Books by Tony Hillerman

Tony Hillerman is past president of Mystery Writers of America and has received their Edgar and Grand Master Awards. His other honors include the Center for the American Indian's Ambassador Award, the Silver Spur Award for the best novel set in the West,

THE SHAPE SHIFTER by Tony Hillerman
Released: May 23, 2006

"Not much mystery this time, and Sgt. Jim Chee and his bride Bernadette Manuelito ('now it's Chee') are mostly kept offstage. But Hillerman's warmth is undiminished as he follows a dogged old cop who burns up gasoline by driving all over Arizona because he can't bear to sit at home."
Lt. Joe Leaphorn, who can't seem to stay retired, investigates a case that takes him back to his earliest days with the Navajo Tribal Police. Read full book review >
SKELETON MAN by Tony Hillerman
Released: Dec. 1, 2004

"No mystery this time, but considerable suspense in the race to bottom of one of the most spectacular and treacherous landscapes Hillerman's ever explored."
A brain-damaged Hopi holds the key to a fortune in diamonds, and even bigger stakes, in this treasure hunt. Read full book review >
THE SINISTER PIG by Tony Hillerman
Released: May 1, 2003

"Hillerman Lite, with little mystery about who killed Carl Mankin, or, unless you think Hillerman's gotten a lot less warmhearted, about what's going to happen to imperiled Bernie Manuelito."
Though you might expect them to have their hands full with rumors of war, Washington powerbrokers seem obsessed these days with whatever's happening in the big-sky New Mexico territory Hillerman's long since branded as his own (The Wailing Wind, 2002, etc.). Read full book review >
THE WAILING WIND by Tony Hillerman
Released: May 7, 2002

"Top-notch detective work by all hands, a solution fully worthy of the puzzle, and all the hard-won wisdom on cultural clashes between Navajos and whites you'd expect from Hillerman (Hunting Badger, 2000, etc.)."
Two years ago, wealthy oil-lease magnate Wiley Denton confessed to shooting Marvin McKay dead—a con man, he testified, whose offer of a partnership in the lost Golden Calf goldmine backfired when he tried to leave Denton's place with the $50,000 down payment in lieu of any legal agreement—pleaded self-defense, and served his time. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 2001

"No abusive childhood, no paying of old scores, no juicy gossip, and very little revelation of anyone but the deeply decent author, who's constantly interrupting his chatty stream of anecdotes to say one more nice thing about somebody else."
A warmly old-fashioned reminiscence from the dean of the American regional mystery. Read full book review >
Released: April 20, 2000

"Where's Nero Wolfe when you need him?"
In his introduction, Hillerman confides that he'd have included many more stories from the pulps and the slick magazines if Penzler hadn't wisely deterred him. Read full book review >
HUNTING BADGER by Tony Hillerman
Released: Jan. 1, 2000

"Pleasing lesser work from the doyen of the regional mystery—a master who, like his hero, keeps his best tricks till last."
On May 4, 1998, a Colorado police officer was shot and killed when he pulled over a stolen water truck. Read full book review >
THE FIRST EAGLE by Tony Hillerman
Released: Sept. 1, 1998

"Chee brings it all, including his relationship with Janet, to a climax with a theatrical coup that would put a lesser writer on the map all by itself—and that reminds you, in case you've forgotten, that Hillerman's mysteries are in a class of their own."
The day that Acting Lt. Read full book review >
THE FALLEN MAN by Tony Hillerman
Released: Dec. 18, 1996

"The autumnal 12th entry in this distinguished series is less complex and energetic than Sacred Clowns (1993), but Hillerman's legion of fans, impatient for a return to the reservation ever since the author's Vietnam novel, Finding Moon (1995), will likely find it irresistible."
Released: April 1, 1996

"The anthology as museum, with Hillerman and Herbert as suave a pair of curators as you could wish."
Though Hillerman's introduction notes his impatience with "the rules" of the detective story's Golden Age, this magisterial selection of 34 stories is remarkably evenhanded, proceeding from Poe to Ross Macdonald and Rex Stout with scarcely a notable omission (except for Dashiell Hammett, for copyright reasons). Read full book review >
FINDING MOON by Tony Hillerman
Released: Oct. 25, 1995

"A familiar tale, movingly told by a surprising voice."
In the darkest hour of the American withdrawal from Vietnam, a slow-horse newspaperman fights to rescue the niece whose existence he's just discovered—in this swift-moving tale from Navajo chronicler Hillerman (Sacred Clowns, 1993, etc.). Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"Despite the novelty of its regional concept and the absence of reprints — a Texas-size disappointment, without even a story by Hillerman, a nonpareil novelist who'd better not quit his day job."
Don't get your hopes up: Despite Hillerman's best-selling name on the dust jacket, this isn't a new Leaphorn or Chee mystery (Sacred Clowns, 1993, etc.) but an anthology of 20 new stories by lesser, though still brand-name, authors (Lie Matera, John Lutz, Harold Adams, William J. Reynolds et al.). Read full book review >
SACRED CLOWNS by Tony Hillerman
Released: Sept. 15, 1993

Navajo Detective Jim Chee, working now for Lt. Read full book review >
TALKING GOD by Tony Hillerman
Released: June 1, 1989

"Still, if less richly nuanced with Navajo themes and scenes than previous tales, this minor Hillerman remains far-above-average crime fiction: vividly peopled, forcefully told."
Another joint venture for Lieut. Read full book review >
A THIEF OF TIME by Tony Hillerman
Released: July 1, 1988

"Slightly less absorbing than the best Hillermans, but darkly atmospheric and ultimately powerful—with (as usual) effective contrasts among the theological beliefs of rationalist Leaphorn, mystical Chee, and other Navajos."
Hillerman's two Navajo Tribal Police heroes—middle-aged Lieut. Read full book review >
SKINWALKERS by Tony Hillerman
Released: Jan. 1, 1986

"Haunting backgrounds, quietly disturbing incidents, tautly orchestrated tensions: another indelible Navajo-world imprint from the author of The Ghostway and People of Darkness."
When fictional sleuths from different series join forces, the effect is usually shallow and gimmicky—as in the many recent collaborations of Bill Pronzini, for instance. Read full book review >
THE GHOSTWAY by Tony Hillerman
Released: Feb. 13, 1984

"Despite pockets of excess sentimentality: one of Hillerman's best Navajo mysteries—keeping suspense, Indian lore, and character in stately yet compelling balance."
The tension between the Navajo way-of-life and the tempting white-world outside—always an element in Hillerman's somber outings for Jim Chee of the Navajo Tribal Police—is central and emphatic in this haunting, absorbing investigation. Read full book review >
THE DARK WIND by Tony Hillerman
Released: April 7, 1982

"A few nice twists, with Hillerman's moodily fine prose in full Southwest regalia; but this time the darkness is murky almost as often as it's chilling—in the slowest, most relentlessly introspective case yet for the Navajo Tribal Police."
Strongly atmospheric but far less suspenseful than People of Darkness, this second case for Jim Chee of the Navajo Tribal Police (who's also an apprentice Navajo chanter/shaman) moves into the neighboring Hopi culture on the joint Southwest reservation—as Chee ponders possible connections among a quartet of simultaneous cases. Read full book review >
PEOPLE OF DARKNESS by Tony Hillerman
Released: Oct. 1, 1980

"Top work from a top talent."
Hillerman is once again among the New Mexico Navajos, but Joe Leaphorn isn't the sleuth this time. Read full book review >
LISTENING WOMAN by Tony Hillerman
Released: April 19, 1978

"With enough action (Joe survives a fife ordeal) and last-second twists to grab those uninterested in the topnotch atmosphere, Hillman's overdue return (five years since Dance Hall of the Dead) should draw murmurs of contentment from all sides."
Like so many other mystery men these days, the splendid Mr. Hillerman has allowed his detective, Joe Leaphorn of the Navajo Police, to get tangled up with terrorists: a Boy Scout troop is held hostage by a fringe Indian-rights gang whose leader is a madman out for revenge and personal gain. Read full book review >
DANCE HALL OF THE DEAD by Tony Hillerman
Released: Oct. 10, 1973

"Not too seriously — the story's not the thing — it's Hillerman's anything but wooden Indians and the way in which he informs their way of life with affection and dignity."
Released: Oct. 25, 1972

"Yet the lesson of waste is one that we are just learning, and the spirit of Zuni mythology, documented in the author's appended notes, pervades."
Laszlo Kubinyi's precise and delicate drawings indicate the tone of this Zuni legend of a boy whose virtues inspire the guardian Corn Maidens to name him the father of his people. Read full book review >
THE FLY ON THE WALL by Tony Hillerman
Released: Sept. 15, 1971

"It will do, even if he did better in The Blessing Way."
After a drunken newsman dry dives to his death taking with him the story he had been about to break, another reporter in the press room, John Cotton, becomes the fly on the wall seemingly easy to swat in an ugly story of political corruption and collusion involving a new highway. Read full book review >
THE BLESSING WAY by Tony Hillerman
Released: March 11, 1970

"Authentic anthropological details; the self-effacing courage of McKee; and a particularly exciting entrapment in the canyons of this no white man's land make this an unqualified success."
Bergen McKee, a professor and "monster slayer" of Navajo witches and wolves, finds he has more real ores to contend with in the deaths of "no good for anything" Luis Horseman and of a colleague. . . . Read full book review >