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Winter Study (Anna Pigeon Series #14)

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Overview

It is January, and Park Ranger Anna Pigeon is sent to Isle Royale in Lake Superior to learn about managing and understanding wolves, as her home base of Rocky Mountain National Park might soon have its own pack of the magnificent, much- maligned animals. She’s lodging in the island’s bunkhouse with the famed wolf study team, along with two scientists from Homeland Security, who are assessing the study with an eye to opening the park in the winters - an act that would effectively bring an end to the fifty-year ...

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Winter Study (Anna Pigeon Series #14)

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Overview

It is January, and Park Ranger Anna Pigeon is sent to Isle Royale in Lake Superior to learn about managing and understanding wolves, as her home base of Rocky Mountain National Park might soon have its own pack of the magnificent, much- maligned animals. She’s lodging in the island’s bunkhouse with the famed wolf study team, along with two scientists from Homeland Security, who are assessing the study with an eye to opening the park in the winters - an act that would effectively bring an end to the fifty-year project - so that the area can be manned to secure the scrap of border with Canada.

Soon after Anna’s arrival, the wolf packs under observation begin to behave in peculiar ways. Giant wolf prints are found, and Anna spies the form of a great wolf from a surveillance plane. The discovery of wolf scat containing alien DNA leads the group to believe that perhaps a wolf/dog hybrid has been introduced to the island. When a female member of the team is savaged, Anna is convinced she is being stalked, and what was once a beautiful, idyllic refuge becomes a place of unnatural occurrences and danger beyond the ordinary. Alone on an island without electricity or running water, with temperatures hovering around zero both day and night, Anna fights not only for the wolves but for her own survival as well.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Early each year, as certain as the arrival of robins, a new Nevada Barr mystery appears. Each of these character-driven novels stars Park Ranger Anna Pigeon, and each is set in a different national park. Barr's 14th whodunit brings us to Lake Michigan's Isle Royale, where wolves share the company of one another and a small group of scientists studying their winter habits. All is not well in the wildlife refuge: A Homeland Security team seems intent on setting up shop, thus squelching this 50-year research project. With the suspicious arrival of a dangerous wolf/dog, serious dangers really begin to percolate.
Art Taylor
One might label this book Hound of the Baskervilles meets And Then There Were None meets a Michael Crichton novel, and the narrative itself references works ranging from "Little Red Riding Hood" to The Shining. But this is a Nevada Barr book through and through, with its careful examination of how humans interact with the natural world, its infectious fascination with nature in general and those dense, resonant descriptions…Barr skillfully uses archetypal images of the wolf—myths, fairy tales and more—to deepen the suspense: wolf at the door, wolf in sheep's clothing, werewolves among us. But Pigeon knows that "wolves' reputation as cold-blooded killers of little girls in red capes was unearned," and ultimately it's not the wolf out there that's frightening, but the more sinister human nearby.
—The Washington Post
Marilyn Stasio
This is Barr's first book in three years, and she seems to have been saving up all the special effects. The blizzards, the dangerous ice and the manhunts through the frozen woods are described with crisp, hard-edged beauty. And the wolves, those maligned "ogres of childhood," are magnificent.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly

In bestseller Barr's chilling 14th mystery thriller to feature National Park Service ranger Anna Pigeon (after 2005's Hard Truth), Anna joins the team of Winter Study, a research project intended to study the wolves and moose of Michigan's Isle Royale National Park, the setting for 1994's A Superior Death. Complicating the study is Bob Menechinn, an untrustworthy Homeland Security officer assigned to shadow the research. Crowded into inhospitable lodgings and persecuted by unrelenting cold, Anna is far from her comfort zone as nature turns awry with a series of bizarre events. The team stumbles upon the tracks-and the mutilated victim-of a preternaturally large, unidentified beast, and local packs of wolves descend on human-populated areas, a behavior out of step with their species. The campfire legends of youth metastasize into adult fears as Anna must piece together a connection between these anomalies while guarding herself from the strangers around her. Barr's visceral descriptions of the winter cold nicely complement the paranoia that follows the appearance of the mythic monsters at play. Author tour. (Apr.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

In this 14th Anna Pigeon book, Isle Royale on Lake Superior is the scene of murder, but in the winter, when only the wolf research team and a delegate from Homeland Security inhabit the lonely outpost. As with any sequel, Barr (Hard Truth) raises the stakes with threats to her characters, especially Anna, not just from the cold but from one another, as virtually everyone is a suspect. Anna may be more superhuman than usual here as the climactic face-off occurs with Barr's descriptions embracing the terror to its fullest effect. Narrator Barbara Rosenblat is exemplary yet again, capturing the tension and menace as well as the fear. The series isn't suffering from Anna's aging or her marriage. This New York Times best seller is highly recommended.
—Joyce Kessel

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781469234854
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 4/1/2013
  • Series: Anna Pigeon Series , #14
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Abridged
  • Sales rank: 505,813
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Nevada  Barr
Nevada Barr is the award-winning author of thirteen previous Anna Pigeon mysteries, including the New York Times bestsellers Hard Truth and High Country. She lives in New Orleans.

Biography

Nevada Barr 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 18 years she worked on stage, in commercials and 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.
Biography from author website.

Good To Know

In our interview with Barr, she disclosed three interesting facts about herself:

"I will forget your face and name, but never your stories."

"I love to sing but can clear a concert hall at the drop of a note."

"I lie, but never about the important stuff -- and I get to decide what is the important stuff."

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    1. Hometown:
      Clinton, Mississippi
    1. Date of Birth:
      March 1, 1952
    2. Place of Birth:
      Yerington, Nevada
    1. Education:
      B.A., Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, 1974; M.A., University of California at Irvine, 1977
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 43 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(19)

4 Star

(11)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(5)

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(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 44 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2008

    Disappointed Fan

    I usually love Nevada Barr's novels. This one was more then a little hard to get through. And sorry, some of the plot lines were less then probable. Lets just say... I would hope if I 'disappeared' in the middle of the bitterly freezing cold night, that the search party would use snow mobiles rather then cross-country skis.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2009

    I found Winter Study to be fascinating!

    As always, Nevada Barr puts you into the environment and makes nature the most honest character. I learned about the effects of extreme cold on animals and humans and about the restricted ecosystem of Isle Royale, just south of the Canadian border. The twisting plot left me guessing. My husband enjoyed Winter Study as well, and he rarely finishes a book that is not about military history or politics!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2008

    Not up to par

    Usually I enjoy Nevada Barr's books. This story was so bizarre and disjointed, it was difficult to get involved in the story. Identifying the 'bad guy' was easy...he was also so one-dimensional it was hard to even think of him as a real villian. Don't waste your money on this one.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2008

    Scariest Anna Pigeon mystery yet

    Beyond the stellar series hero Anna Pigeon (by herself enough to recommend the book), 'Winter Study' has a wonderfully visual setting: Michigan's Isle Royale National Park, where Anna has joined a research project on the area's wolf and moose population. Complicating the study is the presence of the Dept of Homeland Security due to border security concerns. Amid the unforgivingly harsh winter weather, with it's blinding blizzards and teeming darkness, comes a deadly attack on a fellow researcher by an unknown, abnormally large and powerful animal, and the odd, unusually provocative behavior by local wolf packs against the region's human-populated settlements. Hanging over it all is the irrational paranoia of legendary ghosts and mythical beasts. But Anna has more to contend with than just old campfire stories: there are several scenes of satisfyingly brutal violence, as well as terrifying natural threats to overcome. I think this is one of the series' grimmest entries (which I like), with spine-tingling dread and suspense building on every page. Highly recommended if you don't mind the darker nature of the story and the villains.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2008

    Weird vaguely anti-Catholic commentary becomming tiresome

    I've always enjoyed Nevada Barr's novels. I love the National Park backdrops, and I used to like the Anna Pigeon character, but I honestly didn't like her much in this book. She's no longer someone I'd like to sit down and enjoy a beer with. The snideness, the cynicism, the sneering, and the completely unnecessary and jarring anti-Catholic jibes became grating this go round. Oh well. All good things must come to an end.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 29, 2009

    One of Nevada's Best

    In this fascinating account of Isle Royale's Winter Study, Nevada Barr has given the reader a rich description of the park and the wolves who live there. Her human characters are equally compelling, and her main character, Anna Pigeon, has her own unique viewpoint about the other characters in this book. Anna's adventures on Isle Royale are gripping, and keep you at the edge of your seat. I think this is one of Ms. Barr's best works.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 10, 2009

    Not a good read.

    I have read most of the Nevada Barr Anna Pigeon series and would give the others a 4 or a 5 star rating. This book was insufferable. The characters were not well developed, she again got her licks in to bash the people that visit our National Parks, the story line was highly improbable and the book itself was just plain blood, guts and gore. Don't waste your time on this one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2009

    Vintage Barr

    More of what we have come to expect from Barr. She makes you feel her settings - I felt the cold as I read this

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 20, 2009

    Winter Study

    I have all of Nevada Barr's books and love them. I can relate to the places where her books take place as I was in the Forest Service and have actually been to many of these places. I like her character Anna, because she is very down to earth and also a strong woman. I got so caught up in the story it was hard to put it down after the first few chapters.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 9, 2009

    Winter Study was very distasteful.

    I have read several other Nevada Barr books and am a fan of wilderness books. This was very unpleasant to read. Very improbable situations, very distasteful characters, etc. She could have done much better re this moose-wolf study team. Skip it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great Book

    All of her books are really good and this one is no exception. I always look forward to books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2009

    A Nice Read

    Nevada Barr has again intertwined mystery and drama with nature. Joyce Bean has done an excellent job with the characters.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2014

    Boring and Tedious

    There is no other way to describe Winter Study except as BORING. The plot could have been reasonably good but it was so drawn out that most of what readers get is drab and tedious descriptions of cold weather, hiking in cold weather, sleeping in cold weather, looking for stuff in cold weather,... As a 100-150 page book it might have worked, but there isn't enough substance here for 300+ pages. Very frustrating. I wanted to say to the author "just get done already." I would not recommend it at all. The series would have been better without it. Stephanie Clanahan

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2014

    Time: The Leaf-Bare War

    &star&star<_>~ The Leaf-Bare War <br> &starf&starf&starf&starf&starf&starf&starf&starf<_>~ Comet Is Independant <p> Imperiale Comet pushed the cats of the stone, causing a yelp. <br> "Its a cat from StarClan! She comes to bring a prophecy!" A cat gasped, causing the crowd to bow. <br> "StarClan I am not. Independant I am." They leaped to their paws. "Yet a prophecy I shall deliver." <p> "Burnt and Comet are the key... <br> Tis most definitely your destiny... <br> Two kits lost... <br> Independance is what they see, <br> Not a lying StarClan, <br> free." The cats growled. <br> "You are just a kit!" Laughed Maskedstar.

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  • Posted July 23, 2012

    Nevada Barr lets you feel the story.

    I'm sorry I can't read 24 hours a day, because Nevada Barr keeps me spellbound.

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  • Posted February 16, 2012

    Yet another top title from Nevada Barr

    Barr is a former National Park Service professional, so that gives her insight into how things really work in that agency. This is no exception. I just finished the title and I am now developing dreams of actually visiting Isle Royale National Park, the place where this story is set.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2010

    Depressing

    Winter Study was my introduction to Nevada Barr's writing. I was really disappointed. The characters were as cold and frozen as the setting for the book. Barr's plodding style and slow plot development lost my interest and I had to make myself finish the book. The first character to die had already given the necessary comments to solve the mystery. I cannot recommend this book to anyone.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Cold blooded killings and suspense

    Author sets up characters and scene at National Park in winter. Details make you climb under blankets to stay warm while the plot unfolds. At the end of a chapter you cannot stop but are enticed to read some more of the mystery plot. Animals are as much a part of the intrigue as the people.

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  • Posted January 8, 2010

    Anna Pigeon fans will be delighted

    interesting info. regarding wildlife study and evaluation--- excellent personal story which was hard to put down-- could read until I am finished, but life gets in the way

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  • Posted January 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Weak Finale

    Like several of Ms. Barr's latest Pigeon thrillers, this started well but ended improbably. She is making Anna too much of a super hero and needs to return her to the more fallible character she was earlier in the series. Barr is too good of a writer to turn out total failures- she writes great nature scenes- but she needs to take care lest she stumble into Robert B. Parker territory.

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