I reviewed Tony Hillerman's Leaphorn and Chee detective novels after reading just three of them.  This week I completed the 18-book series.  (There are additional books written by the author's daughter, Anne Hillerman, after his death, which I may someday check out.  But I've never yet been pleased by additions made to a well-loved series, so I'm in no hurry.)  The original series comprises:

  1. The Blessing Way
  2. Dance Hall of the Dead
  3. Listening Woman
  4. People of Darkness
  5. The Dark Wind
  6. The Ghostway
  7. Skinwalkers
  8. A Thief of Time
  9. Talking God
  10. Coyote Waits
  11. Sacred Clowns
  12. The Fallen Man
  13. The First Eagle
  14. Hunting Badger
  15. The Wailing Wind
  16. The Sinister Pig
  17. Skeleton Man
  18. The Shape Shifter

I stand by what I said in my original review.  The books are thoroughly enjoyable, excellent mysteries, and a beautiful portrait of the American Southwest and Native American culture and religion, primarily Navajo.  Hillerman's own views and prejudices occasionally come through a little harshly, but as with the equally rare bad language, that does not diminish the stories.

Having begun the series in the middle, I did not read the books in chronological order, but as I was able to find them.  Our library has some, others were available as e-books via Hoopla, and a few I resorted to buying used at a substantial discount.  If possible, however, it would be best to read the stories in order.  It doesn't matter a bit for the individual mysteries, but helps for following the twists and turns in the lives of the main characters.

If I were a homeschooling mom again, and if my children enjoyed mysteries, and if we were studying the American Southwest, the Leaphorn and Chee books would be on my list of recommended reading.  Ditto even if you're not homeschooling.

Posted by sursumcorda on Thursday, February 11, 2021 at 5:51 am | Edit
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