Blood Lure - Nevada Barr Anna Pigeon, our intrepid park ranger is on a trek through Waterton/Glacier National Park engaged in setting some bear traps to collect hair and scat samples from assorted bears. Technically, she’s off duty and so out-of-uniform when they meet a young man hiking who reeks of malfeasance and in other circumstances, Anna would have had him up against a car demanding his driver’s license and other ID.

That night, in a scene that raised my skepticism (having read too many mysteries, I suppose) she and her tent mate are attacked by a huge bear who doesn’t act in the way most bears would (according to the bear expert along on the trip.) Rory, the other volunteer in his own tent hightailed it out of there and is discovered some miles away in rather sad shape, but only after Anna and Joanna report his disappearance does a search reveal the body of a murdered woman who happens to be Rory’s stepmother. Without giving away the plot, I will say only that numerous connections and suspects provide the elements to a puzzle that keeps the rangers, struggling with other responsibilities which include bear scat analysis, bedeviled. Unlike some lesser mysteries the answer does not fall from the sky, but is compiled through careful analysis of evidence.

Several reviewers have complained about what they considered to be excessive detail with regard to bear DNA, the bear lure, etc., but for me it’s those kinds of details that I find tantalizing but that’s perhaps since I so enjoy collecting information from what I read as well as entertainment.

My suspicion of anthropomorphism that worried me in the beginning was not borne out in the end. Satisfactory.