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Clicking on a book cover will search for the book in the catalog. If it is not part of our collection, you may request it by clicking on the Can't Find It link. An icon indicates if the book is chosen by a panelist as one of the year's best.

Rock Bottom
By Sarah Andrews. Minotaur Books. 291 pp. $24.99.
Em Hansen, forensic geologist (yes, there is such a profession, Google it), sets off with her husband and 13 others, most of them strangers, on a 3-week trip down the Colorado from Lee’s Ferry to Diamond Bar, and murder, as well as other crimes, happens along the way. I venture to say that Andrews has rafted the Colorado River. She gets the locations, the rapids, the scenery and the frequent disharmony of such trips just right. It’s an excellent mystery and, if you have never been on a rubber boat on a big river, it might encourage you to consider signing up with one of the commercial companies that run many such trips each year. []

Rope, The
By Nevada Barr. Minotaur Books. 357 pp. $25.99.
Almost 20 years ago Anna Pigeon arrived in the Southwest. In this engrossing tale of her first job in a National Park (actually Glenn Canyon National Recreation Area) we see the thirty-something woman take on a seasonal job then disappear on a weekend hike. Recognized by her co-workers as a “drifter”, no one worries much about her disappearance and Anna must overcome a monster and a monstrous plot to survive. The best Barr in years. []
This new Ann Pigeon mystery goes back to her first experiences as a seasonal at Glen Canyon National Recreational Area. Newly widowed and fresh from a career in NYC theatre, she wakes up naked, drugged, dumped in a solution hole, with an unflattering epithet carved at her thigh. Thus begins a summer rife with deaths, harrowing adventures, the challenges of being female in a male-dominated profession, the need to become stronger physically, and finally a realization that this totally different world is where she fits in. The books is fascinating for its lore about Glen Canyon, insightful characters, descriptions of the boating crowd, Anna’s progression from tenderfoot to first class, but most of all, for the page-turning, heart-stopping scrapes and mystery. []

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