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The Blessing Way [Hardcover]

Tony Hillerman
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 1990

Homicide is always an abomination, but there is something exceptionally disturbing about the victim discovered in a high lonely place, a corpse with a mouth full of sand, abandoned at a crime scene seemingly devoid of tracks or useful clues. Though it goes against his better judgment, Navajo Tribal Police Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn cannot help but suspect the hand of a supernatural killer. There is palpable evil in the air, and Leaphorn's pursuit of a Wolf-Witch is leading him where even the bravest men fear, on a chilling trail that winds perilously between mysticism and murder.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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"Brilliant . . . As fascinating as it is original." -- -- St. Louis Post-Dispatch --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Tony Hillerman (1925–2008), an Albuquerque, New Mexico, resident since 1963, was the author of 29 books, including the popular 18-book mystery series featuring Navajo police officers Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn, two non-series novels, two children’s books, and nonfiction works. He had received every major honor for mystery fiction; awards ranging from the Navajo Tribal Council's commendation to France 's esteemed Grand prix de litterature policiere. Western Writers of America honored him with the Wister Award for Lifetime achievement in 2008. He served as president of the prestigious Mystery Writers of America, and was honored with that group’s Edgar Award and as one of mystery fiction’s Grand Masters. In 2001, his memoir, Seldom Disappointed, won both the Anthony and Agatha Awards for best nonfiction.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
LUIS HORSEMAN LEANED the flat stone very carefully against the pinon twig, adjusted its balance exactly and then cautiously withdrew his hand. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some technical difficulties May 9 2004
By Abies
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A friend just introduced me to Tony Hillerman, and I'm excited to get started. The first book I started was The Blessing Way. Unfortunately, I was disappointed in the first few pages to find that Horseman was baiting his kangaroo rat deadfall traps with meat, as kangaroo rats eat seeds. This made me question the validity of some of his other research, but as I've heard great things about him, I look forward to reading his other books, and will not give up yet.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
We were lucky to glom onto Hillerman's first book as our introduction to his graphic depictions of Navaho life and geography. Set in the mesas and desert lands of New Mexico and Arizona (and a bit of Utah), we agree with the many reviewers who react to much of his stories as though they were travelogues. Indeed, the author's descriptions of the scenery and his illumination of this Native American culture were entertaining and informative, while reportedly extremely accurate and well informed.
His mystery writing skills, at least in 1970 when this novel was first published, seem a little tame by comparison. The murder of Luis Horseman gets the plot going, but the investigative role of the central character, Lt. Joe Leaphorn, of the Navaho Tribal Police, is frequently overshadowed by college professor Bergen McKee. McKee, engaged by a search for rumored witchcraft, more or less stumbles onto the likely bad guys "whodunit". His manly actions to protect a female companion and escape armed captivity are a little tough to believe. Moreover, the late chapter appearance by Leaphorn, to just wrap up everything with the tidiest possible ribbons, left us feeling a little shallow about the book's craft and cohesiveness.
Hillerman has a loyal following and has published over a dozen of these stories to date. While his settings create their own interest, it is not likely his plots are as complex as more current modern writers might typify. We expect Hillerman's work will either tend to please or disappoint -- but the domination of Southwestern imagery and culture should allow most readers to make an informed choice.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "He stirs, he stirs, he stirs, he stirs," Jan. 13 2007
By bernie TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
"Among the lands of dawning, he stirs, he stirs.

The pollen of dawning, he stirs, he stirs.

Now in old age wandering, he stirs, he stirs.

Now on the trail of beauty, he stirs,

Talking God, he stirs..."

It is in the 1970's pre-cell phone where parallel lives take place. We have an Indian wanted for a stabbing who turns up dead. Not just dead but in the wrong place. Not the wrong place but in a mysterious way. There is also a team of archeologists looking into which craft (they just may find it). One archeologist seems to be missing. A strange Navaho has his hat stolen but the silver hat band left. A woman is coming to visit her fianc' is in for an adventure she did not count on. From all of this Joe Leaphorn must make some sort of sense.

It is the descriptiveness of Tony Hillerman that goes beyond the mystery to pant a picture of a different world that we get to glimpse in the process of reading.

Read the book but the addition of the voice of George Guidall ads a dimension to the story by helping visualize the people and correcting pronunciation of certain words. I suggest you read the book and listen to the recorded version.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars "He stirs, he stirs, he stirs, he stirs," July 23 2006
By bernie TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
"Among the lands of dawning, he stirs, he stirs.

The pollen of dawning, he stirs, he stirs.

Now in old age wandering, he stirs, he stirs.

Now on the trail of beauty, he stirs,

Talking God, he stirs..."

It is in the 1970's pre-cell phone where parallel lives take place. We have an Indian wanted for a stabbing who turns up dead. Not just dead but in the wrong place. Not the wrong place but in a mysterious way. There is also a team of archeologists looking into which craft (they just may find it). One archeologist seems to be missing. A strange Navaho has his hat stolen but the silver hat band left. A woman is coming to visit her fiancé is in for an adventure she did not count on. From all of this Joe Leaphorn must make some sort of sense.

It is the descriptiveness of Tony Hillerman that goes beyond the mystery to pant a picture of a different world that we get to glimpse in the process of reading.

Read the book but the addition of the voice of George Guidall ads a dimension to the story by helping visualize the people and correcting pronunciation of certain words. I suggest you read the book and listen to the recorded version.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars "He stirs, he stirs, he stirs, he stirs," July 9 2004
By bernie TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"Among the lands of dawning, he stirs, he stirs.
The pollen of dawning, he stirs, he stirs.
Now in old age wandering, he stirs, he stirs.
Now on the trail of beauty, he stirs,
Talking God, he stirs..."
It is in the 1970's pre-cell phone where parallel lives take place. We have an Indian wanted for a stabbing who turns up dead. Not just dead but in the wrong place. Not the wrong place but in a mysterious way. There is also a team of archeologists looking into which craft (they just may find it). One archeologist seems to be missing. A strange Navaho has his hat stolen but the silver hat band left. A woman is coming to visit her fiancé is in for an adventure she did not count on. From all of this Joe Leaphorn must make some sort of sense.
It is the descriptiveness of Tony Hillerman that goes beyond the mystery to pant a picture of a different world that we get to glimpse in the process of reading.
Read the book but the addition of the voice of George Guidall ads a dimension to the story by helping visualize the people and correcting pronunciation of certain words. I suggest you read the book and listen to the recorded version.
Was this review helpful to you?
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Introducing Joe Leaphorn
Tony Hillerman has written 15 or so novels about Navaho policemen working in the high,dry canyon country of New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah. Read more
Published on Aug. 27 2002 by Smallchief
4.0 out of 5 stars Southwestern Fiction A+/ Mystery Writing B-
When Hillerman in on the subject of the Southwest and the Navajo, he's killer. His books *feel* realistic--and you can't ask more from a writer than to create an intriguing,... Read more
Published on July 27 2002 by Robert St. James
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Writer
If you have never had the good fortune to visit New Mexico and Arizona, reading a Tony Hillerman novel will have you itching to pack your bag and experience the wonderful vistas he... Read more
Published on May 5 2002 by Beverly J. Scott
2.0 out of 5 stars Did I read the wrong book?
Hillerman must have written more than one book by the same title because The Blessing Way I read was so crammed full of Navajo culture that I forget there was an actual storyline... Read more
Published on Feb. 24 2002 by "gcplude"
4.0 out of 5 stars A good mystery, whodunit, set in the SouthWest
I don't know if this book accurately depicts Indian life on the reservation---I don't know anybody from there, never been there. Read more
Published on Jan. 26 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this Hillerman rather than the recent ones
Read this Hillerman rather than the recent ones. Warm, funny, suspenseful, and full of Navajo and local color. A true experience.
Published on March 23 2001 by "siliconvalleythinker"
5.0 out of 5 stars My first TH novel with a wonderful story and history
This was my first book relating the Navajo history.. It was impossible to put down. The mixture of mystery and mystic was tantalizing. I can't wait to read more of his books.
Published on March 13 2001 by Ruth A. Caldwell
5.0 out of 5 stars Much more than a mystery!
Tony Hillerman's The Blessing Way is much more than a mystery - it is a book that allows a close up look at the Navajo and the southwest. Read more
Published on Feb. 20 2001 by ROBERT KINGSLEY
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