Saturday, November 1, 2008

Tony Hillerman Gone But Never Forgotten

Tony Hillerman was known not only for his 18 popular Southwest mysteries with Detectives Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee but also his books celebrating the natural wonders of the Southwest. His desire through his writing was to share his respect of Native American culture. He will be missed by his fans but will be remembered through his award winning prose. (See titles below.) He was the winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award in 1974 and the Grandmaster Award from the Mystery Writers of America in 1991. Mr. Hillerman died in Albuquerque, New Mexico on October 26, 2008.


Blessing Way by Tony Hillerman.
Homicide is always an abomination, but there is something exceptionally disturbing about the victim discovered in a high lonely place -- a corpse with a mouth full of sand, abandoned at a crime scene seemingly devoid of tracks or useful clues. Though it goes against his better judgment, Navajo Tribal Police Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn cannot help but suspect the hand of a supernatural killer. There is palpable evil in the air, and Leaphorn's pursuit of a Wolf-Witch is leading him where even the bravest men fear ... on a chilling trail that winds perilously between mysticism and murder.

Dance Hall of the Dead by Tony Hillerman. [Winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award]
Two young boys suddenly disappear. One of them, a Zuni, leaves a pool of blood behind. Lt. Joe Leaphorn of the Navajo Tribal Police tracks the brutal killer. Three things complicate the search: an archeological dig, a steel hypodermic needle, and the strange laws of the Zuni. Compelling, terrifying, and highly suspenseful, "Dance Hall of the Dead" never relents from first page til last.

Thief of Time by Tony Hillerman.
A noted anthropologist vanishes at a moonlit Indian ruin where "thieves of time" ravage sacred ground for profit. When two corpses appear amid stolen goods and bones at an ancient burial site, Navajo Tribal Policemen Lt. Joe Leaphorn and Officer Jim Chee must plunge into the past to unearth the astonishing truth behind a mystifying series of horrific murders.

Shape Shifter by Tony Hillerman.
Since his retirement from the Navajo Tribal Police, Joe Leaphorn has been called on occasionally by his former colleagues to help them solve a puzzling crime. And Leaphorn, aided by Jim Chee and Bernie Manuelito, always delivers. But this time, the problem is with an old case of Joe's ndash;ndash; his "last case," unsolved and haunting him. And with Chee and Bernie on their honeymoon, Leaphorn is on his own. The case involved a priceless Navajo rug gone missing. Now, years later, Leaphorn is picking up the threads of a crime he'd thought impossible to solve. Hillerman is at the top of his form in this atmospheric and stunning novel.

Hillerman Country: A Journey through the Southwest with Tony Hillerman by Tony Hillerman.
This... is a collaborative effort between the author and his brother, a professional photographer for 40 years. The text mixes popularized history and anthropology with personal observations and anecdotes. A thoughtful selection of excerpts from Hillerman's novels serve as captions to many of the 200 color photos. Barney Hillerman's camerawork exhibits an understated and straightforward honesty by avoiding over-studioization. (from Library Journal)

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