“Ill Wind” by Nevada Barr

Nevada Barr is best known for her mystery novels featuring the character Anna Pigeon, a National Park Service ranger. “Ill Wind” is the third book in the Anna Pigeon series.

“It is whispered that the Old Ones still haunt Mesa Verde—the restless spirits of the Anasazi, who carved their homes in the mountain’s face eight centuries ago…and then disappeared from the Earth.”

“Newly assigned national parks ranger Anna Pigeon seeks solace from her own personal demons in the ancient cave dwellings of a vanished Native American civilization. But an inexplicable illness affecting visitors to the popular Colorado landmark has dragged her from her reverie—as have two mysterious tragedies: the death of a child…and the murder of a friend. And now she must find the very human source of the evil wind that is blowing through the ruins. For it threatens more innocent lives. Mother Nature…and Anna herself.”

“Ill Wind” is set in Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado. In this novel, Anna Pigeon is on a temporary assignment as a district ranger at Mesa Verde. The story revolves around a series of mysterious deaths and accidents that occur in the park, and Anna becomes embroiled in trying to solve these crimes. As she investigates, she uncovers a complex web of secrets and danger in this remote and beautiful national park.

Nevada Barr’s novels are known for their vivid descriptions of national parks, their natural beauty, and the challenges of law enforcement and investigation within these settings. “Ill Wind” is no exception and offers readers an interesting mystery set against the backdrop of a stunning natural landscape.

This is the second book by Barr that I’ve read, the first being “Track of the Cat” and my review of that work can be found here.



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“Do The Dead Call?”

Do the dead call?

If they did, could we hear?

Would the voice be from afar?

Or would it seem quite near?

Would we listen with our minds?

Or would we run in fear?

Would we open to the chance?

Or would we jump and swoon?

Would we think it summer breeze?

Or howling at the Moon?

Do the dead call?

You tell me.

I wonder if you know.

Do they call on summer days?

Or whisper in the snow?

You tell me.

I’d really like to know.


I was honored to have this poem selected for inclusion during NPR’s National Poetry Month.

The poem opens Chapter 31 in the 5th Century Celtic novel, “Mystery Of The Death Hearth”, as the intrepid protagonist–a young Celt magistrate–must work with those whose ways are alien to his Elder Faith beliefs. Along the way, he must find an elusive young Celt girl and her missing grandfather, unravel the mystery of an Elder’s runevision, and avoid death at the hands of an assassin as he faces the greatest challenge of his life.




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“Shattered Mirror” by Iris Johansen

“Shattered Mirror” is a thriller and part of the Eve Duncan series. It follows the adventures of forensic sculptor Eve Duncan who finds herself at the center of a dangerous mystery.

The story revolves around Eve’s quest to uncover the truth about her daughter, Bonnie, who was brutally murdered years ago. Despite her grief, Eve has dedicated her life to using her forensic skills to help solve cold cases and bring closure to families. However, when a man named Jim Doane comes to her claiming to have information about Bonnie’s killer, Eve is plunged into a web of deception, danger, and long-hidden secrets.

As Eve delves deeper into the investigation, she realizes that not everything is as it seems, and the people she thought she could trust may have hidden agendas. With the help of her friends and allies, including her lover Joe Quinn and her adopted daughter Jane, Eve must navigate a treacherous path to uncover the truth about Bonnie’s murder and confront the dark forces that threaten her family.

I personally do not enjoy novels that are rife with running, page-heavy dialogue and the occasional indefinite pronouns that confuse and slow down my reading. Again, that’s just a personal thing. And, honestly, this book did nothing to make me want to explore other works by this author.

On the positive side, if you enjoy suspenseful mysteries with strong, determined female protagonists, and don’t mind plentiful back and forth dialogue, you may find “Shattered Mirror” an interesting, worthwhile read.



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