Monday, October 27, 2008

Coyote Waits

One of my favorite mystery writers is no more:
Mystery writer Tony Hillerman dies at 83

Tony Hillerman, author of the acclaimed Navajo Tribal Police mystery novels and creator of two of the unlikeliest of literary heroes -- Navajo police officers Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee -- died Sunday of pulmonary failure. He was 83.
I've read just about all his Navajo Tribal Police books (although I think I missed the last couple); A Thief of Time, The Dark Wind, and Skinwalkers are probably the best of the series—or at least they're my favorites. Time to go reread them, methinks. Hillerman's books were wonderful for conjuring up the landscape of the American Southwest—in all its beauty as well as its peril. It's one of my favorite parts of the country to visit. His books also also gave me a profound love and respect for Navajo culture, which has a lot to recommend it. I had the opportunity to see Hillerman speak at the L.A. Book Fair in 1998 or 1999 and the rather large auditorium was packed. He will be missed.

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