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Tony Hillerman Books In Order

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Publication Order of Leaphorn & Chee Books

with Anne Hillerman
The Blessing Way (1970)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dance Hall of the Dead (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
Listening Woman (1978)Description / Buy at Amazon
People of Darkness (1980)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Dark Wind (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Ghostway (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
Skinwalkers (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Thief of Time (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Talking God (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
Coyote Waits (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sacred Clowns (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Fallen Man (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
The First Eagle (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hunting Badger (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Wailing Wind (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Sinister Pig (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Skeleton Man (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Shape Shifter (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Spider Woman's Daughter (By: Anne Hillerman) (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Rock with Wings (By: Anne Hillerman) (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Song of the Lion (By: Anne Hillerman) (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cave of Bones (By: Anne Hillerman) (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Tale Teller (By: Anne Hillerman) (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Stargazer (By: Anne Hillerman) (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Sacred Bridge (By: Anne Hillerman) (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Way of the Bear (By: Anne Hillerman) (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lost Birds (By: Anne Hillerman) (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Fly on the Wall (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
Finding Moon (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

The Best of the West (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Mysterious West (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Great Taos Bank Robbery: And Other True Stories (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Children's Books

The Boy Who Made Dragonfly (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
Buster Mesquite's Cowboy Band (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Great Taos Bank Robbery and Other Indian Country Affairs (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
New Mexico, Rio Grande, and Other Essays (1975)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Spell of New Mexico (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
Tony Hillerman's Indian Country Map and Guide (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
Indian Country (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
Talking Mysteries: A Conversation With Tony Hillerman (With: Ernie Bulow) (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hillerman Country (With: Barney Hillerman) (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
Seldom Disappointed (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Kilroy Was There (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

The Perfect Murder(1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
2nd Culprit(1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Oxford Book of American Detective Stories(1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Serpent's Tongue: Prose, Poetry, and Art of the New Mexican Pueblos(1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
First Cases, Volume 3(1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Century of Great Suspense Stories(2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Longman Anthology of Detective Fiction(2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
A New Omnibus of Crime(2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Tony Hillerman was a critically acclaimed American author of a series of detective novels. The Navajo series was his most notable work. The series focuses on the adventures of Detectives Leaphorn and Chee of the Navajo Tribal police force. Several of his books within this series have been adapted into successful television films that evoke the mystery and beauty saturated in Hillerman’s novels.

Anthony (Tony) Grove Hillerman was born in Sacred Heart, Oklahoma in 1925. He was the youngest of three children. His father was a farmer and store keeper. From 1930-1938, Tony Hillerman attended St. Mary’s Academy, a boarding school that was primarily for Native American girls.

It was here that he developed an understanding and appreciation of the Native American culture which influenced the subject matter of his books. In high school he attended another primarily Native American school, Konawa High School.

After a brief stint in college, Hillerman returned home to the farm to work. In World War II, he became a decorated war veteran, serving as a mortarman for the 103rd Infantry Division. While in the military, Hillerman received a Bronze Star, a Silver Star, and a Purple Heart.

After World War II, he worked as a journalist (1948-1962). Tony Hillerman then attained a master’s degree. With his degree, Hillerman taught journalism at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It was in New Mexico that Tony Hillerman began his career as a novelist.

He first became famous for his unique, supernatural Navajo series, which featured 18 books. Throughout his career, Hillerman wrote more than 30 books. He was also noted for writing several memoirs about his life in the Southwest and the history of the Southwest.

As a result, Tony Hillerman was ranked as the 22nd wealthiest man in New Mexico in 1996. Career Hillerman is one of the most decorated writers in New Mexico history. He has received a number of literary honors for his critically acclaimed Navajo series.

He was awarded the Parris Award by the Southwest Writer’s Workshop for his dedication to improving the writing careers for other writers. Hillerman’s work is known around the United States and throughout the world. His books have been translated into more than eight languages including, Dutch and Japanese.

Tony Hillerman’s work is known for the flawless cultural details he presents in the series. Much of the content of his books, deal with the inter-relationships of Native American tribes, federal agents, the Navajo Tribal Police, and European-Americans.

Both his non-fiction and fictional work is a reflection of his childhood respect and admiration for the beauty of the American Southwest, the Native American culture, and the Navajo people. Hillerman’s mystery novels take place in the American Southwest.

The areas of New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado are the main areas, but his mysteries extend to Los Angeles and all the way to Washington, DC. The main character in his Navajo series is Joe Leaphorn, and Jim Chee, two officers in the Navajo Tribal police.

Hillerman’s first novel and smash success was The Blessing Way (1970), and introduced the universe of the Navajo Tribal police and the character Joe Leaphorn. His second novel, Dance Hall of the Dead (1973), received an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America.

Hillerman received the Mystery Writers of America’s Grand Master Award in 1991. Later Hillerman received Navajo Tribes’ Special Friends of Dineh Award for his representation of the Navajo people in an award winning novel series. He also received the Nero Award for his novel Coyote Waits.

Hillerman has always acknowledged the earlier writings of author Arthur W. Upfield, books set among the aborigine people in Australia, as an inspiration to him. The Upfield novels were published in 1928 and featured Detective Napoleon Bonaparte. The character, along with his sidekick, investigated supernatural events in the desert.

The Leaphorn and Chee Books 

The Navajo series is also known as the Leaphorn and Chee books. The series has a few recurring themes, many of which revolve around the differing attitude of Leaphorn and Chee. Leaphorn is a skeptic but does take the notion of witchcraft seriously. While he doesn’t believe in witchcraft, he believes that people who believe in witches are dangerous.

Even though he does not think the supernatural is real, he does respect Navajo tradition and takes his job and his cases very seriously. Chee holds more traditional Navajo beliefs. As a follower of Navajo traditions, Chee is also a practicing shaman, in his spare time when he is not chasing down supernatural mysteries with Joe Leaphorn.

Throughout the novels, Leaphorn and Chee investigate a variety of cases of the supernatural and witchcraft. Other novels deal with their relationships with the “white man” and the Navajo culture. Readers will notice that Hillerman often refers to characters by descriptive nicknames.

For example, a murder victim is called “Pointed Shoes.” The Blessing Way Hillerman’s first novel of the series features anthropologist Bergen McKee who comes to the Navajo Reservation to investigate reports of witchcraft.

At the same time, Joe Leaphorn investigates the murder of a person found with a mouth full of sand. Soon both McKee and Leaphorn are in danger as they investigate the disappearance of an electronics expert. Dance Hall of the Dead This book is the second book in the popular Leaphorn and Chee series.

When a young Navajo and his Zuni friend disappear, Leaphorn is asked to investigate the disappearance of the Navajo boy. When the Navajo boy’s friend, Ernesto, is found dead, the need to find the boy grows.

Television and Film Adaptations

Several of Tony Hillerman’s books have been adapted into television films. The Dark Wind (1991), Skinwalker (2002), Coyote Waits (2003), A Thief of Time (2004), and Skinning the Night: American Mystery (DVD release). Skinwalker was a television film success with an all star cast.

The film was produced as a part of the popular PBS Mystery! Series. These films have featured some notable stars like; Lou Diamond Phillips, Adam Beach, and Wes Studi. Anthony Hillerman’s love for the Southwest, and the Native American culture, has led to the creation of an award winning body of work.

Hillerman’s books are known and loved for their powerful and accurate descriptions of the Southwestern area, its history and the Navajo experience. Tony Hillerman has also produced a number of memoirs as well, but Hillerman’s most prolific work was the Leaphorn and Chee series.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Tony Hillerman

8 Responses to “Tony Hillerman”

  1. Celanna: 2 months ago

    My father was an avid reader of Tony Hillerman’s for decades before my parents moved to Arizona. Later, I began reading them after we moved to Arizona and was soon addicted. A love for the American southwest coupled with having visited many of the places in the series keeps me coming back for more, and Anne Hillerman has done her father proud since taking over the series.

  2. jcb: 9 months ago

    Hillerman’s Leaphorn and Chee books are excellent and can be read and re-read. I am always amazed at how these series authors make all their books similar and different. We should all be so blessed as to Go With Beauty.

  3. Nita: 9 months ago

    I’m a real fan. I’ve lived in the southwest and the Hillerman books can put you right there. Very excited that Anne is continuing the work. I have a well-read collection and love re-visiting them from time to time.

  4. Cynthia Tyra: 1 year ago

    I was introduced to Mr. Hillerman’s work via Amazon’s airing of the series “Dark Winds”. I am glad that I viewed the series before reading the books as, Book 1 did not have piqued my interest. Now that I’ve read Books 1-5 and experienced the development of Tony’s writing, as well as introduction and growth of characters, I am HOOKED. Unfortunately, my small town’s library or its network of regional sources do not have most of the books (they were able to locate Book 1). As my budget allows, I am purchasing the series and donating to the local public library. I believe readers who watch the series will want to enjoy the books as much as I.

  5. Alan Brown: 2 years ago

    I still have to get his latest books but still read many of the older books again. It is interesting to note that Arthur W Upfield was someone Tony Hillerman respected as we have all the Upfield books and these are treasured as are Hillermann books. I would have loved to have met Tony Hillerman and a visit to the Navajo area is still on my list for the future.
    He is missed by all of his numerous fans and we are lucky in England to be able to read his books.

  6. Betsy: 2 years ago

    His book Fly on the Wall (1973) although not a Leaphorn &Chee book is an excellent tale mixing journalism and politics. It’s apropos now (2022)

  7. Bobby Price: 2 years ago

    We lost one of our greatest mystery writers when Mr. Hillerman passed. But, the good is that his stories and characters will live on. I have reread many of his works many times and they continue to bring me much joy and entertainment. Thank you Tony Hillerman and God Bless you.

  8. Pete: 6 years ago

    One of my favorite authors.


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