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Hunting Season (2015)

Hunting Season (2015)
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Rating
3.82 of 5 Votes: 5
ISBN
0425188787 (ISBN13: 9780425188781)
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English
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publisher
berkley
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Hunting Season (2015)
Hunting Season (2015)

About book: Despite the existence of an elderly female character who defecates in a graveyard, I am only able to give this one star. It was headed for a blazing two stars until I found an unforgivable punctuation error: it's for its. This is the first time I have ever seen an error this egregious in a printed book. It was a low blow.A large issue I had with this tenth Anna Pigeon novel is that it is nearly identical to the eighth book in the series. They both share a setting, the Natchez Trace in Mississippi. Many of the characters are the same. The setting and the characters were no more interesting the second time around.Barr isn't the worst writer in our solar system but she does have her problems. One of them is the more-than-occasional nearly incomprehensible sentence, in which she's trying to be so clever, idiomatic, and thesaurussy she obscures all meaning. Another is she repeats sentence structure in back-to-back-to-back sentences. This is made up but typical: "Perched on the hood of her cruiser, Anna sipped iced tea. Listening to the faint strains of the car radio, she heard the Christian rock she was growing impatient with. Leaning down to scratch a mosquito-ravaged ankle, she mused that in a few more days she was going to turn fully Satanist."Barr also has a tendency to levitate above the storyline and get preachy. This is 2002, so most readers probably already know that "Rape was about violence, hate and dominance. Sex had little to do with it." Also, in case you were unaware, "Tired of white men's hand-me-down names, many African-Americans in Mississippi had taken to naming their children or, if their own folks were conservative, themselves, with exotic-sounding syllables that pleased the ear and annoyed hell out of the sense of spelling." [sic]One final issue is that the murdered fellow suffocates in his own fat. He is suspended in a harness and his body fat drowns him. Somehow. How? We're not told. Is this even medically possible? I don't believe it. Google is not helpful here; it thinks I want to know if you can "suffocate on your own farts." Well, obviously.

When Park Ranger Anna Pigeon answers a call to Mt. Locust, she’s somewhat relieved to be spared the social awkwardness of attending a wedding reception with her still-married-to-someone-else boyfriend. It’s far from a routine call however: there’s a dead man in one of the historic home’s bedrooms and the scene implies sex-play gone awry. The only thing clear about this case is that all is not as it appears and there’s more than one mystery to solve. As Anna tries to fit the pieces together, she finds herself on uncertain terms with her colleagues and targeted for murder by persons unknown.As usual, Barr excels at creating a vivid setting. The mystery was layered and satisfying and I loved the historical angle. I admit, I was somewhat frustrated with Anna this time around because I figured out most of the mystery before she did and I don’t think it was due to a sudden spike in my IQ. I was particularly exasperated with her acceptance of Randy Thigpen’s various antics; I understand that she’s just counting down the days until he retires but given his behavior in Deep South, I did have a hard time believing that she wasn’t more suspicious of his activities. That said, she did have a lot going on and while frustrating, it is believable that she wasn’t quite on her A-game this time: one of the very best things about Anna is that she comes across as a real person, complete with flaws. Even on her worst day, Anna is still a force to be reckoned with!
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Reviews
Samyann
Audiobook. The park district sleuthing of Anna Pigeon is always a fun adventure, and Hunting Season doesn’t disappoint. Barbara Rosenblat has been the reader of these tales throughout the series, and there is an agressive devil-may-care conveyance that gives the character a well rounded flavor. It’s said that a good narrator makes a good story better, and there is no doubt that the years long partnership of Nevada Barr and Barbara Rosenblat has been a monumental success. It’s been a while since I visited this series, Hunting Season has convinced me to catch up! Fun.
Jason DeGroot
Another excellent Anna Pigeon mystery. It was actually a happy coincidence that I read this right after "Inhuman Bondaage" since the issues of slavery and racism figure prominently in this story set in Mississippi with a mystery involving an old plantation and a recently discovered slave graveyard. What works so well about all of these is that for Anna, because she's a park ranger and not a detective, the murder is many times secondary to her regular life, so we get to know her more deeply as a character. By far one of my favorite characters in literature.
Jerry
Barr's first repeat locale disappoints -- dull at times...According to my notes, this is the ninth novel in the [Park Ranger, now district manager:] Anna Pigeon series, of which we admit to being big fans. It is however the first to reprise both the Natchez Trace location (all the others were set in a different National Park each time) and many of the characters from her prior offering, "Deep South". Indeed, Barr in real life is a ranger in the Natchez Trace, so one might wonder if she bowed to convenience in serving up another story from her every day stomping grounds. Interestingly, the plot is a little "lazy" as well, with most of the whole middle of the book little but mental ramblings on Anna's part that got a little boring to us after a while. Most of the real action is in the first and last tenths of the book, so it's a little yawny in between. Plus the outcome was not really all that shocking if you followed the circumstances a little more carefully than did our leading lady for two-thirds of the book.Barr is known for fine writing and her awesome descriptions of the very unusual locales in which she sets her stories. Her heroine is very real to life, an early forty-ish, non-yuppie, who doesn't have snappy clothes, snappy cars, boyfriends galore, drink white wine (actually, Anna is a recovering alcoholic), or jog or swim many miles each day keeping the body well-honed. She's more like us -- plodding along doing the best we can, with some griping and whining along the way! Assuming "Hunting Season" isn't the end of the road, let's hope for a return to the form of the first eight in the series on Barr's next outing.
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