukewarm light mystery novel that you read for passing time and relaxation. But then it started tackling things like violent death, incest, pedophilia, domestic abuse (all different stories, mind you, happening in a small village), using a nonchalant attitude of "hey, this happens, we drink some wine in pajamas and forget about it". I was not annoyed by the difficult themes (I read Val McDermid and love her) but by the indifference and casual ...more
Sarah Sammis
Mar 10, 2008 Sarah Sammis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Kristi
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
chris
Sep 08, 2009 chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Karen
Oct 25, 2014 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nicole
Nov 25, 2008 Nicole rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sara Cat
Sep 14, 2016 Sara Cat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Sara
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
...more
Caralyn
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
Alice
Mar 07, 2012 Alice rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Stacy
Nov 01, 2015 Stacy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this much more than the first book. Anna seems nicer, more human. And the mystery is a good one, twisty and dark.
Jimmy
The very first Nevada Barr book that I read. I was hooked.
Geri
Feb 17, 2016 Geri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sarah
Jan 03, 2013 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Laurene
Sep 04, 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!
Dana
Jun 08, 2013 Dana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good mystery. Being from Minnesota I loved the descriptions of the north...
Jeff
Feb 16, 2016 Jeff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
this was a great book to read while spending 9 days hiking on Isle Royal
Mary
Aug 23, 2016 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love these books by Nevada Barr
Amy Bradley
Mar 26, 2017 Amy Bradley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Content Warning: pedophile, organization covering for pedophile, incest (not pedophile), near death diving experience, death while diving

(Not a major part of the story, but still in there)


Anna Pigeon has moved north, to a national park on Lake Superior. Christina and her daughter Ally have moved as well, living on the mainland where Christina is a part time clerk, while Anna patrols the waterways and islands of the park.

The death of an independent dive tour operator soon after his wedding found
...more
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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
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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