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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tony Hillerman passes away

Sadly, the great mystery writer Tony Hillerman has died at the age of 83, and Ron and I have read the last of his wonderful books.

Though Caucasian, Hillerman very successfully brought two Navajo detectives vividly to life, complete with their inner thoughts and private problems. Ovet the years, Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn, sterling members of the Navajo Tribal police in the gaunt, arid, stunning setting of New Mexico, have almost become members of the family. They were certainly part of the inspiration for Wiki Coffin, the half-Maori detective of my mystery series. And, while the color schemes of the distinctive Hillerman book jackets may not have been as spectacular as the desert the two native American policemen roamed, I have always enjoyed the use of stylized American-Indian figures.

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