Zippidy Doo Da

I'm not stupid, I'm from Texas!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Tony Hillerman 1925-2008

Tony Hillerman, decorated combat veteran of WWII, journalist, professor of journalism, and author died this week in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is best known for his novels about Joe Leaphorn of the Navajo Tribal Police.

I had read of these popular novels, and eventually one fell into my hands, probably off my mother-in-law’s bookshelf. About that time, Robert Redford produced films of Hillerman’s books for PBS starring Wes Studi, and I was hooked for good.

Set in the four corners area of Arizona and New Mexico, Hillerman goes heavy on the background, laying on the tribal culture and traditions until you’re acclimated; you start to wake up facing the east, in a world bordered by the sacred mountains.

Leaphorn was a savvy detective who didn’t believe in witchcraft, but saw that like whiskey, it still had a potential for evil. His protégée, Jim Chee on the other hand trained as a Navajo “singer” and healer, trying to balance his native ways with his role as a policeman.

I heartily recommend “The Blessing Way” to any lover of mysteries, expecting that you’ll go on to read the other seventeen novels in the series.


At 9:18 PM , Anonymous motor hedman said...

Yep, good stuff, hitchin around in the desert, at all hours of the day or night, looking for clues. He took me away for a time, with his storytelling, into the dreamworld of the elders...


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