Putnam, Feb 2001, 24.95, 336 pp.
Anna Pigeon normally works as a park ranger at the Natchez Trace Parkway, Mississippi, but currently she is temporarily on loan to the Wateron – Glacier International Peace Park, Montana. Joan Rand leads a research team including Anna studying DNA of bears. Her superiors believe that the knowledge Anna gains on this project will enable her to do likewise at her own park. Also on the team is Rory Van Slyke as an Earthwatch sherpa and general gopher.
On their first night camping, they hear a bear. When the noise ends, Anna and Joan check for damage only to find two tents destroyed and Rory missing. As they call for help, another participant finds the body of a dead woman. A search party goes looking for Rory, finding him thirty-six hours later in shock with no other damage, but little memory of what happened to him. The corpse is Rory's stepmother, which leaves Anna wondering if he killed his relative. The other suspect is Rory's father, a spousal abuse victim. Anna is deputized to look into the matter, but too many clues makes it difficult to form a picture of what occurred and why.
Nevada Barr uses a picturesque style of writing as her words graphically describe the beauty, color, and danger of Wateron – Glacier International Peace Park. The details allow the audience to feel as if they are part of the on-site research team. BLOOD LURE is a well-executed mystery with few readers guessing why the victim was murdered and who the culprit is. Once again, Ms. Barr has delivered a nature lover mystery that will provide plenty of enjoyment to fans of a cerebral puzzle.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner