The car fire didn't kill Navajo Tribal Policeman Delbert Nez—a bullet did. And the old man in possession of the murder weapon is a whiskey-soaked shaman named Ashie Pinto. Officer Jim Chee is devastated by the slaying of his good friend Del, and confounded by the prime suspect's refusal to utter a single word of confession or denial.
Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn believes there is much more to this outrage than what appears on the surface, as he and Jim Chee set out to unravel a complex weave of greed and death that involves a historical find and a lost fortune. But the hungry and mythical trickster Coyote is waiting, as always, in the shadows to add a strange and deadly new twist.
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Tony Hillerman (1925–2008), an Albuquerque, New Mexico, resident since 1963, was the author of 29 books, including the popular 18-book mystery series featuring Navajo police officers Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn, two non-series novels, two children’s books, and nonfiction works. He had received every major honor for mystery fiction; awards ranging from the Navajo Tribal Council's commendation to France 's esteemed Grand prix de litterature policiere. Western Writers of America honored him with the Wister Award for Lifetime achievement in 2008. He served as president of the prestigious Mystery Writers of America, and was honored with that group’s Edgar Award and as one of mystery fiction’s Grand Masters. In 2001, his memoir, Seldom Disappointed, won both the Anthony and Agatha Awards for best nonfiction.From Publishers Weekly:
Plumbing more deeply than ever the Navajo culture of Tribal Police Lt. Joe Leaphorn and Officer Jim Chee, Hillerman ( Talking God ) weaves an understated, powerful tale from strands of ancient Navajo mythology, modern greed and ambition, and, above all, the sorrows and delights of his characters. Although Chee is badly burned in an attempt to rescue fellow officer Delbert Nez, who has been shot and left in his burning car, he blames himself for Nez's death. On medical leave and off the case, Chee tries to facilitate the prompt prosecution of elderly shaman Ashie Pinto, found near the murder site in a drunken stupor, the weapon in his hand still smoking. Leaphorn, too, becomes unofficially involved when he agrees to investigate the charges against Pinto on behalf of the latter's niece, a member of his dead wife Emma's clan. He and Chee follow parallel trails to the killing of a Vietnamese teacher and former ARVN officer, to a revision in the legend of Butch Cassidy and to the case's unexpected resolution. Central to the tale are two women, one Pinto's attorney; the other a cultural anthropologist who helps prize Leaphorn out of his continuing grief over Emma's death. Hillerman's spare and moving story eloquently illustrates Pinto's reminder to Leaphorn that Coyote, "the enemy of all law, and rules, and harmony," waits for everyone. Reader's Digest Condensed Books.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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