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Sacred Clowns by Tony Hillerman

Sacred Clowns (1993)

by Tony Hillerman

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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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 |
I'm addicted tp Tony Hillerman mysteries and this is one of the best. ( )
  marsJ | Mar 31, 2013 |
Jim Chee has joined Joe Leaphorn as his assistant, still not a sergeant, but he has to solve a hit-and-run to get it. We learn a little (not much) about the Tano tribe, part of the larger Pueblo group in this episode. Besides the hit-and-run to solve, there are a few murders connected to the Tano celebration that opens the book and gives us the title. Maybe more important is the developments of the relationships between Jim Chee and Janet Pete, and between Joe Leaphorn and Louisa Bourebonette.

I realized, looking for the spelling of names in the text, that Hillerman uses the women's first names in the narrative way before he uses the men's first names. Chee is always Chee except in dialog, but Janet is Janet almost immediately. It doesn't ruffle me. Just noticing.

Anyway, a good mystery in the series, and I liked the fact that we are finally getting Leaphorn and Chee together (see, even I do it). 4 stars. ( )
  ffortsa | Oct 4, 2012 |
One of the Best: Tony Hillerman is a wonderful author. A Scared Clown is a very outstanding mystery book.
In little town, Shiprock, Officer Chee and Detective Leaphorn discover a human skeleton. Whoever that was, was brutally murdered and it is up to them to crack the mystery. The characters in this book are described where you can just picture what they look like and what everything else looks like. The author, Mr. Hillerman, did a good job with imagery. It felt as if I were there with them trying to solve the mystery. The author kept me interested with his diction. I couldn't stop reading the book, I just kept going.
I recommend people to read this book if they are into mystery books, because I know they will feel the same way I did when I opened the book and when I closed the book.
  iayork | Aug 9, 2009 |
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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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