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by Nevada Barr
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Wikipedia in English (1)
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0425188787, Mass Market Paperback)When the body of Doyce Barnett turns up in unsavory circumstances in Mississippi's Natchez Trace National Park, district ranger Anna Pigeon finds her investigation stymied at every turn. The dead man's brother, an undertaker with a secret that's been kept by three generations of his family, will do anything to protect it, even if his cover-up puts Anna's life in danger. Her own deputy, jealous because she got the job he wanted, seems to be sabotaging her case in order to advance his political ambitions. A bunch of Mississippi good old boys who've been poaching on park territory are gunning for her, and something strange is going on in a slave cemetery that's also in her bailiwick.
In this, her 10th outing, the prickly, ever-likable Ranger Pigeon puts all the pieces together in a lively, well-paced mystery that evokes two dimensions of the Deep South: its lush beauty and its tangled racial history, dimensions that, as Anna herself puts it, are "both a balm. History because its sins had already been committed, nature because she was supremely indifferent to the petty hysterias of the human race." --Jane Adams
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:22:12 -0400)
"It's fall on Mississippi's Natchez Trace: brown leaves scattered on springtime-green grass, winter-bare branches of sweetgum and sassafras etched against a summer-bright sky, the soft blue of chicory and delicate yellow of tickweed shimmering in the hollows alongside the highway. And as Anna answers a call to Mt. Locust, once a working plantation and inn that served travelers between Natchez and Nashville, now a tourist spot, she breathes in the scent of a forest readying itself for sleep, the very essence of autumn. Despite the bare branches above and the brown leaf litter below, the sky is blue, and murder is far from her mind." "But the man Anna finds in Mt. Locust's old bedroom is no tourist in distress. He's nearly naked, and very dead, his body bearing marks consistent with sex games gone awry. On a writing table nearby is an open Bible, ominous passages circled in red." "The deceased is the brother of Raymond Barnette, local undertaker and candidate for sheriff, who for obvious reasons in this particularly God-fearing country wishes to keep any hint of kinkiness under wraps. It seems Ray may be hiding a whole houseful of secrets in the old family homestead. And when hidden agendas and old allegiances are revealed, it's suddenly Anna's life that's on the line."
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