Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Track of the Cat (Anna Pigeon, #1)” as Want to Read:
Track of the Cat (Anna Pigeon, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Track of the Cat (Anna Pigeon #1)

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  12,034 Ratings  ·  720 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
Published May 1st 1994 by Turtleback Books (first published 1993)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Track of the Cat, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Sameera77 Nevada Barr is not a pseudonym. Nevada is the writer's real first name, while Barr is her real maiden name.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Feb 08, 2009 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jan 08, 2011 chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anna-pigeon
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 Vegan
Aug 13, 2007 Lisa Vegan rated it it was amazing  ·  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
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.
Lisa Kay
McKittrick Canyon - Pratt Cabin and Grotto Trail

(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 series, bu
Jan 20, 2016 Jacqueline rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
The first Anna Pigeon novel. I read this to get more background on the ranger who tackles environmental issues at the risk of life and limb. In this novel, she is on the lion's side and she's working at Guadalupe in Texas. She is irreligious from the first sentence of the novel - "There hadn't been a god for many years" - and I had noticed this in the one other novel of Nevada Barr's I had read - Hard Truth.

There's a little bit about her personal life in here but she's a hard person to get to kn
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Nov 24, 2010 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it it was ok  ·  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
Sep 24, 2015 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-suspense
Track Of The Cat was a first read by Author Nevada Barr & i must say what a wonderful storyline & easy read for me i really enjoyed this book & the setting in Guadeloupe National Park Anna Pigeon wants a new start moving from New York after losing her husband she becomes a park ranger set in Texas the story starts when a park ranger is found murdered in a crevice the marks on her body say its a mountain lion but Anna says its not possible as she thinks it was murder so she sets out l ...more
I was about 30% through & just couldn't take it any more. I wasn't thrilled with the narrator when she was narrating, but liked her character voices. The story was just terribly slow, though. Lots of feelings & hints at the past - disingenuous rather than mysterious. I just wasn't really getting into it even though she did pretty good with the horses at first. She blew that too, though. As if a cracked hoof magically heals in a week. I wish. And she didn't break the scat up, either. Just ...more
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
Kelly ...
I wanted this to be a 5 star read because I was so interested in the concept. I love our National Parks and for many summers my husband was a seasonal ranger, so the idea of solving mysteries in the parks is compelling to me. Unfortunately the book didn't quite stand up to my preconceived idea of what it would be. Part of this is due to the protagonist herself. I didn't like Anna Pigeon very much. I found that she makes many stupid decisions which then place her life in danger. It felt contrived ...more
Aug 27, 2012 Anita rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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
Jun 13, 2016 Yackie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club-reads
*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
This series has a strong start. Barr utilizes carefully terse prose that still paints an evocative picture of the beauty of West Texas and then follows it with several paragraphs detailing mysterious animal scat in all its glory. We meet Anna Pigeon, who has left what seems to be a relatively lucrative life in New York City to become a law enforcement ranger at Guadalupe Mountains National Park. She seems to enjoy creating a running commentary to the wildlife during her patrols.
A tarantula the s
Jul 05, 2012 C rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 06, 2013 Katie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Elizabeth Theiss
Apr 23, 2014 Elizabeth Theiss rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 06, 2016 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
#1 in the Anna Pigeon series. "1993 Agatha Award for Best First Novel; 1994 Anthony Award for Best First Novel; Finalist 1994 Macavity Award for Best First Novel" Great start for a great series.

Ranger Anna Pigeon mystery - fellow ranger is killed in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, apparently the victim of a mountain lion attack.

Jan 09, 2016 Judy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some years ago my husband and I made a trip to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park in January. We thought it would be cool to see those mighty trees in the snow. It was but the snow was about 6 feet deep, it was cold, and the road into Kings Canyon was closed for the winter. We've always planned to go back in a milder season but have not done so yet.

In the gift shop of the visitor's center, I learned about Nevada Barr, who has written 18 mysteries set in United States National Parks, all fea
First in the Anna Pigeon series. This was all it took to get me hooked on Anna Pigeon!
Jun 18, 2016 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh the horror! I feel I must confess that I judged this book by it's cover! I didn't care for the cover at all, and read the book thinking it was probably a lightweight piece of cheesy fluff. I was wrong. The main character, Anna Pigeon, is a very interesting and likeable woman. She talks to animals....a lizard sunning on a rock that runs out of sight is told that she will be moving on soon and he can resume his sunbathing. (This speaks to me as I will even talk to a ladybug I find while gardeni ...more
Jan 31, 2016 Beverly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was actually a reread for me. This was the first Anna Pigeon novel I had ever read. We're going to be discussing it in my Mystery Book Club this week. It's amazing to me how you can read a book and remember next to nothing about it, so I was glad to reread it. It certainly reconfirmed why I have continued reading the series, I think that Anna is a great character. She is certainly flawed and many times she questions herself but she knows her job and she has her own moral code that never dev ...more
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
Barbara Mitchell
I've been reading the Anna Pigeon series forever it seems, but in no particular order. Then I picked up a paperback copy of one I hadn't read at a book sale and just realized it was the very first Anna Pigeon mystery. I can't believe I had never read it before.

In Track of the Cat Anna is a fairly new National Park Ranger stationed at Guadalupe Mountains National Park in West Texas. She had become a ranger after her husband died in an accident in New York. Being far from that city and living in a
Dec 26, 2010 Shelley rated it really liked it
Synopsis: Anna Pigeon fled the turmoil of New York, and left her past behind which included dealing with her husband being killed. She decides instead, to become a national park ranger; law enforcement. She soon discovers that she hasn't escaped murder and violence. When a colleague, Sheila Drury, is killed, claw marks on the victim's throat and paw prints around the body are too perfect to be those of an alleged killer mountain lion.

The disappearance of another ranger and the frightening realit
Breanna Green
Sep 21, 2015 Breanna Green rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Admittedly it took a little while for the character to develop to a point where I cared about her and the story, but as soon as it did...boy did it! Read this book in two evenings and it kept me guessing and second guessing until the end, which was certainly not what I had been expecting! But it was an end that I enjoyed far more than if it had gone the 'usual' way. Would recommend to anyone with of a love of the outdoors, crime and 'true' justice. The wild has a way of collecting its dues...
Jun 14, 2016 Judy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sometime in the past I read one of Barr's books featuring Anna Pigeon. I don't remember the name, but remembering that I enjoyed it. So I decided to start with the first and read a few. Barr writes an interesting mystery with touches of humor. Readers become familiar with Anna and her sister and other facts about her life, which bring her to life. The audio is done by Barbara Rosenblat, who is an excellent performer--one of the best I've encountered. The fact that Barr won an Edgar Award for thi ...more
Jun 11, 2015 Kathy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Living in a national park has never been a fantasy of mine but I thought I could read about it and pretend hers was mine. It might have worked for me had anyone in the story been even remotely happy. Everyone seemed trapped, depressed and sour on life.

Add to that quite a few people get killed, our heroine goes through lots of injuries not to mention creepy crawlies in the desert. I wasn't particularly surprised by the ending as much as disengaged.

Still I was compelled enough to finish it and wi
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
What Do You Think Of Barr? 10 49 Jul 14, 2014 09:39AM  
What does a "good book" mean to you? 15 63 Oct 11, 2013 07:14AM  
  • Dead In The Water (Kate Shugak, #3)
  • Murder on the Iditarod Trail (Alex Jensen / Jessie Arnold, #1)
  • Desert Heat (Joanna Brady, #1)
  • Listening Woman (Leaphorn & Chee, #3)
  • Edwin of the Iron Shoes
  • The Eagle Catcher (Wind River Reservation, #1)
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)
  • A Superior Death (Anna Pigeon, #2)
  • 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)

Share This Book

“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.” 5 likes
“Now, finally, the earth was hers with no taint of Heaven.” 0 likes
More quotes…