Amazon Best Mystery of 2015
Navajo Tribal cops Jim Chee and Bernadette Manuelito, and their mentor, the legendary Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn, investigate two perplexing cases in this exciting Southwestern mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of Spider Woman s Daughter.Read more...
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Amazon Best Mystery of 2015
Navajo Tribal cops Jim Chee and Bernadette Manuelito, and their mentor, the legendary Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn, investigate two perplexing cases in this exciting Southwestern mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of Spider Woman s Daughter.
Doing a good deed for a relative offers the perfect opportunity for Sergeant Jim Chee and his wife, Officer Bernie Manuelito, to get away from the daily grind of police work. But two cases will call them back from their short vacation and separate them one near Shiprock, and the other at iconic Monument Valley.
Chee follows a series of seemingly random and cryptic clues that lead to a missing woman, a coldblooded thug, and a mysterious mound of dirt and rocks that could be a gravesite. Bernie has her hands full managing the fallout from a drug bust gone wrong, uncovering the origins of a fire in the middle of nowhere, and looking into an ambitious solar energy development with long-ranging consequences for Navajo land.
Under the guidance of their mentor, retired Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn, Bernie and Chee will navigate unexpected obstacles and confront the greatest challenge yet to their skills, commitment, and courage."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-03-02
- Reviewer: Staff
In her worthy sequel to 2013’s Spider Woman’s Daughter, Hillerman continues the exploits of the beloved Navajo cops of MWA Grand Master Tony Hillerman (1925–2008). Officer Bernadette Manuelito, Sgt. Jim Chee’s wife, makes a routine traffic stop of a speeding car on a New Mexico road that morphs into a mystery when the nervous driver tries to bribe her—but the only suspicious cargo he has are two boxes of dirt. Meanwhile, Chee takes a security assignment in Monument Valley, where a movie is being filmed, and finds not only a missing person but a newly dug grave. Although Lt. Joe Leaphorn is still greatly handicapped by the injury he suffered in the previous book, his mind is sharp and his insights help both Chee and Manuelito solve some problems. Hillerman uses the southwestern setting as effectively as her late father did while skillfully combining Native American lore with present-day social issues. Agent: Elizabeth Trupin-Pulli, JET Literary Associates. (May)
Whodunit: Murder, politics and other unnatural disasters
It has been six years since I picked up Attica Locke’s debut, Black Water Rising, in which activist-turned-attorney Jay Porter rescued a drowning woman and set off a sequence of events that reverberated through the halls of Houston’s power elite. In Locke’s latest thriller, Pleasantville, Porter is recently widowed and struggling to keep his life on track as he looks into the case of a missing political volunteer. As an environmental law practitioner, Porter is best known for having won a huge settlement against an oil company (for which he has yet to be paid), so an abduction/murder case is a bit outside his area of expertise. The crime scene complicates matters, as Pleasantville is an upwardly mobile black suburb pivotal to the Houston mayoral election. The outcome of the trial and the election are intertwined in ways that Porter cannot begin to imagine. Fans of Louise Penny or Sara Paretsky should buy all of Locke’s books and start reading. She’s that good.
TERRORISM IN FRANCE
Murders don’t happen often in quiet Saint-Denis, France, the home of Bruno, Chief of Police. But within moments of the opening of Martin Walker’s new mystery, The Children Return, Bruno is slapped upside the head with one of the most difficult cases of his career. An undercover agent is brutally assaulted with a hot cattle prod and left mutilated almost beyond recognition. When Bruno is called to the scene, his experiences as a policeman have in no way prepared him for this degree of barbarity. It comes to light that the victim was involved in the investigation of jihadists, which provides the perfect segue into the next event to rock St. Denis: the reappearance of Sami, an autistic young man suspected to have been recruited by Islamic terrorists. Sami is a veritable wealth of information on the inner workings of al-Qaeda, so the good guys want to debrief him immediately, and the bad guys want to silence him sooner than that. Thus, at the drop of a beret, Saint-Denis takes reluctant center stage in the war on terrorism. Nicely crafted with sensitivity and humo(u)r, The Children Return is tailor-made for fans of Peter Mayle, Colin Cotterill and Alexander McCall Smith.
I had some initial trepidation about reviewing Anne Hillerman’s debut novel, Spider Woman’s Daughter, which continued her father Tony Hillerman’s series featuring Navajo tribal cops Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee. But Hillerman fille put my fears to rest with her Tony-like, unembellished writing style and the fleshing out of some of the female characters. The second installment in the series, Rock with Wings, finds Leaphorn sitting on the sidelines, thanks to a bullet wound that by rights should have dispatched him to his final reward. Confining Leaphorn to the bench certainly doesn’t shut him up, and he serves as a sounding board and mentor for Chee and Chee’s wife, policewoman Bernadette Manuelito, as they struggle through a pair of perplexing cases, one involving the murder of a film company employee on the set of a B-grade zombie flick, and another featuring a very suspicious character furtively moving boxes of desert soil around the Southwest in the back of a rented Chevy Malibu. For chapters at a time, I totally forgot I was not reading Tony Hillerman’s writing, a strong compliment both to Anne and her much-missed dad.
TOP PICK IN MYSTERY
Yeah, yeah, I know. One more Walter Mosley book, one more Top Pick, a recurring theme. But here’s the thing: Mosley’s series featuring NYC private eye Leonid McGill has done what nobody expected, garnering critical acclaim and loyal readership to rival the author’s legendary Easy Rawlins books. The latest, And Sometimes I Wonder About You, finds the diminutive PI hot on the trail of a purported rare manuscript thief—although in this case, “purported” refers to the rare manuscript, not the thief, because the stolen papers are anything but an important antiquity. Instead, they are something of a modern-day salacious headline generator that one or more people are willing to kill for. The McGill mysteries always have lots going on, and this one is no exception: Our protagonist is dallying with no fewer than three beautiful women, one of whom is his suicidal wife; his long-thought-dead father shows up for a familial encore; and his son Twilliam finds himself caught up in the machinations of a shadowy underworld figure who manipulates a city-wide team of underage lawbreakers. The Easy Rawlins and McGill series are wildly different from one another, but I would be hard-pressed to choose which I prefer.