Another routine assignment for National Park Ranger Anna Pigeon--doubling as medic and security for a firefighting camp fighting a blaze in California's Lassen Volcanic Park--turns into a nightmare when the snowstorm that promised relief from the flames instead whips them up into a firestorm, isolating Anna's spike camp and leaving two firefighters dead: one from the fire, a second from a knife in his back. Somebody's interrupted Leonard Nims's training as crew boss by creeping into his form-fitting one-person shelter and stabbing him to death. With no hope of quick rescue or backup investigators, Anna holds onto her sanity by wondering why anybody would commit a murder at the height of a firestorm. It's only the first tantalizing riddle she'll wrestle with, even as Frederick Stanton, the FBI agent Anna keeps running into, jets out to Lassen to brief her over the radio on the nine suspects trapped on the freezing, burned-out landscape with her. Stanton's earnest, endless, highly salient briefings are a drag, but Anna, surrounded by an exceptionally well-developed cast, shines as ranger, detective, and heroine--truly a woman for all seasons. Anna's fourth appearance (Ill Wind, 1995, etc.) is a superior puzzler wrapped in her most exciting adventure yet: a stellar performance on every count. No matter what you read mysteries for, it's in here.