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R. Allen Chappell Books In Order

Publication Order of Navajo Nation Mystery Books

Navajo Autumn (2013)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Boy Made of Dawn (2013)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Ancient Blood (2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Mojado (2015)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Magpie Speaks (2016)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Wolves of Winter (2016)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Bible Seller (2017)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Day of the Dead (2018)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Collector (2019)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Falling Girl (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Collections

The Fat of The Land (2012)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

R. Allen Chappell is an American author of historical mystery author whose writing is inspired by his experiences. Chappell grew alongside the Navajo, and he believes there is a lot he learned from schooling, working, and hanging out with them. The author is quick to state that while his stories are fictional, he tries to make his characters as believable as possible while working to keep the culture accurate. When he is not writing, Chappell continues to dig deeper into the Navajo culture and way of life. The author lives in Western Colorado.

Navajo Autumn

Navajo Autumn is the first book in the Navajo Nation Mystery series. The book stars Charlie Yazzie, a Navajo law graduate looking to create a name for himself in the corporate world. Charlie is about to get a case that is sure to propel his career. The case involves the murder of a big shot in the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Charlie knows precisely where to find the prime suspect. Thomas Begay was no stranger to Charlie as they went to law school together. Thomas drunk too much, and he never hid his disgust for the white man’s way he claimed Charlie had embraced.

Thomas Begay was dead-drunk under a bridge when the police rudely awaken him. A woman is lying next to him, and unfortunately, she is dead. The woman in question is Patsy Greyhorse, a BIA investigator. Thomas has little recollection of what happened, but he is sure he did not kill anyone. After listening to his side of the story, Charlie chooses to help his old schoolmate and risk his career. After getting him out of jail, Charlie now has to find the real killers to prove that Thomas is innocent.

Life has not been easy for Thomas Begay. First, the man finds himself out of work, which makes it impossible for him to keep his home. With no other way out, Thomas and his wife Lucy move in with Lucy’s mum. This doesn’t seem to work for the couple, and Thomas turns to alcohol to numb his pain. It is after such a drinking spree that Thomas wakes to a dead woman by his side. Fortunately, Charlie manages to get him out on parole, and now everyone has to rush against time to catch the real killers. So, what does Thomas remember about the killers? Why was Patsy murdered?

This story is set in New Mexico, and the author captures the issues faced in Mexicans living in reservations in North America. The author highlights the native culture while vividly describing the New Mexico landscapes. Charlie is an easy character to like. It is admirable that he is willing to put his dreams on hold when a friend needs him. The rest of the cast is exciting and relatable. From Thomas to his wife, Lucy, it is easy to understand what these characters are going through.

Navajo Autumn is an intriguing story characterized by a fast pace, fascinating characters, and captivating storyline. The book draws you in from the start, and the mystery comes with enough twists and turns to keep you glued to the pages. The plot is simple, making this an easy-to-follow story. Follow Charlie on his search for the truth and experience the New Mexico charm in the process.

Boy Made of Dawn

Boy Made of Dawn is the second book in the Navajo Nation Mystery series. Once again, Charlie Yazzie and Thomas Begay are among the main characters. Charlie is now an attorney with the Navajo Legal Service, and he is looking to propose to his girlfriend, Sue Hanagari. For Charlie, life couldn’t be better. All his plans change when a man makes a report about a young boy hiding in the wilderness. Driven by curiosity, Charlie goes in search of the boy only to discover that he is Thomas’s son. He later learns that there is a plot to stop Thomas and others from testifying in the Patsy Greyhorse case. It is also clear that he has to tread carefully to safeguard Caleb and his sister’s lives.

George Jim is tasked to find where Sally is hiding and also convince Charlie to help look for Caleb. The plan is to lure Charlie to Caleb, recapture the young boy, and kill Charlie and Thomas as well. Unfortunately, this plan fails when both Caleb and Ida are rescued.

Caleb, Thomas’s son, has been separated from his mother, Sally Clee. The same fate has befallen Caleb’s sister Ida Marie. The abductors are keen to prevent Sally Clee from testifying in Patsy’s murder case, and keeping her from her children seems to be working as Sally has already gone into hiding. Thomas has to get someone to watch Caleb and Ida as he goes to search for their mother. He is even more confused to learn that his wife Lucy already knows about the children even though she has never met them. How did this information get to her?

Just like in the first book in the series, the author highlights the Ute and Navajo history and culture in this story. He is knowledgeable in this area, making this a perfect read for people intrigued by these cultures. Getting to know Charlie and Thomas better is fun, not to mention the fact that there are new exciting characters to meet. The story exposes tribal corruption, murder, and kidnapping. All evidence points to a Ute family, and a shrewd female neighbor determined to keep some tribal leaders from obeying the law. Join Charlie and Thomas on yet another adventure as they work to save Thomas’s children and uncover the mystery surrounding the children’s mother disappearance. The cat and mouse chase will almost cost them their lives, but it’s great that the good guys seem to be winning this time around.

Boy Made of Dawn is a fast-moving story that leaves no doubt that the author is a talented storyteller. The story is entertaining, fun, and informative. The author’s descriptions are so good you will feel like right there in the Reservation, taking in the canyons and mountaintops. Another great mystery that is hard to put down.

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Book Series In Order » Authors » R. Allen Chappell