Sunday, November 2, 2008

Well-fried

my brain, that is...

It's been too long a weekend, and I'm really wiped out. I will report back on yesterday's book festival tomorrow. Here instead is a book review:

The Blessing Way, by Tony Hillerman (first in the Joe Leaphorn series)
finished 10/30/08

I've been slowly acquiring the books of this series, and had planned to start reading them after I'd caught up with at least two more of the other mystery series I follow. However, when a friend informed me of Hillerman's recent passing, I thought it would be a fit tribute to him to read and review it now. I listened to the audiobook over a 3-day period while I either pumped breastmilk or nursed my daughter to sleep. That has (so far) been the only way I could get through any books, and to even think about reaching my goal total and various challenges.

Aside from Hillerman's portrayal of the crimes to be solved (which was complex without being confusing), I really enjoyed the way he shared the Navajo culture, history, and spirituality in a genuine, respectful manner. Hillerman's approach to telling this story was a new style for me: the reader doesn't see everything through the sleuth's (Leaphorn's) eyes. Considering the foundation/background mystery, it only made sense to show the appropriate events from McKee's perspective.

This book was nominated for a Best First Novel Edgar, but he only had to wait until his next book (Dance Hall of the Dead) won a Best Mystery Edgar to join the ranks of the lauded.

These websites are full of good information about the man and his books:
http://www.dancingbadger.com/tony_hillerman.htm
http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/h/tony-hillerman/
http://www.umsl.edu/~smueller

2 comments:

Nicole said...

Sounds intriguing!

ROTUS said...

The mysteries become formulaic as the series goes on, but as a reader, I became so involved with the characters in Hillerman's books that I didn't care.