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Track of the Cat (Anna Pigeon, #1)
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Track of the Cat (Anna Pigeon #1)

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  9,315 ratings  ·  546 reviews
Anna Pigeon has fled New York and her memories to find work as a ranger in the country’s national parks. In the remote backcountry of West Texas, however, she discovers murder and violence. Fellow park ranger Sheila Drury is mysteriously killed, presumably by a mountain lion. But the deep claw marks Anna finds across Drury’s throat and the paw prints surrounding the body a ...more
Hardcover
Published May 1st 1994 by Turtleback Books (first published 1993)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Lisa Vegan
Aug 13, 2007 Lisa Vegan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery buffs, anyone interested in nature/National Parks
I’ve read most of the Nevada Barr mystery series books. The protagonist is a National Park Ranger and each book takes place in (mostly) different national parks. I’ve learned a lot about various national parks and the national park system from these books. Although I think Barr’s books actually generally improve with time, I have a very soft spot in my heart for this first book in the series. I absolutely love the “animal rights” message. More depressing atmosphere/depressed character(s) through ...more
Nicole
I really like this concept - each book in the series is a murder mystery set in a different national park, and the protagonist is a park ranger. You learn all sorts of cool things about the park service and about the parks themselves. Definitely a tourism booster - except for the whole death thing, as my mother pointed out: Anna Pigeon, the protagonist, is definitely the Jessica Fletcher of the NPS - wherever she goes, someone dies.

I didn't really care for Pigeon herself, though, and really liki
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Lisa Kay
McKittrick Canyon - Pratt Cabin and Grotto Trail


★★★★½ (This is a review of the audiobook.) I truly enjoyed the start of the Anna Pigeon series! I will definitely be continuing on with the rest of the books, especially when I see that they are narrated by the talented Barbara Rosenblat. I’ve heard her in countless audiobooks; however, in this one, like the Aisling Grey: Guardian series, she sounds completely different. Granted, she doesn’t have the international accents that she has in that serie
...more
Jacqueline
The good stuff: Detailed descriptions of the Guadalupe Mountain Range and its natural environment.

The bad stuff: Too many detailed descriptions of the Guadalupe Mountain Range and its natural environment.

The really bad stuff: Repulsive descriptions of vultures picking through the victim's entrails as seen by an emotionally vacant character. In other words, she seems to enjoy describing the gruesome scene in lurid detail but voices no empathy toward the victim.

The deal-breaker: The main character
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Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
I love all of the Anna Pigeon mysteries because they take place in the national parks. She and her relatives/co-workers/friends are all fun to follow through the series. Nevada Barr has a gift for coming up with wacky characters with bizarre backgrounds. Good thing these aren't really the kind of people we have prowling our parks on a regular basis. :>)

I also really enjoy this series because I get to learn about national parks I've never visited, and probably never will.
Rachel
Anna Pigeon has left her New York City life and memories for the remote life of a park ranger in the Guadalupe Mountains in West Texas. However, even the beautiful scenery of West Texas can hold violence. When a fellow ranger dies by a “mountain lion,” Anna is drawn in by a scene that is just not right. Anna’s investigations lead her to explore the lives and relationships of the other rangers around her that she had previously known only as colleagues. Her desire to keep the blame from the mount ...more
chris
The texture, scents and sounds of the West Texas wilderness permeate this forceful debut, in which the murder of a National Park Service ranger illuminates the conflicts between those who want to place our country's open spaces and wildlife under government protection and those who want to profit from them. Anna Pigeon has fled New York City after the accidental death of her husband, and she now works as a law enforcement ranger at Guadaloupe Mountains National Park. There she finds the remains ...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Nov 24, 2010 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those Who Care More About Animals Than People; Sierra Club Members
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Ultimate Reading List
From the start something irked me about the lead character, Anna Pigeon, park ranger. I think it was the hints from the beginning of a disconnect between her and people, her yearning to be solitary. This is the first in a series featuring her, so I think wanting to spend time with the character, either because she's fascinatingly complex or quirky or likable is important. The author was deft and seemingly knowledgeable about the milleu she was writing about, the West Texas wilderness. I've read ...more
Anita
This is the first of the Anna Pigeon novels, a National Parks ranger and sleuth. We don't learn the whole story of why she leaves the city to become a ranger in the first book, but perhaps will learn more in follow-up novels. I didn't empathize with Anna as a character, but Anna wouldn't have cared - she is a smart, strong woman who lives life her own way. In the spirit of "bromance" tales, Anna befriends Christina, another National Parks employee, whom she crushes on. No one is more surprised b ...more
Skip
Anna Pigeon, a law enforcement ranger at Guadaloupe Mountains National Park in West Texas, finds a colleague supposedly mauled to death by a mountain lion. Anna is leary and begins an investigation that nearly ends in her death by looking into the death despite opposition from her bosses. Suspicion falls on everyone from the murdered ranger's lover, someone oppposed to the dead ranger's efforts to open the park to the public and a powerful rancher opposition to Park Service policies. Decent whod ...more
C
Really enjoyed this as great summer escape reading (especially in high summer temperatures, as you can better sympathize with the baking dry heat in the book!).

I can add Nevada Barr to my list of go-to authors I enjoy.

Anna Pigeon is still struggling with the grief of her husband's death, but she's scrappy and survival savvy. This book (the first in the series) is much less gritty than the prequal, The Rope.

There's a discrepancy between this and the prequel on her husband's death. He dies the sa
...more
Yackie
*Caution some spoilers*

This book was torture to read. The only reason I didn't drop it in the first chapter was because it's a book club read. From the start, I wasn't a fan of the main character Anna. She finds the body of her coworker and it has been picked on by vultures. As one vulture gets closer to the body she thinks of a cartoon of vultures around a kill with one saying: "Ooooooweeeeee! This thing's been here a looooooooong time. Well, thank God for ketchup." Sorry, but that's not my ide
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Elizabeth Theiss
What's not to love about a mystery whose main protagonist is a National Park Service ranger who loves hiking and Tecate beer? Feeling a little sorry for myself while recovering from the flu, I curled up with Anna Pigeon for company and inhaled this lovely little Bob Bon of a book. Who killed Anna's fellow ranger and left her in a canyon to be devoured by buzzards and why? As Anna eliminates suspects, the perp begins eliminating possible witnesses. Lovely plot twists, interesting cast of characte ...more
Babette
I have recently completed this book, the first in Nevada Barr's Anna Pigeon series - Track of the Cat. I enjoyed it and plan to read the next installment. The most enjoyable element of the book for me was the character of Anna - who struggles with finding her own inner peace. I found myself underscoring lines in the book- surprised to find these ideas articulated in a mystery.
I became more curious about Nevada Barr herself and searched for her website. She has worked as a Park Ranger, but that i
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Katie
I really did not like this book. Mostly, it was because of the main character, Anna Pidgeon. I think she is supposed to come off as tough, and caring about the environment. Instead, to me, she comes across as heartless, dumb, mean, reckless, and ignorant. I don't think women who use people or who belittle others as "strong." Strength does not mean being a jerk - it means being committed to your values even in the face of great difficulty. I don't know what values Anna Pigeon holds other than "ne ...more
Caralyn
Granted, the title and book cover are a little bit over the top, but I picked it up in the spirit of broadening my reading horizons. I'm glad I did. The character that Ms. Barr establishes in this book (the first in a long-running series) is intriguing in her strength, her sadness, and her dedication to wildlife. I especially liked the scene with Anna Pigeon and a burly male park ranger as they tended to orphaned mountain lions that he named after her:
"Annabelle and Annalee skirmished for their
...more
Tina Cipolla
I don't typically read mysteries. What interested me about the Anna Pidgeon series (of which Track of the Cat is the first book) is that Anna is a park ranger and in each book she is working in a different national park. I really like the premise. This book was interesting but not great. There were so few clues leading up to the end that it almost seemed as if the end had come out of nowhere--it was absolutely NOT an a-ha moment where a billion pieces of the story came together at once and every ...more
Fred
overall, it was nice. my issue is that in a "whodunnit" the chief investigator should eventually think about "means, motive and opportunity." the author placed clues/discrepancies right there in the open, for the sake of wrapping it up at the end, but the main character didn't seem particularly taken with clues, just sat around agonizing about how maybe a friend could be involved.

there was an element of one the three classic blunders: looks for the killer throughout the whole book then in the la
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Liz
My friend Sophia sent me this book, along with a bunch of others she had to part with when moving to a smaller place. When I read the book jacket, I instantly thought of Tony Hillerman, one of my favorite mystery writers. This is a good, literary mystery set in the southwest U.S. (a national park in West Texas). The writing is lovely and is in fact reminiscent of Hillerman. Like him, Nevada Barr is adept at describing the southwest landscape. The story line is good too; it's a good mystery. I re ...more
Glenda
I picked up this slim volume, first of the Anna Pidgeon novels, from the library shelf after reading the prequel (The Rope). Both the character development and the action kept me involved in the story. I think that Anna's telephone conversations with her psychologist sister who is in Manhattan, far away from the action in Texas, are artful -- inserting entertaining dialogue amid the extended descriptions of the land and the methodical uncovering of clues.

The perpetrator is diabolically creative,
...more
Emily Crow
Track of the Cat is the first of a mystery series set in national parks and featuring law enforcement ranger Anna Pigeon. When a fellow ranger is found dead, apparently mauled by a cougar, she takes the investigation into her own hands, feeling that the cat has been framed.

The setting was superb, describing the Texas landscape so well that I could picture it perfectly. The story itself was pretty good, although a little far-fetched. Unfortunately, I just didn't care for the protagonist that much
...more
Mdh
While I was working on my MA in history, I spent two glorious summers at a provincial park. I spent my time creating and delivering historical and ecological programs, and hanging out in nature.

I saw a lot of those summers reflected in this book. The patrol horses. The relationships between seasonal employees and full timers. Visitors totally unprepared to face the heat. The protective sense you get for a space that doesn’t belong to you, but becomes incredibly familiar and important. A communit
...more
Sharon
I would have given this book five stars, but I thought the ending was simply too abrupt. Without knowing what Anna does the next day, we really can't know Anna's ultimate value system. (This may sound cryptic, but I don't want to spoil the ending.) With that caveat, this is a wonderful book. Anna Pigeon is an interesting character, a strong woman who has experienced loss in her past but is doing more than simply coping with it. The author surrounds her with characters that we all can recognize. ...more
Sonia
As a former Forest Service employee I thought this might be fun. And it was. I've known "tough broads" like Anna Pigeon and the federal agency lingo and customs were fun to read about. The book gets off to a good start and has an exciting ending. The middle is the problem (so many books seem to sag in the middle) because it seems to bog down in romances which don't have any bearings on the story. Trying to throw us off the scent I guess. Anna is a bit abrasive at times but I like that she has a ...more
Krista
I read this book not long after returning from a visit to Mesa Verde National Park. The word pictures painted in the book closely matched my memories. It was fun to return to those amazing places.

I like the Anna Pigeon mysteries because they are set in National Parks. They allow me to learn about some remote parks that I might never get a chance to visit.

Plus the mysteries are pretty fun to figure out too!
HBalikov
Somebody told me that this was an interesting mix of mystery and National Park scenery. Anna Pigeon, a prickly pear of a Park Ranger, discovers a dead fellow Ranger in the West Texas badlands. Is it suicide, misadventure or a mountain lion that was the cause?

As the investigation proceeds there is a growing sense that Anna is happiest when introspection is avoided. A widow, with a current lover, her sister sees her as having not made herself available for friendship since the death of her husband
...more
Gloria
Welcome to the first book in the Anna Pigeon Mysteries series. Readers who enjoy this series will learn a great deal about the National Park system and the careers of rangers. Each book finds Anna Pigeon working at a different locale. The author is also a ranger so the parks are described in beautiful detail as well as the lifestyle of the staff who work onsite. The mystery includes a murder, of course, along with a cast of possible villains. Nevada Barr does a fantastic job of creating interest ...more
Christine
The best part of an Anna Pigeon mystery is its location. All her novels are set in national parks. This one is set in the Guadalupe Mountains in West Texas. The mystery is a little weak but Anna Pigeon is an interesting character. It was good to go back to see where it had all began.
Melissa Zawrotny
I recently discovered this series of books featuring Anna Pigeon, a NPS ranger and each book takes place in a different National Park. I first read "High Country" out of order and then realized there was a whole series. This book, so far of the 4 total I have read, is my favorite. I am always interested to notice whether my own guess of "whodunit" comes early or late in the read. The later my guess comes, the better I like the book as it keeps me seeking. In this book, I didn't get to "whodunit" ...more
Stacielynn
I lucked upon a bunch of early Anna Pigeon books in my favorite used book store and started the series from scratch. Pretty good start. Enjoyed the author's loving descriptions of the Southwest and the inside scoop on the National Park Service. These are interesting characters and the story is written with an expectation that the reader is intelligent, which I appreciate.

Some of the transitions are awkward and occasionally I thought people's reactions were hard to believe. But in general, it was
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What Do You Think Of Barr? 10 39 Jul 14, 2014 09:39AM  
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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...
Blind Descent (Anna Pigeon, #6) A Superior Death (Anna Pigeon, #2) Ill Wind (Anna Pigeon, #3) Firestorm (Anna Pigeon, #4) Flashback (Anna Pigeon, #11)

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“From long experience she knew that she wore her loneliness like armor. Very few people ever recognized it for what it was. To the casual observer it looked very much like arrogance. Sometimes it was.” 4 likes
“Now, finally, the earth was hers with no taint of Heaven.” 0 likes
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