Wednesday, March 20, 2019

On My Radar: Nevada Barr's What Rose Forgot

Nevada Barr has been one of my favorite writers since her first Anna Pigeon mystery, Track of the Cat. She likes the outdoors, she likes animals, and boy howdy, can she write! (When she took me down in a cave system in Blind Descent, I had the willies so bad I thought I'd never get out!) But she also seems to be one of those authors that readers want to keep stuck in a rut, a Write-Anna-Or-Nothing rut, which is a shame. Ten years ago, Barr wrote 13½, which I liked a lot, but it got many negative reviews on Amazon because it wasn't an Anna Pigeon book.

When I found out about Barr's newest book coming out in September, I did a happy dance, but it's a standalone which means diehard Anna Pigeon fans will probably grump. Folks, Anna was getting a bit long in the tooth to be doing all that stuff she was doing. I think she deserves a happy, danger-free retirement, don't you? Anyway, let's see what Barr has in store for us!

Available September 17, 2019!

"Rose Dennis wakes up in a hospital gown, her brain in a fog, only to discover that she's been committed to an Alzheimer's Unit in a nursing home. With no memory of how she ended up in this position, Rose is sure that something is very wrong. When she overhears one of the administrators saying about her that she's "not making it through the week," Rose is convinced that if she's to survive, she has to get out of the nursing home. She avoids taking her medication, putting on a show for the aides, then stages her escape.

The only problem is―how does she convince anyone that she's not actually demented? Her relatives were the ones to commit her, all the legal papers were drawn up, the authorities are on the side of the nursing home, and even she isn't sure she sounds completely sane. But any lingering doubt Rose herself might have had is erased when a would-be killer shows up in her house in the middle of the night. Now Rose knows that someone is determined to get rid of her.

With the help of her computer hacker/recluse sister Marion, thirteen-year-old granddaughter Mel, and Mel's friend Royal, Rose begins to gather her strength and fight back―to find out who is after her and take back control of her own life. But someone out there is still determined to kill Rose, and they're holding all the cards."

This sounds like a good'un to me, and I can't wait to read it. What do you think? Inquiring minds would love to know!


  1. It sounds kind of interesting. But I am one of those diehard Anna Pigeon fans who'd read about her jumping off canyons into her 80s. Blind Descent also gave me claustrophobia for awhile. She is very tough in Boar Island set in Maine. And since it was set in Maine, a favorite place for me, I was quite content to read about Anna's adventures there.

    I may give this a try. But I'd like Anna to reappear. Maybe she could be training young forest rangers and run into a murder or two.

    1. If Barr writes an Anna Pigeon novel, I'm going to read it; no doubt about it. But not every writer can create (or wants to create) a gazillion books in one series featuring the same character over and over again. I respect that just as much as I respect those writers who seem to have endless stories for their main character.

  2. This does sound like an interesting read, Cathy. And I give Barr credit for doing something different. Like Kathy D., I love the Anna Pigeon books. But still, it'll be interesting to see where she goes with this.

  3. Blind Descent was my favorite book in the series as far as I read. I remember thinking that I wouldn't like it before I started it. I was wrong. I was crawling out in tight spaces inch by inch with everyone. A body was being transported out. The book has stayed with me.

    I became stalled after the next book Liberty Falling which I had trouble staying interested in. However, I did learn quite a bit about the parks. Last year, I took a trip to NYC and we went to Liberty and Ellis Island. I wish the read had been around the time of my trip. My eyes kept going over to look at the hospital. I stopped reading the series after I read Liberty Falling even though I have many of the next books in the series to read. Time to dig out Deep South.

    I thought it was appalling the negative reviews she received for 13 1/2. I read it and liked it. She was trying something different and many readers didn't want her leaving the Anna Pigeon arena. A writer should be able to venture out if they so desire. I remember some saying they saw her name on the book and picked it up thinking it was an Anna book. They were quite upset. Nevada Barr doesn't need anyone to feel sorry for her because she is very successful. I did though when this happened to her.

    1. I "get my back up" because of the injustice. People denying someone else a simple right which-- if taken away from *them*-- they'd howl and gnash their teeth about it. many ways I seem to feel that my favorite authors are members of my inner circle, so don't you mistreat them! ;-)

      I think a lot of people had problems with Liberty Falling because we like to see Anna out in the wild, not in the middle of Noo Yawk. I treated the setting like a different kind of wilderness and didn't have a problem with it and read each new book as it came out.

  4. I liked Liberty Falling because I live in New York so fine with me.
    I will give this book a try. Nevada Barr deserves that from me, a loyal reader. I'll see if the library gets it.

    And, yes, the library has Wendall Thomas' first book waiting for me. And I'm reading The Lost Man and busy, but I will get to it. Oh, why does life get in the way of reading, I mean, really.


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