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The Shaman's Game (Charlie Moon #4)

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  356 ratings  ·  20 reviews

For the Ute of Southern Colorado, the annual Sun Dance is among the most solemn and sacred of rituals. But too often recently Death has been an uninvited guest at the hallowed ceremony. None of the deceased has sustained visible, life-ending injuries, so Charlie Moon is reluctant to call it murder. Yet he knows there was nothing "natural" about the unexplained deaths of yo

Paperback, 352 pages
Published August 1st 1999 by Avon (first published 1998)
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Native American Detectives
25th out of 62 books — 53 voters
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Native American Fiction
190th out of 458 books — 433 voters

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Community Reviews

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The Charlie Moon series by James D. Doss is excellent! Always a good read.
Karenbike Patterson
On page 90 a sixty something Ute Sun Dance dies on day three. At first it looks like natural causes and then maybe not. The rest of the book has Charlie Moon, a Ute Policeman tracking down what happened. We don't know much about the original victim so it is hard to care much about his death. The next victim is well developed but the whole thing is resolved in a really silly explanation.
I love James Doss's use of language, how he describes the landscape of southern Colorado, and Ute culture. This book may move too slowly for some, but I was thoroughly engrossed from the beginning. The book is about witchcraft, Ute style, as well as some Christian themes, and about Ute belief systems. The story surrounds the Sun Dance as performed in several locations, with Ute, Paiute, and Shoshone participants. During "dancing thirsty" the quest is for a vision, after several days in the south ...more
Brian Chafin
Perhaps it isn't fair, but any Indian-led mystery set in the Four Corners has to be compared to a Hillerman. Doss' plotting isn't as tight, his settings are not as vivid as Hillerman's. I would like to say that Charlie Moon is not fleshed out as well as Jim Chee. That would be unfair, since I've read many more Chee books. Moon has the potential to be more interesting than Chee, perhaps even rivaling the Legendary Lieutenant Leaphorn. Doss does a good job with the ceremonial description. The twis ...more
Amanda Otis
The solution to this mystery will definitely knock you upside the head.
It was obvious this was a man writing this book because he didn't have a clue how women's minds think. I found his female characters very irritating. The story was interesting and had a good ending but I didn't feel the characters were fleshed out enough. I also would have liked more depth on the Indian legends and practices. Great descriptive writing about the location settings.
This one, number 4 in the series, follows Charlie Moon almost exclusively as he tries to sort out his love life and figure out how come participants in several Ute-sponsored Sun Dances keep dying. It turns out not to be at all what anyone expected. Interesting and surprising. Scott Parris is barely in this one.
This mystery was very interesting once I got past the first couple of chapters. It was a bit slow at first, but after a few chapters my interest was caught and continued to the amazing end. Great read!!
Jul 01, 2010 Avary added it
Shelves: mystery-suspense
I picked this up on vacation in Utah because it was about the four corners area. It was a good story, with interesting info on the Native Americans of that region. Some would think it moved too slowly.
Apr 24, 2011 Jenny rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jenny by: Tom K
Shelves: mystery
This was a different kind of mystery book combining American Indian folklore with modern day police work. The plot revolves the Indian Sun Dance. Not very fast paced, but rich with descriptions.
This book was very tedious through the first half, but grabbed my interest for the last half as I actively tried to figure out whodunit. Great surprise ending woven into Indian lore!
Elizabeth  Lopez
I enjoyed reading this book. It was a great insight to native american traditions mixed with a new outlook on how generations change.
Jul 30, 2011 Marsha added it
Loved it! Lots of info about Native American culture. Interesting characters, good plot.
John Price
Very good book. The second one I have read in this series and am planning to read them all.
Sam Irwin
I didn't much care for it but I toughed it out. I found it an odd way to tell a story...
The Shaman's Game (Shaman Mysteries) by James D. Doss (1999)
I am really enjoying these Charlie Moon mysteries.
Another great mystery writer in the Native American genre.
stealing the strength of the sun dance
Toesnorth's mom
Dec 04, 2012 Toesnorth's mom added it
Shelves: mom-s
not as good
Janelle Fletscher
Janelle Fletscher marked it as to-read
Oct 01, 2014
Jodi is currently reading it
Sep 23, 2014
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James Daniel Doss, recently retired from the technical staff of Los Alamos National Laboratory, now spends most of his time in a small cabin above Taos -- writing mystery fiction. He also travels to the fascinating locations where his stories take place, often camping in remote areas to absorb the impression of an Anasazi ruin, a deep canyon, an arid mesa, or a Sun Dance.
More about James D. Doss...
The Shaman Sings (Charlie Moon, #1) The Shaman's Bones (Charlie Moon, #3) Grandmother Spider (Charlie Moon, #6) The Shaman Laughs (Charlie Moon, #2) The Witch's Tongue (Charlie Moon, #9)

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“Hidden within the heart is that small boy who shudders at those dread things who shuffle among the shadows” 0 likes
“Hidden within the heart of every man is that small boy who shudders at those dread things who shuffle among the shadows” 0 likes
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