Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tony Hillerman country.

Ever since I picked up my first Tony Hillerman novel I was hooked. His stories about the Legendary Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn and Sergeant Jim Chee were a lot of fun to read, or listen to on audio books. One of the many things that made his books stand out in my opinion was the way he treated the Native American characters in work. They had problems just as any of us do, some were looking to the Traditional Ways to find the answers while others didn't believe in them. Leaphorn was the modern policeman using all the technology and psychology available to solve the crime, while Chee was a Traditionalist and used his knowledge of the Navajo traditions to do the same. Along the way were characters with all the flaws of mankind. Then he told us about the landscape and the sounds of the desert Southwest as it is today. One of the reasons for this post this week is because I am in the area of the Big Res, along I-40. I love this part of the country but it is now a little sad because Tony Hillerman is gone. There will be no more adventures with Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn, and that is a reason for some wistful thoughts of the books already read. Even the Navajos, Hopi, Zunis and Apaches miss him. I only hope that in my writing I can do justice to the people I write about as well as he did.


  1. I'm with you on the Tony Hillerman novels. I have read several of them and loved the way he portrayed the Native Americans. He had the ability to create mental pictures of the landscape and his characters. I hope to do half as well.

  2. "Keechie" and "Granny Boo" did a pretty decent job of it. Phil.