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The Blessing Way (Navajo Mysteries #1) by…
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The Blessing Way (Navajo Mysteries #1) (original 1970; edition 2009)

by Tony Hillerman

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1,298356,036 (3.72)139
Member:DaveLancaster
Title:The Blessing Way (Navajo Mysteries #1)
Authors:Tony Hillerman
Info:Harper (2009), Edition: Reprint, Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:Western, Mystery, nook

Work details

The Blessing Way by Tony Hillerman (1970)

  1. 10
    The Shaman Sings by James D. Doss (ckNikka)
    ckNikka: Great mix of story telling - humor - culture and places
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» See also 139 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
Anthropologist Bergen McKee comes to the Navajo Reservation to research anecdotes and stories of witches, while his old friend, Navajo Nation Police Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn is searching for a suspect whose body turns up in an unexpected place and in a physical condition which suggests that Leaphorn has a true live witch on his hands. This first installment of the series may not be as good as those that follow, but it does still show that Hillerman is on to something great with his mysteries that explore traditional and modern life on the Navajo and Hopi reservations. This book shows that Hillerman hasn't quite settled on who his main character should be yet so the story feels slightly bifurcated, but the end result is still very good, especially for a first novel. With an interest in anthropology, my favorite parts are those that deal with the beliefs and rituals of the traditional people and Hillerman's description of The Enemy Way ceremony (Ana'í Ndáá') makes a regular mystery story into something three-dimensional by grounding it in a regular life that is quite extraordinary to those of us who do not inhabit the Dinétah or visit on a regular basis. Not my favorite installment as mentioned above, but it's become one of my favorite series, so I enjoyed seeing where it had its beginning. ( )
  -Eva- | Jan 22, 2015 |
I did like The Blessing Way but it did seem a bit like a first novel and a lot of the focus was on a non-Navajo character. When the series continues we mostly remain on the reservation with Leaphorn and his fellow police. However, there was a nice introduction to Navajo life which Hillerman then built upon in later books.
  hailelib | Jan 16, 2015 |
For me, the beginning was a little rough. It is the first book in this detective series set on Navajo tribal lands. Hillman takes time to explain The Navajo Way, which I found fascinating (like the fact that there is no word for time" in their language), but it felt like roughly inserted patchwork. About a quarter of the way in, this smoothed over and the book read more like a traditional Murder Mystery. Plot summary: a young Navajo is found murdered on the side of the road. Lt. Joe Leaphorn of the Navajo Tribal Police is willing to consider the supernatural when the corpse is found with a mouth full of sand, abandoned at a crime scene high on the mesa with no tracks and no apparent useful clues next to the body. Professor Bergen McKee approaches the mystery from an academic angle. He is researching Wolf-Witch legend and becomes entangled in the investigation. The setting is beautiful. The mystery is simple, but with enough plot twists to keep the reader happy. It is a little clunky in parts, but good enough that I look forward to the next in the series.

On a side note: I was peeved with my Kindle edition. I can only see the percentage read, so I was at 90% when the story concluded (the rest was filled with promos and other stuff) and that made the ending feel very abrupt to me. Not the writer's fault. ( )
  Berly | Jan 10, 2015 |
This is the first of the Joe Leaphorn books and for being published back in 1970 it held up remarkably well for reading in today's world. This novel is classic who-dun-it. It is timeless in the sense that the plot and the characterization held up to modern scrutiny in much the same way an Agatha Christie novel would. The character development is well done but the real star of this show is the setting and the characterization of the people who live there. The author painted pictures of the land and of the people that made the reader care about them and what happened to them. I also noted that this book is well edited. It is neither to long or to short. It is easy to read and keeps the tension of the story going so that the reader does not lose interest in extemporaneous details. More modern mystery authors should take note and follow this authors lead. I was left with only one question about how in the world police work was done without the aid of cell phones or GPS? ( )
  benitastrnad | Jan 7, 2015 |
The first of Hillerman's Joe Leaphorn books. I've read later books in the series that I enjoyed more than this one. I really like the Leaphorn character here, "blue policeman" from Law and Order and his interactions with the Navajo people but elements of the storytelling here interfered with my enjoyment of the story. Several characters here are really well done and a couple not, one exceedingly so. We are given most of the mystery up front and follow along to see if the characters can figure it out. The reader gets a few surprises also. ( )
  RBeffa | Jan 6, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tony Hillermanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Guidall, GeorgeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061000019, Mass Market Paperback)

When Lt. Joe Leaphorn of The Navaho Tribal Police discovers a corpse with a mouth full of sand at a crime scene seemingly without tracks or clues, he is ready to suspect a supernatural killer. Blood on the rocks . . . A body on the high mesa . . . Leaphorn must stalk the Wolf-Witch along a chilling trail between mysticism and murder.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:00:35 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

When Lt. Joe Leaphorn of the Navajo Tribal Police discovers a corpse with a mouthful of sand at a crime scene seemingly without tracks or clues, he is ready to suspect a supernatural killer. Blood on the rocks ... A body on the high mesa ... Leaphorn must stalk the Wolf-Witch along a chilling trail between mysticism and murder.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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