Thursday, October 5, 2023

Hillerman; Skinwalkers, Coyote Waits, Thief of Time and Dark Winds

Tony Hillerman wrote three books featuring Joe Leaphorn. Then he wrote three books featuring Jim Chee.

Book seven, Skinwalkers, published in 1986, featured the team of Leaphorn and Chee. He wrote eleven more Leaphorn Chee books. The last one was published in 2006.

Hillerman died in 2008 at age eighty three.

I only read Skinwalkers. I loved it. I didn't follow the series because it wasn't my preferred genre and I didn't have much time for reading in those days. 

In 2002 and 2003 Robert Redford produced three Leaphorn Chee movies for PBS Mystery series: Skinwalkers, Coyote Waits and Thief of Time.

Wes Studi played Joe Leaphorn and Adam Beach played Jim Chee. 

As with most things PBS does, they were excellent. I couldn't find them streaming anywhere so you might have to buy the DVDs to see them.

Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee are together again in a new AMC series, Dark Winds. Leaphorn is played by Zahn McClarnon and Jim Chee is played by Kiowa Gordon. Bernadette Manuelito, Chee's love interest, is played by Jessica Matten. Sheriff Gordo Sena is played by A. Martinez.

This time around producer Robert Redford is joined by producers George R. R. Martin and Hillerman's daughter, Anne Hillerman. The series began in 2022 and has so far given us two fabulous seasons with season three in the works.

Dark Winds is written by Chickasaw native, Graham Roland, Pyramid Lake Paiute native, Anthony Florez, and Seneca - Cayuga native, Erica Tremblay.

 In 2013, Hillerman's daughter, Anne Hillerman published Spider Woman's Daughter, the first new novel since 2006 featuring her dad's Navajo characters. The novel's protagonist is Jim Chee's wife, Officer Bernadette Manuelito. Leaphorn is the victim of an assassination attempt and spends half of the book in a coma. Chee and Bernadette Manuelito are the crime fighters from that book forward in the series. Leaphorn recovers and consults frequently throughout the books to date.

Spider Woman's Daughter, which I read and enjoyed, is followed by seven more books with the Bernie and Chee team. Anne does a good job of remaining true to the characters her father created while developing a style all her own.

R. Carlos Nakai and Peter Kater: All Soul's Waltz

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