Nevada Barr (website) is an American author best known for her Anna Pigeon mystery series, which currently includes 18 books. While many people consider Anna Pigeon to be a cozy series, in my opinion, it is not at all. It is truly a mystery with some dark elements (some of the descriptions are far from anything a cozy would offer), which even lead me to say some of her books are actually thrillers.
The series was born out of the author’s love for the outdoors (having been a park ranger for some time herself) and love of the written word. Each Anna Pigeon novel is set in a different National Park.
Born in 1952 in Yerington, Nevada, her family moved to Johnstonville, California where she grew up. Even though her first name is the same with the state she was born in, the name was actually given to her based on a character in a book her dad loved.
She attended and graduated from the University of California, Irvin, earning her MA degree in acting. Before writing books, she spent her next 20 years working in film, theater, commercials and even doing voice over for radio.
Growing fond of environmentalism, she started working in various National Parks during the summers, while she also took on several other odd jobs, including that of travel writer, boat patrol/park ranger, storytelling teacher and restaurant critic. At the same time during the winter she would resume her acting work.
Soon, however, by the age of 40 Nevada Barr left her acting career behind and became a park ranger full time. She got her law enforcement designation status and her Emergency Medical Technician training and became an official with a real gun.
She got her first book, Bittesweet, published in 1983. The first Anna Pigeon novel came some 10 years later during the summer the author worked in west Texas. Track of the Cat, the first book in the series won right away two awards – the Agatha, as well as the Anthony awards for best first mysteries.
In one interview she mentioned that in her books she wrote about each park she has actually worked at, so the first Anna Pigeon books are based on places the author has worked at. For the next books, she did some serious research and got to spend a few weeks at each new park just to get the layout and hang of each place.
The latest Anna Pigeon book by Nevada Barr is called Boar Island, published in 2016.
Here is the list of Nevada Barr books in order for her Anna Pigeon series and her standalone non-fiction and fiction books.
Anna Pigeon Series In Order
1. Track of the Cat (Anna Pigeon #1), 1993
2. A Superior Death> (Anna Pigeon #2), 1994
3. Ill Wind (Anna Pigeon #3), 1995
4. Firestorm (Anna Pigeon #4), 1996
5. Endangered Species (Anna Pigeon #5), 1997
6. Blind Descent (Anna Pigeon #6), 1998
7. Liberty Falling (Anna Pigeon #7), 1999
8. Deep South (Anna Pigeon #8), 2000
9. Blood Lure (Anna Pigeon #9), 2001
10. Hunting Season (Anna Pigeon #10), 2002
11. Flashback (Anna Pigeon #11), 2003
12. High Country (Anna Pigeon #12), 2004
13. Hard Truth (Anna Pigeon #13), 2005
14. Winter Study (Anna Pigeon #14), 2008
15. Borderline (Anna Pigeon #15), 2009
16. Burn (Anna Pigeon #16), 2010
17. The Rope (Anna Pigeon #17), 2012
18. Destroyer (Anna Pigeon #18), 2014
19. Boar Island (Anna Pigeon #19), 2016
Other Books by Nevada Barr
Bittersweet, 1984 (romance/western)
Seeking Enlightenment Hat by Hat, 2003 (non-fiction biography)
Deadly Housewives, 2006 (short story in a mystery compilation about housewives solving – or committing crimes)
13 1/2, 2009 (standalone thriller)