The Tale Teller by Anne Hillerman
Set in the Navajo Nation in the scenic American southwest, this is Anne Hillerman’s best mystery so far; her fifth novel continuing the tradition of her father Tony. Fans of either Hillerman’s books, and readers of contemporary American mysteries with police protagonists, along with readers attracted by the Four Corners setting, will be sure to enjoy. Retired police Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn is asked to look into items missing from an anonymous museum donation, including a valuable artifact linked to the Navajo’s Long Walk. Joe continues to recover his fluency in spoken English after an injury, preferring to communicate by writing or in spoken Navajo. As his companion Louisa doesn’t speak Navajo, their relationship has some ups and downs. Navajo Police Sergeant Jim Chee investigates a string of burglaries and a shooting, while Officer Bernie Manuelito discovers a body on a running trail, thanks to a loyal dog. Family and clan connections are very important here, with a number of secrets to be uncovered. The main characters continue to develop, adding greatly to this mystery’s appeal; a very satisfying read. The first book featuring Bernie is Spider Woman’s Daughter.