Monday, April 4, 2011

Borderline - a mystery by Nevada Barr

Barr's books are always a 'good read'. This is the latest in her series about National Park ranger, Anna Pigeon. Barr knows her terrain since she has worked as a NPS ranger. I enjoy reading her books because of the authenticity of her locales and in spite of the sometimes preposterous twists and turns of the plots.

This book is set in Big Bend National Park in Texas. Anna and her husband have undertaken a rafting trip on the Rio Grande River while she is recovering from the trauma of her previous assignment. Naturally, murder and mystery ensue. It's an exciting (and over the top) journey to the resolution of the mystery and in the aftermath, Anna's confidence and peace of mind, which had been sundered by her previous assignment, are restored.

U is for Undertow by Sue Grafton - the latest of her 'alphabet' mysteries

Aaah - opening a book by Grafton is like sinking into a comfy chair with your feet up. I love Grafton and her newest book is up to and beyond her best. It employs a device - going back and forth between the present and the past in alternating chapters - that can be confusing and/or annoying. In this case there may be a feeling of confusion/disorientation at first - but it becomes more and more interesting as the book progresses. I finished it with a feeling of sadness - for both the innocent and the guilty - an almost unheard of reaction to the 'bad guys' in any book.

There are only five more letters in the alphabet. What in the world will she do with 'X'? A crime takes place within Xerox? A murderer who plays the xylophone? (I'm getting goofy here). And what about when the series finishes with 'Z'? Will the author stop writing and rest on her laurels and her bank account? If so, she will be sorely missed.