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Blood Lure Hardcover – January 29, 2001

111 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

Park ranger Anna Pigeon, the fortyish heroine of Barr's popular series, is back, tracking grizzlies through the unforgiving landscape of Glacier National Park as part of a scientific investigation that's outlined with more detail than anyone who's not totally fascinated by these awesome animals will care about. In fact, the description of what actually goes into the lures set to attract the bears so they can be tagged and counted is guaranteed to rumble the strongest stomach--but that's just the back story in this newest Pigeon adventure. When the mutilated body of the stepmother of one of the bear trackers turns up in a remote corner of the park, and it becomes clear that she met death at the hands of a human rather than the claws of a grizzly, Anna goes on the hunt for the killer.

Barr's strength is in depicting the natural surroundings in which her heroine finds inspiration, solace, and comfort, and she limns the gorgeous landscape of Glacier with consummate skill. But her plotting leaves much to be desired, and when she finally reveals the killer's identity, motivation, and especially his accomplice, the discriminating reader may be tempted to throw this book at the nearest teddy bear. The trick ending is too much to stomach, unless you're a grizzly who'll eat (almost) anything. Up to that point, however, there's much to appeal to Barr's fans: another beautifully drawn portrait of a piece of America's vanishing wilderness and a few hours in the company of an appealingly cranky heroine whose appreciation of it knows no bounds. --Jane Adams

From Publishers Weekly

The latest entry in this excellent series featuring National Park Service ranger Anna Pigeon is one of Barr's best. Anna has been assigned to work temporarily in Montana's Glacier National Park, where she seems more at home than in her recent forays to East Coast parks, and learns how to do DNA studies on wildlife by working with a biologist, Joan, on a study of grizzly bears. Anna, Joan and a young, inexperienced volunteer, Rory, are sent out into the park's wilderness areas to set lures for the grizzlies. They use a powerful and nasty-smelling concoction, mixed with cow's blood, that the grizzlies find irresistible. Once the bears rub up against the trees or barbed wire that have been coated with the lure, samples of their DNA can be collected from the hair and skin left behind. In their remote campsite one night, Anna and Joan amazingly survive a grizzly bear attack on their tents unscathed, only to find that Rory has gone missing. As park rangers and rescue teams hike the mountainous park looking for the missing teenager, they find instead the dead body of a woman whose face has been horribly mutilated. Rory is an obvious suspect, as is the bear who attacked the camp. Barr focuses on the wilderness park and its endangered population of grizzlies rather than on Anna's personal life and problems, and this makes for a tightly plotted, satisfying read. The author's masterful descriptions of the natural world immeasurably enhance an exciting, suspenseful story that is sure to flirt with bestseller lists. Mystery Guild main selection and Literary Guild alternate selection.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult; First Edition edition (January 29, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399147020
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399147029
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #963,865 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nevada was born in the small western town of Yerington, Nevada and raised on a mountain airport in the Sierras. Both her parents were pilots and mechanics and her sister, Molly, continued the tradition by becoming a pilot for USAir.
Pushed out of the nest, Nevada fell into the theatre, receiving her BA in speech and drama and her MFA in Acting before making the pilgrimage to New York City, then Minneapolis, MN. For eighteen years she worked on stage, in commercials, industrial training films and did voice-overs for radio. During this time she became interested in the environmental movement and began working in the National Parks during the summers -- Isle Royale in Michigan, Guadalupe Mountains in Texas, Mesa Verde in Colorado, and then on the Natchez Trace Parkway in Mississippi.
Woven throughout these seemingly disparate careers was the written word. Nevada wrote and presented campfire stories, taught storytelling and was a travel writer and restaurant critic. Her first novel, Bitterweet was published in 1983. The Anna Pigeon series, featuring a female park ranger as the protagonist, started when she married her love of writing with her love of the wilderness, the summer she worked in west Texas. The first book, Track of the Cat, was brought to light in 1993 and won both the Agatha and Anthony awards for best first mystery. The series was well received and A Superior Death, loosely based on Nevada's experiences as a boat patrol ranger on Isle Royale in Lake Superior, was published in 1994. In 1995 Ill Wind came out. It was set in Mesa Verde, Colorado where Nevada worked as a law enforcement ranger for two seasons.
The rest is, shall we say, HISTORY! Nevada's books and accomplishments have become numerous and the presses continue to roll, so in the interest of NOT having to update this page, books, awards, status on the New York Times Best Seller List -- and more -- will be enumerated with the relevant books else where on this website.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 49 people found the following review helpful By R.L. Goodrich on February 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Let me begin by saying that I love Nevada Barr's Anna Pigeon books, especially when the park the story concerns is in the West, parks with which I am familiar. For instance, the description of the firestorm in the book of that name was so wonderfully written and so compelling that one's heart pounded with fear when reading it. Few times have I read action narrative that pulled me so totally into the scene. I've read that book and especially that scene over and over again and it just gets better.
The location for "Blood Lure" being Glacier National Park and concerned with the beautiful Grizzly bear, I really wanted to love this book. And most of it I did. The story was intriguing and the plotting was masterful, the ending was a little abrupt but almost completely satisfying. Anna Pigeon is a wonderfully three-dimensional character and Barr never makes a misstep with her - Anna never acts out of character even as (or especially as) that character develops over the time frame of all nine novels.
What I did NOT enjoy were the many errors throughout the book. Words were missing, punctuation was missing, punctuation was incorrect (the kind that makes it difficult to figure out what was meant), etc. It's like watching a film and being so engrossed in the story that you are "there" - and then you see the microphone hanging over the scene above the actors' heads. BANG! You're back in the theater again. On page 5 of "Blood Lure" Anna is introduced to Rory Van Slyke, a teenager with Earthwatchers volunteering to help with the Grizzly DNA project that has brought Anna to Glacier. Anna responds to the introduction by saying, "How you do?" There are four or five more instances like that throughout the book. Barr's words deserve better than this.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Crocker on June 28, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I have a soft spot in my heart for Glacier National Park. When I was a teenager in the early '70s, my family made trips on Amtrack from Pittsburgh to Glacier and I had a grizzly bear encounter both trips. One of the encounters was after a long day of hiking that included part of the Highline trail. As an adult, I met my Dad and my stepmom in the park twice in the early '90s. With my past on the table,I write this review with unbiased a heart as possible.
Blood Lure by Nevada Barr is a very good mystery. It isn't her best Anna Pigeon novel, but still a worthy read. Anna, our ranger and sleuth, is on a training trip to Glacier National Park to learn about wildlife DNA studies and grizzly bears. She is working with Joan, the bear expert, and Rory, a moody teenager on an Earthwatch trip. Rory's stepmom plays the role of dead body. Suspects abound [both human and ursine], clues abound, and even though the end of the novel runs towards the preposterous, the ending is not out of keeping with the earlier novels AND it could happen in real life. Remember folks, Anna Pigeon is a fictional character and most likely gets away with things that would rip right out of the envelope of the permissible in real life. That said, the end brings my rating down low enough to give it 4 stars. This isn't the Anna Pigeon novel I would recommend a new reader start with. My advice is to start at the beginning of the series with Track Of The Cat or, if you must dip in partway through the series, I would advise you start with Ill Wind or Liberty Falling.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Sharon Wylie on February 19, 2001
Format: Hardcover
In "Blood Lure," Nevada Barr has written one of the best mysteries I've read in a long time. I was absolutely stumped from beginning to end, but when I read the solution, everything made sense and fit together nicely. Best of all, when I look back over the story, I see that Barr provided the reader with all the necessary clues along the way. I just didn't have the brain power to figure it out myself.
Park Ranger Anna Pigeon is a fascinating character, and the "hook" of this series--each book takes place at a different national park--is absolutely unique (that's saying something when I can name not one, but TWO mystery series featuring cleaning lady sleuths, of all things). Pigeon is a loner, a woman who has to remind herself to fake softness and sympathy when required. She is completely at home hiking and camping in the great outdoors.
This book finds her faith in nature shaken, however, when she is attacked by a grizzly bear while working with researchers to gather bear DNA information in Waterton/ Glacier National Peace Park. When one of her companions goes missing after the attack, and then a camper is found murdered off a nearby trail, Anna finds her darkest suspicions aroused.
Although I would recommend this series, and this book in particular, to anyone, it is a particular treat for anyone who enjoys camping or hiking. Barr's detailed description of life within the National Park system is engrossing. These people have chosen lives that are completely at odds from everyday existence as most of us experience it. And if you don't enjoy camping or hiking, you can still enter and enjoy this foreign world without having to experience the inconvenience of mosquitos directly, not to mention the terror of a grizzly attack.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By reviewer Sue Johnson on June 7, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Blood Lure An Anna Pigeon book By: Nevada Barr G.P. Putnam Sons ISBN: 0-399-14702-0 Mystery-police
Nevada Barr's reoccurring character, National Park Ranger Anna Pigeon is back on duty and quite naturally embroiled in a mystery. This book finds Anna working in the Waterton/Glacier National Peace Park on the Montana/Canadian border. She has gone there to participate in a DNA research project on Grizzly bears. Anna is teamed up with a trained researcher, Joan Rand and a young summer volunteer, Rory Van Slyke. Almost immediately reports of grizzlies doing unusual things are coming in. The second night put the researchers become the hunted, Rory is missing and another camper is dead. Anna uses her law enforcement skills to help question fellow campers, gather evidence and try to solve this rather unusual murder. Along the way the reader is treated to a wonderful hiking tour of the rugged Montana/Canadian Glacier area. The wildlife and the fauna are aptly described. Also disclosed are amazing tidbits of information about the Grizzly bear and their habits. The mystery was compelling and in no way easy to solve until the last 10 pages were turned. Nevada Barr writes wonderful books that are always well researched.
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