Select one of the keywords
Winter Study    by Nevada Barr order for
Winter Study
by Nevada Barr
Order:  USA  Can
Putnam, 2008 (2008)
Hardcover, Audio, CD
* *   Reviewed by Tim Davis

Caution: This review includes a bit of a spoiler in the final paragraph, so some readers may want to skip that final portion.

National Park Service Ranger Anna Pigeon is back in action in Nevada Barr's latest action-packed mystery. Dispatched to Lake Superior's Isle Royale in Michigan, Anna joins an eclectic team of individuals who are all ostensibly involved in a winter study focusing on the predator-prey relationship between the packs of wolves and the herds of moose on the five-hundred square mile island.

The researchers soon discover that more than one challenge awaits them on the isolated northern island: First, there is the wicked winter weather which is harsh and unforgiving; second, there are the petty conflicts, jealousies, and rivalries that cause tension among the team members; and third, a mysteriously large wolf (or a hybrid called a wog - the offspring of a wolf and a dog) is stalking the island and threatens to upset the delicate balance between indigenous wolves and moose.

Then something terrible happens: one of the researchers apparently wanders off from the team, and later the researcher's horribly mangled body is found in the dense woods. The initial opinion is that either the elusive wog or a pack of wolves is responsible. However, Anna, with a tenacious fondness for her own indefatigable Nancy Drew approach to investigations, remains skeptical. In fact, the volatile 'tangle of human relationships' among the team members (often analogous to the relationships within wolf packs), and some team members' dark secrets and deadly deceptions suggest to Anna that something more sinister than either wolves or the wog may be endangering everyone on Isle Royale.

Nevada Barr's legions of fans will be almost certainly more than pleased with Winter Study, which features Anna Pigeon at her resilient best in an action packed adventure with plenty of thrills and lots of tense moments for the charming and plucky park service ranger.

Here it is. The spoiler follows:

However, readers who demand conventional mysteries with play-fair clues may be less than satisfied with the out-of-the-blue deus-ex-machina revelation and resolution in the mystery's plot.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Mystery books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews