Homicide is always an abomination, but there is something exceptionally disturbing about the victim discovered in a high, lonely place: a corpse with a mouth full of sand....
When a human skeleton is discovered on sacred Navajo land, the publicity surrounding the find sets in motion a widespread investigation and a series of attempted murders....
Tony Hillerman's best-selling Navajo mysteries have thrilled millions. Now he applies his talents to a story about an ordinary man thrust into total chaos....
Ace reporter John Cotton is a fly on the wall. But the game changes when he finds his best friend's corpse sprawled on the marble floor of the central rotunda of the U.S. Capitol....
This classic collection of nonfiction essays about life in New Mexico by the great Tony Hillerman remains a must listen for anyone looking to understand the state's unique charm....
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.
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
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
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
Tony Hillerman’s books are so relaxing and soothing to listen to. I love the history in learning about the Navajo culture.
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. . .
I am listening to the entire series. I am loving every word of this series.
Quite a bit about Native traditions, but also enough light love interest to keep me enjoying this story.
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.
Would you consider the audio edition of Sacred Clowns to be better than the print version?
I read this book many years ago and I was delighted to see it come out on Audible. While it is a straightforward police procedural and two murders occur in it, there is so much more at stake than solving the crime. The two iconic characters, Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn, each solitary men at the beginning of the novel, find love by the end of it. Lovely stuff. If you are new to Tony Hillerman or a fan from way back, I highly recommend this audiobook.
Who was your favorite character and why?
I am fond of all the regulars in this series, of course. I did appreciate the comic quality of the character of Harold Blizzard, who inadvertanly helps Jim Chee solve his murder case and his love problem simultaneously. Clever stuff.
What does Christian Baskous bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
Mr. Baskous has a lovely voice and his narration perfectly captures Hillerman's vivid descriptions of the dramatic beauty of the landscape on the Navajo Reservation as well as the more personal revelations of the principle characters. Hillerman's novels are famous for having lots of the "action" occur in the minds of the two detectives, with intimate examinations of their thoughts about the tribal world they live in and the universe at large. This novel takes on big questions in a quiet and contemplative manner. Mr. Baskous expresses all of the actions, observations and expressions of philosophy with proper reverence while creating distinct characterizations of many different voices in the novel.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
I was tempted to listen to it all at one sitting, but eight hours plugged into my headphones is a little hard to fit into my schedule! I ended up listening to it in three big chunks, kind of like watching a compelling mini-series on television. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Any additional comments?
There is some real wisdom in this novel, along with a very sweet dual-track love story. I confess, I listened to Chapter 26 twice. Check it out if you want to find out why!