Read Across America: ArizonaThe Blessing Way by Tony Hillerman
on 1970
Genres: Mystery
Pages: 320

When Lt. Joe Leaphorn of The Navajo Tribal Police discovers a corpse with a mouth full of sand at a crime scene seemingly without tracks or clues, he is ready to suspect a supernatural killer. Blood on the rocks...A body on the high mesa...Leaphorn must stalk the Wolf-Witch along a chilling trail between mysticism and murder.

This is the first in Hillerman’s long-running (as in 19 books & counting) series set in the four corners area of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado & Utah.

Overall, I found the book a little bit disappointing. I’ve never read Hillerman before, although he’s been on my tbr for a long time. I’ve read a number of reviews of this book that seem to suggest that the series improved a few books in.

In any event, I’d definitely read another in this series, and I would even buy another, except I feel like the kindle books are overpriced, since they average $7.00 for books that have been out for decades. I’m guessing that the UBS would be the place to pick these up. Or, maybe at some point they’ll go on sale for $.99 or $1.99. I’d buy the whole caboodle at that price. Mostly because I have a problem.

What I liked about the book, though:

I really did enjoy the setting. Joe Leaphorn lives in Window Rock, Arizona, so named because of this rock formation:


This is high desert area, with an interesting Native American cultural history. Even though I felt that the mystery was weak, I liked the characters, and I liked the Native American influence, including the mysticism that Hillerman used to excellent effect.

So, even though I didn’t love this book, it was a great choice for Arizona in my 50 book summer project!