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Sacred Clowns by Tony Hillerman

Sacred Clowns (1993)

by Tony Hillerman

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Sacred Clowns examines both the Navajo and Hopi cultural and religeons, steeping the murder mystery in a rich cultural tapestry that Hillerman was known for. As always, the story involves the human elements of both Chee and Leaphorn, their love lives and their personal struggles. This has it all.. mystery, politics, history, intrigue, and yes, two murders to solve. ( )
  MorrisE.Graham | Jan 2, 2015 |
Always enjoy Hillerman's books. I find all of the Indian culture information very interesting and the stories are entertaining. ( )
  carolfoisset | Nov 16, 2014 |
This was quite enjoyable but the problem I have with this series is that everything about the setting is so unfamiliar it gets in the way of really enjoying it. I had to resort to finding a map of the Navajo reservation online in order to try and visualise where the action was happening - I wish the books came with a map and a glossary of Navajo words. ( )
  mlfhlibrarian | Aug 11, 2014 |
Joe Leaphorn asked Jim Chee to find a runaway schoolkid. During this investigation, he is on the scene of a murder during a Tano ceremony. This murder had similar characteristics to another murder, but they couldn’t be related. Of course all three threads tie together in a fascinating story.

Side stories include a hit and run accident. A relationship between Jim Chee and Janet Pete in which Jim has trouble resolving a possible clan violation in their seeing each other. At the same time, Joe Leaphorn is planning a trip to China with Louisa Bourebonette.

Tony Hillerman gives the reader excellent insights into the Navajo culture, especially in the way that Jim Chee resolves his personal issues. Through his investigations, we also get a glimpse into the Tano culture, a branch of the Pueblo tribes.

The book is a very good read, it keeps moving forward and has interesting developments in the mysteries. ( )
  Nodosaurus | Mar 5, 2014 |
I'm addicted tp Tony Hillerman mysteries and this is one of the best. ( )
  marsJ | Mar 31, 2013 |
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This book is dedicated to Fr. Doug McNeill, director of Saint Bonaventure Indian Mission, Thoreau, NM 87323, and to the volunteers who donate part of their lives to run its classrooms, kitchen, school buses, and water trucks. They come from all parts of the country, from different generations and different religions, united only in the desire to help their fellow humans.
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At first, Officer Jim Chee had felt foolish sitting on the roof of the house of some total stranger.
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this ISBN seems to be tied to both Sacred Clowns and Ghostway. Might need to check on taht
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061092606, Mass Market Paperback)

Hillerman's long-awaited new novel shows how amply he deserves such high praise, as it reunites Navajo Tribal Policemen Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee in an effort to unravel a treacherous web of tribal politics and murder. Yesterday a teacher was killed at a mission school on the Navajo Reservation, but today in the Tano Indian pueblo murder seems inconceivable as a tribal ceremony unfolds. The sacred kachinas have danced into the ancient plaza, and the koshare in their grotesque disguises have tumbled down from the rooftops to ape the foolishness of humankind. At first, the crowd welcomes this troupe of sacred clowns with laughter. But something in one clown's red wagon hushes the crowd. And then murder strikes at Tano. To Officer Chee and Lieutenant Leaphorn, now working as an uneasy team, the solution to the killing at the mission school seems straightforward, and the death at Tano seems to be out of their jurisdiction. But the odd behavior of a runaway student connects the two crimes and shows that neither is what it seems. Chee and Leaphorn's search for the truth propels them into a realm where battles as old as humanity's foibles and as new as its high technology are fought to the death. Sacred Clowns brims with subtly drawn personalities, revealing glimpses into proud, ancient cultures, crystalline evocations of the Southwest's stark beauty, and taut yet lyrical prose. It is, simply, Tony Hillerman at his best.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:31:12 -0400)

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A koshare, or sacred clown, in a kachina dance, is stabbed to death right after the ceremony in which he has symbolically warned of the dangers of selling sacred objects.

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