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Coyote Waits (Leaphorn & Chee #10)

4.04  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,515 Ratings  ·  167 Reviews
The car fire didn't kill Navajo Tribal Policeman Delbert Nez, a bullet did. Officer Jim Chee's good friend Del lies dead, and a whiskey-soaked Navajo shaman is found with the murder weapon. The old man is Ashie Pinot. He's quickly arrested for homicide and defended by a woman Chee could either love or loath. But when Pinto won't utter a word of confession or denial, Lt. Jo ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published January 15th 1992 by Turtleback Books (first published 1990)
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Mar 28, 2016 Carmen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery Fans
He knew the motive. Whiskey.... Water of Darkness... The savagery of whiskey erased the need for a motive. No Navajo policeman - or any policeman - had to relearn that message. Death slept in the bottle, only waiting to be released, and every policeman knew it.

This was an excellent entry in Hillerman's Navajo Mystery series.

Jim Chee is going to meet his fellow officer for coffee. But Nez sees a vandal they have been trying to get a hold of for quite some time and takes off after him.

When after d
Apr 23, 2008 Maurean rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Maurean by: bookring
As I stated before, this is my second installment of the Jim Chee series, and I have come away with the same mixed feelings I had on the first go-around.

While I found the Navajo lore to be very interesting and informative, and Mr. Hillerman's characters are very well-developed and entertaining, my disappointments lie in the mysteries these tales are based around. The mystery seems to take a backseat to the lives and setting of the characters involved. I would prefer a bit more intrigue in the w
If you love mysteries set in the Southwest, you'll enjoy the great Tony Hillerman's Navajo Mysteries series. We're introduced to Tribal Police Officer Jim Chee and FBI agent Joe Leaphorn. These two men are embarked on the same wild case of a death of a Tribal Policeman Delbert Nez, which is nothing what it seemed to be. From breath-taking Arizonan landscape to majestic New Mexican scenery, he painted a picturesque scene with various and eclectic characters. He takes us on a wild ride on this mys ...more
Feb 20, 2009 tomlinton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I know the names of the books
in Jim Chee's trailer
for yei's sake

I had coffee for breakfast this morning
Waffles for dinner last night
Lunch of corn meal boiled
then top browned
with roasted kidney beans
and finished with butternut squash soup
and that was just
to get into the mood

After yesterday's reading
A Thief of Time
up near Grand Gulch Utah
leading down to the San Juan River
between Mexican Hat and Bluff
reminiscing about my drives and hikes
into the 25,000 square mile Navajo Big Rez
and nearby

All that's
Laura Cowan
Dec 29, 2013 Laura Cowan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't love everything about the Jim Chee mysteries, something about the way the characters think things through seems contrived or told rather than shown sometimes, but everything else is genre perfection. I'll keep reading these as a nice interlude to all the heavy stuff I plow through researching my novels. Nice vacation reads, and I love the tie-ins with Navajo mysticism, as mysticism is a favorite topic, particularly of indigenous traditions in North America and Asia.
May 20, 2014 Catherine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The best of many worlds: a subtle murder mystery set on a Navajo reservation and the barren landscapes of New Mexico and Arizona. It made me want to travel to the Southwest again and to revisit the pueblos and reservations I went to. Very much reminded of the ways in which the richness and complexity of many Native American cultures clash or interact with American life and politics. But also: just a great book (aka stayed up late to finish it)!
Jul 05, 2015 John rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
In Coyote Waits, Jim Chee makes a mistake on duty and a friend of his, another police officer, ends up murdered. Chee believes that he has caught the perpetrator of the crime, an act that is the best he can do to atone for his error, but things also don’t seem quite right. Why would a kind old man, a shaman, kill a police officer in the middle of nowhere. So, Chee, and eventually Joe Leaphorn, end up on the case, trying to unravel the mysteries of the night.

Coyote Waits, to me, is a good, but no
John Tipper
Hillerman's Coyote Waits begins on the Navajo Reservation, which is approximately the size of West Virginia. Hillerman's stock detectives are Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee, and in the beginning they tend to believe the FBI report that Ashie Pinto, a stereotype of the drunken Native American, killed Chee's buddy and fellow Tribal Officer Delbert Nez. Pinto is on the scene with the murder weapon and he's inebriated. He refuses to talk to authorities.

As Chee examines the crime more he doubts Pinto is t
Oct 28, 2014 Stuart rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this many years ago, when it first came out in 1990, and have just re-read it, as I am reading a series of other southwestern-themed mysteries and I wanted to see if Hillerman’s stories held up against both time and the newer stories. The answer is yes, it did – it held up well against both.
I still enjoyed it very much, even after 20-plus years. I had remembered some of it, but not all, so some of it felt new again. And although the Internet, DNA and smart phones have taken over our lives
Coyote Waits 03242007 Tony Hillerman

Jim Chee sits drinking coffee while partner Tribal Policeman Delbert Nez meets his demise. Chee catches the obvious perpetrator. A Navaho shaman, with a bottle in one hand and THE gun in his belt. Case closed.
Because of his guilt at not backing up his partner and at the insistence of Chee's on again and off again relationship with the defending attorney, Janet Pete, Chee must find out for him self what happened and if he may have made a mistake.
Because of a r
I first became acquainted with Tony Hillerman novels over 20 years ago when I attended a book discussion course on mysteries at the public library. I don't remember which Hillerman novel I read for that course, but afterward I read and enjoyed a number of his mysteries, this one included.

This weekend we listened to Coyote Waits in the car while traveling to South Dakota for a wedding. Interestingly, it was read by the author who had a great voice for this Southwestern Navajo reservation setting.
Apr 18, 2012 Ron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a reader whose interest is in the literature of the American West, rather than mystery writing, I had to be encouraged to read Tony Hillerman. And it was a happy discovery when I read "Coyote Waits." With his cast of Navajo characters, including law officers Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee, the author introduces readers to the world of the modern-day reservation and the surviving Navajo culture in the Four Corners area of New Mexico and Arizona.

The coyote of the title, from Navajo mythology, repres
Jul 12, 2014 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the not so usual detective lierature
Shelves: detective, 2013
I like this little markets where people sell about anything secondhand, I have bought some great stuff including secondhand Hardcover books for next to nothing. It also the placeto acquire books your would not have bought in you usual state of mind. Which deleivers the odd surprise now and then especially when it comes to sleuthing of the ethnic variety.

This is a book from a series about policing in the Native American reservation by the inhabitants themselves, the general white person in this b
Mar 07, 2012 Brianna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in crime, murder mysteries, Native American culture
In high school I was basically obsessed with Tony Hillerman books. Not really sure why, but I was. I tried to read all of his books in my school's library. The only thing I didn't like what I couldn't really figure out the order of the books, and so I read them out of order.
These books are great. They are from a point of view from a cop who is caught between two words: Navajo and white. He treads back and forth between those lines, trying to find a balance while solving murders.
Tony Hillerman
Gerald Kinro
Nov 18, 2012 Gerald Kinro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Navajo culture, the coyote is not loved. It is associated with evil and ultimately brings bad luck. Jim Chee waits for his friend, Navajo Tribal Policeman Delbert Nez, to join him for coffee. However Nez, in trying to apprehend vandals is murdered, his car torched. A drunk old man, Ashley Pinto, is near the scene carrying the murder weapon. Open and shut. Not really, Pinto, in his inebriety, refuses to speak, at least coherently. Nevertheless, Chee arrests him.
Janet Peete, once the object of
Richard Jr.
Apr 04, 2013 Richard Jr. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Coyote Waits by Tony Hillerman (Four Stars)
Hillerman does this one up pretty well in a long winded tribute to the cunning, evil and almost man attributes of Coyote who, “ always waits outside and is always hungry.”
The tale telling is well scripted in the part where old Pinto tells his tales of the Witches’ lair outside of the Ship Rock section of the reservation. The tale pulls together well, showing how Coyote lays for even the most innocent of us through taking our own avarices to the extreme
David Bryant
Aug 31, 2015 David Bryant rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recently re-read this, probably 10 years or more since I first read it, and it was still extremely enjoyable. I love the way Hillerman explains and respects the Navajos and other Native American groups, but is also able to portray their differences and conflicts. His love of the southwest is always present as well.
The book has the usual lead characters, Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee, and several others are familiar as well -- Janet Peet in particular. Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn are suitably flawed,
Mar 08, 2012 Abra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read a lot of Tony Hillerman books, and love that while each plot is different, the main characters are familiar to the reader.
I also like that as the series (?) goes on, the various relationships between characters change: Leaphorn's wife passes away, and he and the Professor start to spend more time together. Chee grows as a police officer and Navajo man. Leaphorn and Chee begin to like each other more, and Chee goes through several relationships which, while often hard to look at (I'm n
I really loved this book. I've read and attempted a couple other Hillermans up to this point (liked The Dark Wind; couldn't get into a couple others)--but none of them hooked me like this one so far. The setting and the atmosphere/tone were my favorite aspects, and the storyline was interesting. I should probably be ashamed, though, that since I usually don't like mysteries (read: really hate them), what kept me interested in the mystery from the beginning was the hint that the supernatural migh ...more
Jul 16, 2015 Maggie rated it really liked it
Coyote Waits was an excellent mystery, but I thought that Chee was sometimes annoying and whiny. Since he'd been badly injured at the beginning of the book and was in pain he had a right to whine, however, that wasn't what he was complaining about. He thought, without anything to back it up, that Leaphorn thought he was a screw-up and that he was investigating the case either to backup Chee's work or to prove his point. None of that was true and, though I probably should have found that funny, i ...more
Jun 12, 2014 astaliegurec rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tony Hillerman's "Coyote Waits" is one of his more emotionally gripping Leaphorn & Chee novels. We've got the wonderful Navajo setting, Navajo/White philosophical conflicts, Jim Chee temperamental/professional conflicts, nice mystery, and good resolution. What makes this story more emotional than the others is that the crime is much closer and more personal to Jim Chee than before. A gripping book. I rate it at a Very Good 4 stars out of 5.

Hillerman's "Leaphorn & Chee" novels are:

1. The
Sep 11, 2013 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although Coyote is often portrayed as am ambiguous trickster, in this novel he represents the dark and deadly forces of chaos that the police must deal with. Navajo Tribal Policeman Delbert Nez is shot while out searching for vandals that are splashing white paint on some large rock formations. The old man holding the murder weapon is a shaman named Ashie Pinto, who refuses to say a single word of confession or denial. Delbert’s good friend, Officer Jim Chee charges in to investigate. Lieutenant ...more
Mar 03, 2014 Sue rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’m in love. Stole this book out of my husband’s old books and found a new obsession. The late Tony Hillerman wrote a series of mysteries starring Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn of the New Mexico Navajo tribal police. In this, one of Hillerman’s later books, an officer is shot and burned up in his car on a deserted road. Chee comes along, tries unsuccessfully to save him, and finds an old man walking down the road with a bottle of whiskey and a pistol. The man is a shaman, known to have given up liqu ...more
Scott Whitney
Mar 25, 2016 Scott Whitney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
OK, I am officially addicted to this series again. I will have to work my way through the whole thing again. This has a good mystery and Chee must overcome his feelings for the case and the doubt he has in himself before he is going to be able to do anything about the case.
David Guy
Sep 09, 2010 David Guy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This summer--in between volumes of Tristram Shandy--I read ten mysteries by Tony Hillerman, of which this is a representative example. I began reading the Hillerman books out of disappointment with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, which I thought had some good characters but was poorly written. Hillerman on the other hand is a superb writer, and I loved his two Navajo detectives, as well as the Navajo concept of Hozro, which is somewhat hard to define but is a general sense of harmony with thing ...more
Perhaps not one of the best ones but still a good story. Sadly, a Tribal police officer is killed while Chee is waiting to met up with him for coffee. While once again, Leaphorn and Chee approach this case from different angles and their paths cross (albeit only over phone calls), the story is a little thin and the supporting stories aren't really developed well. It was very interesting that Butch Cassidy's legend is involved and the part where Ashie Pinto tells his old stories is very good. The ...more
Morris Graham
Jan 07, 2015 Morris Graham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was devoted to the Navajo Tribal Policemen killed in the line of duty, often in remote areas, and without back-up. The book feels real, as if Hillerman had the tragedy of the killing of an NTP officer in mind when he wrote it. The end also deals with an issue that sometimes plagues the Navajos-acaholism. In this installment, Chee also deals with his conflicted heart over Janet, a half-Navajo woman who, in hose and high heels, wants to put a rope on him and get him a job off the reserva ...more
Feb 11, 2015 Bri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book swept me away to this other wonderful world. The setting was brilliantly set. I could totally see it in my mind. But the characters were definitely my favorite part. They are all so colorful, interesting, exciting, and hilarious. The main character is just perfect. The plot moved fast enough that I couldn't stop reading lest I miss something, but the author still took the time to flesh out the details. The details are what really make or break a story.
3 1/2 Stars

I love the character development and the background stories in this series. I feel like I'm sitting across the table from the main characters as we talk over a cup of coffee.

The only reason I can't give this a full four-star rating is that the mystery didn't feel as well-developed and there were a few places that didn't track properly. (I don't want to provide any spoilers, so will not list them here.)
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Tony Hillerman, who was born in Sacred Heart, Oklahoma, was a decorated combat veteran from World War II, serving as a mortarman in the 103rd Infantry Division and earning the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, and a Purple Heart. Later, he worked as a journalist from 1948 to 1962. Then he earned a Masters degree and taught journalism from 1966 to 1987 at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, wh ...more
More about Tony Hillerman...

Other Books in the Series

Leaphorn & Chee (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • The Blessing Way (Leaphorn & Chee, #1)
  • Dance Hall of the Dead (Leaphorn & Chee, #2)
  • Listening Woman (Leaphorn & Chee, #3)
  • People of Darkness (Leaphorn & Chee, #4)
  • The Dark Wind (Leaphorn & Chee, #5)
  • The Ghostway (Leaphorn & Chee, #6)
  • Skinwalkers (Leaphorn & Chee, #7)
  • A Thief of Time (Leaphorn & Chee, #8)
  • Talking God (Leaphorn & Chee, #9)
  • Sacred Clowns (Leaphorn & Chee, #11)

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