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Winter Study (Anna Pigeon #14)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  6,098 Ratings  ·  685 Reviews
Soon after Anna Pigeon joins the famed wolf study team of Isle Royale National Park in the middle of Lake Superior, the wolf packs begin to behave in peculiar ways. Giant wolf prints are found, and Anna spies the form of a great wolf from a surveillance plane. When a female member of the team is savaged, Anna is convinced they are being stalked, and what was once a beautif ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated (first published 2008)
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Sep 15, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, 2010-reads
When you see the #14 after the title, you know you're wondering the same thing I was:
After 13+ books about the intrepid and caustic park ranger Anna Pigeon, can Nevada Barr still manage to entertain fans of the series?


Barr delivers a real nail-biter in this installment, as newlywed Anna travels to Isle Royale National Park, located on the upper reaches of Lake Superior, to study the habits and the predator/prey relationship of wolves and moose. Isle Royale had been the setting for another
Dec 30, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I used to really like Nevada Barr's books, but the series is getting old after 14 books. On the plus side, each of the books takes place in a different national park (although this book returns to a park, but in a different time of the year)all across the United States. Also on the plus side, it's refreshing to have a book about a very complex, conflicted woman in her 40s. But given that, I'm a little tired of the gritty, in your face violence of this series. Maybe it's because the books seem to ...more
Dec 17, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-us, police
I like Nevada Barr's Anna Pigeon mystery series very much. Anna is a US Park Ranger who finds herself assigned to work in the varied National Parks in the US each book. Each book lets you have a view of new areas of the US and at the same time people the stories with interesting characters and thrilling mysteries. In Winter Study, for the first time in the series, Anna returns to a park she's worked at before. This is Isle Royale National Park, an island park located in Lake Superior near Michig ...more
Katie M.
Aug 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery fans, wolf lovers, nature lovers
Recommended to Katie by: my mother
Shelves: mystery
From the moment the deformed and dying moose staggers in on page 9, Winter Study builds an atmosphere of dread. Something's rotten on Isle Royale National Park in the dead of winter, and it's not just the weather. Is there something supernatural on the island? Why are the wolves behaving so strangely? What secrets are the researchers on the island and their visitors keeping? How many near-death situations can Ranger Anna Pigeon get into? The book taught me about living in the backcountry in the ...more
Jane Kirkpatrick
Suspense in the snow!

This is one of her best books. Fascinating science, great characters, and up-late-reading-suspense. Now I can get back to work.
First, the pros. This is an absorbing mystery/thriller. I kept turning the pages, eager to find out what was going to be dunn and whodunnit. The author conveyed well the cold, frozen isolation of Isle Royale National Park, an island in Lake Superior north of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, and made me want to go there (maybe in summer, though). There's plenty of action, as well as repeated near-death experiences for the crimesolving protagonist, park ranger Anna Pigeon.

The cons: much of the writing
Nelson Pahl
Dec 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While I've only read three Nevada Barr books to date, I found Winter Study to be another strong effort on her part. Great imagery, savory villains, and a plausible outcome. Definitely recommend to any nature-loving mystery enthusiast.
Feb 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: barr-nevada
Intense, very intense. For me this is the most intense and suspenseful of Anna's adventures to date. A part of it almost went on too long. Actually, it did go on too long for my comfort, although not for the plot.
Jul 17, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have really enjoyed most Nevada Barr books because they are interesting mysteries set in national parks with a strong female heroine. They aren't books that require deep thought, but are good entertainment. This book and her previous one, which I can't at the moment think of the title for, have been much darker than her previous books. This one had too much blood for me. Other books have a small description of the crime, but then focus mostly on the solving of it. This book seemed to keep goin ...more
Nevada Barr drags this one out a little too long at the end but overall its one of her best ones. Anna as usual is very battered at the end.
Apr 12, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
My rating is really 3.5, but when you round that . . . So, why not a solid 4? Well, despite much that is wonderful about this book, there were some disappointments. Major strengths are Barr's amazing powers of description, especially when those involve natural settings and the animals that inhabit them (including their less than charming behaviors), and her characterization. The mystery itself was a bit of a disappointment.

First of all, Nevada Barr apparently hasn't met a National Park she doesn
Anne Hawn Smith
This rating is actually 2-1/2 stars. I was very disappointed in this book. I found it to be more thriller than a good mystery and there was too much violence and disgusting sexual content. I hesitate to say that because there will be those who say that anyone who objects to such content is prudish, but this seems to be a substitute for a well drawn mystery that proceeds from character traits of the perpetrator.

Anna Pigeon has come to Isle Royale in Lake Superior to learn about managing and unde
Lisa Vegan
Oct 23, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery book fans who would enjoy stories taking place in U.S. National Parks
I just love Nevada Barr’s mysteries and I really enjoyed this one, even though there was not enough written about the wolves to satisfy me and there was a tad too much violence for my taste. I knew nothing about the winter wolf study before reading this book.

Reading about Anna Pigeon the park ranger in this mystery series that takes place in various national parks, I always learn so much about the natural world and they always make me want to go visit every U.S. national park.

Although I am extr
May 02, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 04, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Outdoor & mystery fans
Recommended to Diane by: Favorite author; favorite repeating character
I always look forward to a new Anna Pigeon novel. Her never-give-up spirit, her contrariness and tendency to get her back up when the circumstances seem to call for humility and tact touch that part of me that says "wait just a gosh-darned minute" when confronted.

In this new adventure, Anna leaves the South (thank goodness!) and her new home at Rocky Mountain National Park to return to Isle Royale in Lake Superior. The winter study of the title is the fascinating wolves/moose study that celebra
Feb 16, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It has taken me a long time to articulate what bothered me so much about this book. Like other reviews, I was annoyed by the relentless cliff hangers and near-death experiences. Come on, real life can't have such uninterrupted suspense going chapter after chapter. But now onto my big beef with this book. The female author has given a predator male sex offender much too much air time. Sure the heroine prevails in the end. But I reject the need to describe in graphic detail his offenses as well as ...more
Feb 08, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fiction, 2013
It was a bit humourless to start with, which made it feel slow. Maybe the tone was right for the setting and what was going on, but I felt too oppressed by it. There was also a few preachy bits I skipped right over. I'm sure many don't know the depressing facts, and preaching facts à la Law & Order certainly seems to be a trend, but I find it tedious and unreal. The story itself should tell the important side of the facts, and this one does. So why go on and on telling facts in an unrealisti ...more
Aug 22, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
If I don't like a book by one of my favorite authors as much as their previous ones, I always wonder if it's them or if it's me. I like Nevada Barr and have followed the adventures of her protagonist, Anna Pigeon, a middle-aged (it must be said) ranger for the National Park Service. This outing didn't engage me as much. Could be the setting, an island in Lake Superior in the middle of deep winter (it's August, and I hate winter), where Anna goes to observe a wolf study because wolves may be rein ...more
Aug 04, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"Soon after Anna Pigeon joins the famed wolf study team of Isle Royale National Park in the middle of Lake Superior, the wolf packs begin to behave in peculiar ways. Giant wolf prints are found, and Anna spies the form of a great wolf from a surveillance plane. When a female member of the team is savaged, Anna is convinced they are being stalked, and what was once a beautiful, idyllic refuge becomes a place of unnatural occurrences and danger beyond the ordinary ..."
~~back cover

Another ghastly b
Jan 10, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Disappointing - great setting, fascinating details on wolves, (more would have been better) but hardly a redeeming character to be found in the human crew. I think it is past time for Anna Pigeon to retire, before one of these horrible, extended struggles with nature and deranged criminals actually kills her. You have to wonder how much pain and trauma one person can withstand. Especially being newly married with a new life to begin! Please, Ms Barr, let Anna leave the Park Service or at least s ...more
Apr 27, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a fan of Nevada Barr, and given that I am currently living near Lake Superior--although not nearly as far north as the setting of this book--I was thrilled to see this new installment in the series. Barr generally does a nice job of evoking landscape (usually near or in various national parks), but in previous books that has been balanced by attention to her relationship with her sister, her memories, and her struggle to maintain authority, a sense of self, and a connection to the natural wo ...more
Jun 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have enjoyed Nevada Barr's Anna Pigeon series, reading a volume every now and then, sinking into a distinct natural setting in a distinct National Park. Anna is a great heroine, whose wry internal monologues and calm good sense are irresistible. But this book--well.

First, it was set on Isle Royal, in my home state, and in the dead of an icy Michigan winter--a thing I know well. And the plot was flawless, with small, carefully planted clues and an obvious bad guy, plus plenty of twists and turn
Dec 08, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I don't know whether I've changed, or whether the Anna Pigeon series has changed. Maybe I'm just too squeamish, but I didn't enjoy this book. Too graphic. I'm cursed with a weak stomach and a strong imagination and I avoid reading stuff that sticks with me for days, giving me nightmares, or weird daytime thoughts. There's a reason I write children's books and not for adults! In any case, I've read the first twelve Nevada Barr (love that name!) books and enjoyed them. I started number 13 (Hard Co ...more
Kelly ...
This was my first read of an Anna Pigeon book. The idea is intriguing... Crimes set in National Parks. I am certain to read more. And despite the fact that I lived in Michigan for several years I had never heard of this island. This setting was unique and interesting. The harsh winter weather and the potentially dangerous wildlife gave this book an extraordinary backdrop. However, Anna was virtually alone because all of the other characters were unknown to her. Strangers. It meant that there was ...more
Jun 23, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nevada Barr is my favorite mystery writer, so I was thrilled that her new books was out and set in Michigan, my home state. A Superior Death is one of her top novels, in my humble opinion, so I couldn't wait to see what Anna would be doing on Isle Royale this time.

This mystery is good, but disappointing when compared to other Barr books. She tried to make the plot too complicated this time, and had to force everything to fit together at the end. The character of Bob eventually becomes annoying
May 31, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I really love the narrative of the Nevada Barr books. In this one her character Anna Pigeon is taking part in the winter study of the wolves in Isle Royale National Park. Her descriptions of the harsh conditions and cold had me reaching for a sweater and cap. She's one of the more effective writers when it comes to atmosphere, making the natural elements real to the reader.

I would've preferred more about the wolves, but overall this was a good read. I didn't really like some of the characters an
May 01, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This latest mystery series featuring Park Ranger Anne Pigeon, takes place in Isle Royale National Park, where Ann is working on a winter research project studying wolves and moose, which has been going on for 50 years. Barr's description of the bitter cold landscape and biting wind made me shiver. I love Nevada Barr's books because she writes so eloquently about the National Parks. Her fascination and empathy for the wolves and eloquent descriptions of the environment is what made this story com ...more
well it was nice to catch up with anna pigeon again, and i love the escape of reading mysteries. This one would have been perfect to read say, in the winter, with snow blowing outside the window and walter in my lap on the rocking chair and scrawny curled on the rag rug in front of the fire on the hearth. As it was, it was 90 degrees and humid and hard to relate to the dangers of frostbite. And ok, i think this is the third in the series since anna has married the mississippi dude, but they have ...more
#14 in the Anna Pigeon series. Winter Study (2008) takes place immediately after Hard Truth (2005), although the books are separated by three years.

Ranger Anna Pigeon, only weeks after her last adventure, has traveled from Rocky Mountain Park to Isle Royale National Park to observe the winter wolf study. Amidst the semi-annual study of wolf and moose, is the interaction of a Homeland Security agent and his graduate student and the strange plan to shut down the wolf study to secure our northern b
Jan 11, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although Winter Study is number 14 in the Anna Pigeon, park ranger, series by Nevada Barr, it can be read as a stand alone mystery. It is a fast read, full of suspense and extreme trials for the petite feisty heroine who, for this installment, is assigned to assist in a wolf study at Michigan's Isle Royale National Park on Lake Michigan. While it is not my favorite of the series (I can't say why without giving away plot secrets) the setting is compelling enough for me to put Isle Royale on my bu ...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 about Nevada Barr...

Other Books in the Series

Anna Pigeon (1 - 10 of 19 books)
  • Track of the Cat (Anna Pigeon, #1)
  • 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)
“The batteries in his radio died and came back so often they could have had regular roles on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” 1 likes
“One of the reasons humans tended toward insanity was the weight of fear they carried. The blessings of storytelling, the handing down of knowledge and warnings, had a flip side. People carried the collective fears of their history, the biases of those long dead, the paranoias of other ages. Anna flashed” 0 likes
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