Sunday, May 6, 2018

Spider Woman's Daughter by Anne Hillerman

written by Anne Hillerman
series originator Tony Hillerman, r.i.p.

What a delight to be able to carry on reading the Hillerman Navajo books! After the death of her father Tony Hillerman, his daughter Anne Hillerman has taken on the cloak of wonderful Navajo mysteries. She has segued seamlessly into the series, which is not too surprising as she often worked with her father on the stories. All my favorite characters are here. Joe Leaphorn (but will he survive his attempted murder?), Chief Largo, Jim Chee, now married to fellow cop Bernie (Bernadette) Manuelito who is witness to the close up shooting. Who targeted Joe Leaphorn? Why? Where is his housemate who seems to have disappeared or just simply left the house? So much to be learned and Bernie, as the only witness, is not allowed to work the case.

This is an in-depth look at the life and beliefs of the Navajo nation and at the same time a truly well thought out police case, with surprises, action, loss and crime. Chaco Canyon is as true to reality and mystery as always. Always a major crime to be solved but at the same time we learn a bit of history, a bit of lore, a bit of healing, and a sense of community. Wow! I loved this book! It's like being reunited with old friends. Thank you Anne Hillerman for continuing the series. I've missed the stories and am so happy to be able to continue with this new book. As before, the very active Navajo police at the fore, surrounded by the legends and lifestyles of the Navajo, Zuni, Pueblo and other nations; a wonderful balance.

Note:  As a personal asideThe Tony Hillerman books were so realistic, exciting, and full of lore that my husband, daughter and I took a trip from New Westminster, BC Canada through all the places mentioned and then some. We went to Chaco Canyon, Pueblo Bonito, Monument Valley, Gallup, Window Rock, and of course Shiprock. We had opportunity to speak with the very friendly people we met in Shiprock during their fall fair. Our first and only long trip. We learned that the Navajo knew of small towns and cities throughout BC, Alberta, and Northern Canada and most we talked to had relatives all through those areas.

My first Tony Hillerman read was the "Thief of Time" which I found in a tub of books in a pharmacy several years ago. Little did I know then that this was one of the most informative finds I would be likely to see and my favorite.

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