Sacred clowns. by Tony Hillerman

Filed under:Chee/Leaphorn,Mystery,Series — posted by Randolph on March 4, 2014 @ 7:59 pm

Sacred clowns.
by Tony Hillerman

Joe Leaphorn asked Jim Chee to find a runaway schoolkid. During this investigation, he is on the scene of a murder during a Tano ceremony. This murder had similar characteristics to another murder, but they couldn’t be related. Of course all three threads tie together in a fascinating story.

Side stories include a hit and run accident. A relationship between Jim Chee and Janet Pete in which Jim has trouble resolving a possible clan violation in their seeing each other. At the same time, Joe Leaphorn is planning a trip to China with Louisa Bourebonette.

Tony Hillerman gives the reader excellent insights into the Navajo culture, especially in the way that Jim Chee resolves his personal issues. Through his investigations, we also get a glimpse into the Tano culture, a branch of the Pueblo tribes.

The book is a very good read, it keeps moving forward and has interesting developments in the mysteries.

The Ghostway by Tony Hillerman

Filed under:Chee/Leaphorn,Mystery,Series — posted by Randolph on May 17, 2013 @ 8:02 am

The Ghostway by Tony Hillerman

There is a murder in Shiprock, NM. Jim Chee can’t investigate because the FBI is involved in the case. But he finds an angle, a missing girl who is related to one of the people involved.

His investigation takes him to Los Angeles, where we view the white poverty through his eyes. As usual in these books, the Navajo culture is a strong influence on the story. We learn about ghosts, and the ghostway, which is a cleansing ceremony for someone who has been in an infected hogan, by the chindi.

A third story line is with Joe’s fiancĂ©, Mary Landon. She is pressuring him to leave the reservation and join the FBI. He is torn between the world he knows and loves, and the unknown of the white world. And he is concerned for the Navajo culture, he is one of a very few young people who is studying the old ways. He is working to become a yataalii, a medicine man. If he leaves, that would be a great loss to the tribe.

Although the story involving the death and the FBI is the main mystery, the story is more about Jim Chee’s struggle to resolve his relationship with Mary. Mary appears very little through the book, but plays a vital part. Tony Hillerman’s storytelling is excellent, the pacing is right and he gives a very good feel for the New Mexico area and the Navajo culture.

This is an excellent read, and a must-read for any Hillerman fans.

Finding Moon by Tony Hillerman

Filed under:Chee/Leaphorn,Mystery,Series — posted by Randolph on November 9, 2009 @ 3:32 pm

Finding Moon by Tony HillermanI had expected another Chee or Leaphorn story. This is more of an adventure, than a mystery. The story is set at the tail end of the Vietnam war, the protagonist, Moon Methias, is searching for the daughter of his deceased brother. In the process of finding his neice, he also finds himself. The book is about him remaking himself through adventure that mounts, he persists in spite of himself. The reader is lead to believe the search is for the child, but much if it is about himself.



image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace