Ill Wind by Nevada Barr

 

Mystery

Ill Wind (Anna Pigeon Mysteries) Ill WindNevada Barr; Avon 1996WorldCatMesa Verde is full of ancient secrets. Anna Pigeon’s new post is at this national park in southern Colorado. She loves the kivas, the cave dwellings, and the surroundings. She doesn’t care for the crowds of people at height of season, June, or the medical rescues that are a normal part of a park ranger’s job. Although she is a permanent employee, there is a housing shortage, and she has to share quarters with two young seasonal employees who still stay up late partying. Since Anna often has the early shift, this is an added irritation.

The employees at the park are a mixed group. The other ranger at her level, Stacy Myers, is still a temporary employee, although Anna knows he would be a good addition to the National Park Services permanent staff. His wife wants to live above their means, and his daughter has a physical defect that raises the medical bills. To her dismay, Anna finds herself attracted to him. For unknown reasons, he reminds her of her dead husband.

There is also a major improvement project pending for the park. A large monetary amount has been budgeted for them that is to be used to update the water system in the park. Unfortunately, the project is bogged down. Mesa Verde is historically important, and still has archeological secrets that are being dug up as the construction company is ready to work through. Ted Greeley, the construction manager, loses money each day the project waits. Alberta Stinson, director of Interpretation, avidly respects the past and wants to preserve the history.

One of the park employees disappears the evening of summer solstice. There is a thorough search conducted the following day, but with no results. A few days later he is found curled up dead in one of the many Anaszi rooms in the cliff dwellings. Anna’s FBI friend, Frederick Stanton, is called in to find a murderer.

Nevada Barr has set this mystery series in the National Parks. As she describes the cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde, I can picture them immediately. The story is a comfortable detective story as well as searching further into Anna Pigeon’s character. It’s one to while away a few hours and have fun.

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

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