A Superior Death by Nevada Barr

 

Mystery

A Superior Death A Superior DeathNevada Barr; Avon Books (Mm) 2002WorldCatAnna Pigeon has been given a new assignment in the National Park System. She now works on Isle Royal in Lake Superior. She misses her Texas desert. Fortunately, her friend Christine and Christine’s daughter Allison also moved up there to Houghton to work. When Anna can take time off, she can visit them. Otherwise she has her own solitary post, is out on the lake, or visits some of the other areas with National Park rangers and employees around the Isle. She also has her sister, the psychiatrist, to talk to when she gets real depressed.

Like all communities, the service around Isle Royal has its “personalities” and mysteries. Tinker Coggins-Clark and her younger husband, Damien, are short term employees who are environmentalists. They are certain that Scotty Butkis has killed and eaten his wife, Donna. Patience Bittner is the manager of the local hotel and is a single mother with a rebellious 13-year-old daughter. Jim Tattinger transferred from the Caribbean under mysterious circumstances. Hawk and Holly are the twins who dive together with their partner, Denny Castle. Denny’s bride, Jo, is a botanist who had been trying to get Denny to marry her for 20 years. Unfortunately, about a week after their marriage, Denny’s body is discovered in one of the famous wrecks at the bottom of the lake.

Anna soon finds herself embroiled in the different happenings. Carrie Ann Bittner keeps sneaking off and fighting with her mother. Butkis is posing as a macho man while his wife is missing. The Coggins-Clarks have a hidden past. Holly and Hawk may lose their boat and their only livelihood if Castle’s death is connected with the international drug trade. Anna has to overcome her dislike of diving as she has to descend to help retrieve the body.

Barr once again uses the National Park as one of her characters. I could almost hear the mosquitoes and feel the cold numbness from the dives. The strings are tangled as to who may have killed Castle and why. I was able to pull the right one and figure it out about 3/4 of the way through, yet it didn’t feel right. The murderer is unexpected if that correct string is not found. The writing is light, and doesn’t try to do more than entertain. This isn’t a deep book, but has an enjoyable mystery. And there isn’t a mother alive who has lived with teen agers who can’t identify with Patience Bittner every time Carrie Ann disappears yet again.

Anna Pigeon series at Stop! You’re Killing Me!
More books by Nevada Barr

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