Like others have said, I enjoyed this book far more than the last couple of Anna Pigeon mysteries from Barr. Unlike those last two books, this one returns to Anna Pigeon's wry interior monologues, occasionally grumpy outbursts, and the characteristic physicality of the early Pigeon mysteries.
The description of the Texas border country is lovely, as always. It makes me want to go on a rafting trip tomorrow. The mystery is also well-drawn; the twist and reveal isn't totally unexpected, but it's also well done.
Mostly I'm happy that the relentless darkness of the soul that characterized the last two Pigeon mysteries has lifted slightly. I don't mind some darkness (that's why I like Anna Pigeon in the first place!).