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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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1,425405,292 (3.73)187
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 187 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
the disappearance of Luis Horseman who thinks he has murdered someone and takes off for a lonely corner of the Navajo tribal lands. Leaphorn a Navajo 'Law and Order' sets out to find him, What he finds is a body, which seems a bit odd. The death is suspicious and witchcraft is suggested. Leaphorn must sift through the facts and the fiction to understand the Navajo's death.

I really liked this novel, (4 stars), and while I guessed the "Whodunnit", the "why dunnit" was harder to guess. The action was nonstop, and so many insights into the Navajo culture and community. A truly great read. ( )
  Carol420 | May 31, 2016 |
The mystery aspect of this book was weak in many ways because it felt that he handed us the killer on a silver platter, so there wasn't a lot of guessing as to why the characters were in the dire situations that they found themselves in, but what greatly enhances the rating of this particular book is the sheer immersion into Native American culture that it contains. Hillerman does an excellent job of making these scenes feel authentic, which is important when someone is not totally related to the culture like Hillerman (Hillerman is a white male, but was raised around the Navajo culture in his youth according to additional content in the kindle edition.)

The book tends to focus to heavily on a side character in this first book of Leaphorn, but I imagine it was because he was originally just a side character that wasn't supposed to be that prominent at all in the book but Hillerman was asked to make him a bigger character by his editor. I imagine in the subsequent novels featuring him that he has more of a role and prominence. If you can get past this fact since it is the first novel in the series then you will greatly enjoy what he produces here.

As previously stated the mystery aspect is a little obvious and the moments are not that shocking when certain revelations occur. This still makes the mystery aspect of the book fine in my opinion because not every mystery needs to be a guessing game for the reader. Sometimes it needs to be handing them all the pieces so they can focus on other aspects of the novel, which as stated I think the Native American aspects were what needed to be focused in on in this first novel in the series, so we had a grasp on what the rest of the series would look like. It wasn't the best book I have read this year, but it was a quick read that I completed in one day, which makes it a great book in my opinion because you don't have to sit with it for a long period of time. You can just have a new experience with a new culture in the matter of one day! ( )
  SoulFlower1981 | Jan 20, 2016 |
Tribal Police Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn is investigating the death of a young Navajo man whose body is found high in the desolate rocks surrounding Many Ruins Canyon. There are no tracks or clues surrounding the body and Leaphorn immediately thinks of the Wolf Witch mythical creature that is said to haunt the area. A small party of archeologists are tracking the magical witch themselves but will soon face mortal danger from very real murderers. Leaphorn knows he must prove that the Wolf Witch is a flesh and blood human with greed and power fueling his murderous rampage.

At first I found the constant barrage of Navajo words and names very intimidating but after awhile I became more comfortable with them. The descriptions of the landscape are quite breathtaking at times and the author definitely knows how to evoke terror just by the sheer vastness and lonliness of the southwest canyons and the idea of being stranded there. I don't think I quite understood the mystery reveal but I would definitely try another Hillerman book.
( )
  Ellen_R | Jan 15, 2016 |
3.5***

From the dust jacket: When Lt. Joe Leaphorn of the Navajo 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.

This is the first in the series featuring Leaphorn. Hillerman weaves in considerable Navajo lore in this very real story of murder and mayhem. The point of view switches among the characters (although not the bad guy) so we are treated to the victim, innocent bystanders, and Leaphorn each observing parts of the puzzle without clear indications as to how the pieces fit together. Oh, we do discover who the Wolf-Witch is pretty quickly, but not WHY he behaves as he does. Hillerman leaves it up to Leaphorn to explain it all in the end.

I love Lt Joe Leaphorn. He is methodical, steady, unflappable, intelligent, pensive, courteous, a keen observer, skilled tracker and ever willing to listen. It’s this last quality that makes him such a good detective. He hears the clues in both what is said and how it is said, and even in what is NOT said.

I thought the dust jacket blurb was misleading; Leaphorn never actually suspects supernatural elements. He is all too aware that most such evil acts are perpetrated by very human killers. But he is certainly intrigued and puzzled by the appearance of the Witch, and the beliefs of the tribal people who have been terrorized (or just “bothered”) by him. In many ways this makes me think of the stories my grandparents or great aunts would tell … full of ghosts and spirits, yet also imparting valuable lessons on how to conduct oneself “the right way.” It’s a wonderful blend of the mystical with the realities of life. I’ll definitely continue reading the series.
( )
  BookConcierge | Jan 13, 2016 |
The first of a series. I enjoyed Joe Leaphorn and, in fact, Bergen McKee. I learned a good deal about the superstitions of the Native Americans and some of their culture. I look forward to learning lots more in the rest of the series. ( )
  whymaggiemay | Jun 3, 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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Luis Horseman leaned the flat stone very carefully against the pinon twig, adjusted its balance exactly and then cautiously withdrew his hand.
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:17 -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 3 descriptions

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