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Publisher's Summary

First there was the trouble at Saint Boneventure boarding school. A teacher is dead, a boy is missing, and a councilwoman has put a lot of pressure on Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn and Officer Jim Chee to find her grandson. Sitting on a rooftop watching sacred clowns perform their antics in a Pueblo ceremony, Chee spots the boy. Then, suddenly, the crowd is in commotion. One of the clowns has been savagely murdered.

Without a single clue, Chee and Leaphorn must follow a serpentine trail through the Indian clans and nations, seeking the thread that links two brutal murders, a missing teenager, a band of lobbyists trying to put a toxic dump site on Pueblo land, and an invaluable memento given to the tribes by Abraham Lincoln in a fast-paced, flawless mystery that is Hillerman at his lyrical, evocative, spellbinding best.

©1993 Tony Hillerman (P)2013 HarperCollinsPublishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Please have George Guidall read all the books

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

The title says it all. I love the books, but Baskous's reading ruins the books for me.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Even better second time around

I know I listened to this some time ago, but didn't review it at that time. Since then I've become more critical, and it's wonderful that I can stand to listen to anything twice. I really enjoyed this book because 1) I like the way Hillerman moves the action and detection processes along; not a lot of violent action, but keeps things hopping. 2) I get so impatient with books that spend a lot of time with the heroes mucking around in irrelevant emotional riprap. I actually find Jim Chee's trains of thought to be amusing, rather than distracting, simply because, once again, Hillerman moves it along. 3) When I read a mystery/detective novel, I'm not trying to find out all the intimate details of everyone's love life. This book actually has two romances going on, but they added a bit of fun rather than annoying me. In fact, I think they're about the most romantic scenes I've ever read.

At some point George Guidall and Christian Baskous apparently gave up producing these wonderful unabridged audiobooks. I hope one or the other or both of them will pick it up again. Perhaps it was a Hillerman heirs' decision, but I hope they'll get back with the program soon. I've found some of the others on CD, but usually they're abridged, and I can't listen to them on my iPod, so, you know. . .

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Soul feeding, highly entertaining,.

Loved it. This intricate clever story meanders thru southwestern native cultures, with a respect and understanding which is very refreshing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Milton
  • Falls Church, VA, United States
  • 02-07-15

Delightful Chee and Leaphorn

The beginning of a great collaboration and a long term friendship. Much Tano, Hopi and Navajo culture.
All in all a bang up good mystery with crackerjack detective work . This is a repeater!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful series--wonderful book!

The late Tony Hillerman wrote a memorable series (recently brought back to life by his daughter!) that gives beautiful insights into Native American culture and history, coupled with very good mysteries.

In this one Lt. Joe Leaphorn and Officer Jim Chee are working side by side--aware of each other's cases, but not exactly focused on the same one (even though, of course, they will eventually tie together). It begins with Officer Chee watching a Pueblo ceremony that includes Sacred Clowns. He should be keeping his eye on a young boy that will soon go missing, just as one of the clowns will soon be murdered. This book has the usual good sense of mystery--of complicated situations that parallel each other for a while before their connections are felt. But beyond that, and what makes these so special, is the sense of being brought into a way of life that is fascinating.

Officer Chee is often at odds with himself over his calling--he wants to be a police officer, but is deeply connected to the spiritual, healing community--which looks at human behavior a bit differently. This book offers a beautiful example of the difference between the usual police procedures and the way the Navajo regard dealing with human mistakes. There is a great deal of compassion in the unique way that Officer Chee will handle one of the several story lines in this wonderful book.

It is hard to find enough ways to recommend this book, and this entire series! The narration is quite good, and I just didn't want the story to end!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Hillerman, poor narrator

This is a Hillerman teaming of the "Legendary Lieutenant", Joe Leaphorn, and the younger, Jim Chee, who wants to be a singer. Together, they work on two murders and a hit and run, all while looking for a runaway Navaho boy for his grandmother. As usual the pieces come together slowly but surely, though as is finally pointed out to Leaphorn, with less attention to timing. I've read, and or listened to, all of Tony's books and all of his daughter's as well. The major issue I have with the newer versions are the narrators. The narrator for the older books is flat, without much inflection, and has no imagination to differentiate the voices of each character. While that may seem tedious to him, Guidall really "makes" the book for the listener. He really needs to take lessons from George Guidall. The female narrator of the new series makes most of the major characters sound backward rather than distinctive. There really need to be two NEW narrators, or at least one, and go back to the Guidall versions.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great!

I am listening to the entire series. I am loving every word of this series.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Love the voices and characters

Quite a bit about Native traditions, but also enough light love interest to keep me enjoying this story.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Well written as usual. Nice plot twists.

A good story to listen to. Narrator does a great job of characterization and timing. Depictions of ceremonies are good. Depictions of life on the reservation are interesting.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great

Tony Hillerman’s books are so relaxing and soothing to listen to. I love the history in learning about the Navajo culture.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful