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The Bluejay Shaman (An Alix Thorssen Mystery #1)

3.28  ·  Rating Details ·  158 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Alix Thorssen owns an art gallery, is on call as an expert for the FBI and other law-enforcement agencies and lives in Wyoming. It's a nice life until her brother-in-law is arrested for murder on the Salish reservation in Montana. Professor Wade Fraser had a reputation as a violent man - there've been previous assault charges against him - and he was also known as having ...more
Hardcover, 235 pages
Published April 1st 1994 by Walker & Company
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To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. RowlingThe Raven by Edgar Allan PoeMockingjay by Suzanne CollinsOne Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
Books with birds in the title
110th out of 736 books — 166 voters
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman AlexieThe Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman AlexieBeyond Oria Falls by Sheryl SealLove Medicine by Louise ErdrichCeremony by Leslie Marmon Silko
Native American Fiction
423rd out of 590 books — 557 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Cathryn Ferrara
Oct 03, 2012 Cathryn Ferrara rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Just not very good. There were so many clashing cultures and things going on that the mystery simply felt very forced and I neither cared nor was even interested in who the killer was or why they did it.
Nov 08, 2016 Sharon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alix Thorssen, an art gallery owner from Wyoming, is in Montana to identify and value some possibly stolen artwork and artifacts. She is staying with her sister and brother-in-law. A murder happens and her brother-in-law is charged with the murder. The descriptions in this book are really good and give you a good flavor of the scenery and Native American history which I loved because it gave the story a clearer picture. The characters need a bit more development, but I expect that to come in the ...more
Nov 14, 2016 Rose rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Bluejay Shaman

What a great read. Totally enjoyed reading this book. A lot of Native American culture. Very interesting. I will read more books from this author.
Emily Crow
In The Bluejay Shaman, art dealer and forgery expert Alix Thorssen turns amateur sleuth to help clear her brother-in-law of murder charges. Set in Montana, the story revolves around the murder of Shiloh Merkin, a woman involved in a "New Age" type group attracted to the Native spiritual traditions of the Salish tribe. Anthropologist Wade, her brother-in-law, had insulted Shiloh for being disrespectful and stupid, so when the murder weapon turns out to be his knife, it doesn't look good.

It was en
Douglas Cook
Apr 07, 2013 Douglas Cook rated it really liked it
THE TETONS SCRATCHED the summer sky, still sporting a hint of orange from the long-gone sun. Rough and hard, the mountains proved man's impermanence. Woman's too. When I pointed my old car north, leaving behind the gallery in Jackson, the hum— the hymn— of the road gave me the feeling my life going somewhere. Being on the road was like that, a trickster highway. Somewhere in the distance is happiness, satisfaction, whatever it takes to feel good. Over that rise. Just a little farther.
The main character of The Bluejay Shaman is Alex Thorssen, art dealer and amateur sleuth from Jackson Hole, Montana. She is pulled into a murder investigation when she tries to help her sister's husband who has been arrested for the murder of Shiloh Merkin. The Bluejay Shaman is set in Montana and one of the major themes of the story involves how college academics and new-agers interpret Native American religious beliefs.

The plot works and the characters and dialogue are fairly well developed.
Mar 08, 2012 Marva rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this could have been a better book. The premise is interesting, but the author doesn't carry through.

As a mystery, it fails because there are multiple mysteries which are vaguely related, but the author fails to make them clear.

One of the mysteries (the paintings in the rental van) is never resolved.

The last chapter should not have to be a narrative of exactly what happened, who did what, when, and why. It's there because the rest of the book just isn't clear.

As a detective, Alix can't s
Sylvia Walker
May 18, 2014 Sylvia Walker rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, cozy-mystery
A better-than-average cozy, I think because of the setting (Montana) and the art-forgery expert heroine. Although one of the sub-plots, the stolen works of art in the rental van that she was hired by the police to examine, never was resolved, really. The writing was a cut above many of the "cozies" I've read, a genre that I pick up purely for entertainment, and this book did just that, entertain me. The characters didn't quite draw me in enough for me to search out more works by this author, but ...more
Aug 14, 2011 Heather rated it liked it
I got this free for the Kindle on Amazon. The edition is full of typos and grammar issues. But, it was free, so I can't really complain, right?

It was a good mystery, set in a part of the world I love, Montana, involving the native tribes of the region. Some of the plot didn't develop accurately, but it was an enjoyable story.

Nov 26, 2014 Suzanne rated it it was ok
Shelves: cozy-mysteries, nook
I'm being a bit generous with two stars - I'd go 1.5 if I could. This book was slow moving and seemed very disjointed. I didn't care much for any of the characters as they all seemed two-dimensional. I don't even really understand the mystery and why the Bluejay shaman was such a big deal. Too bad because I wanted to like this!
Jun 16, 2014 Yvonna rated it liked it
While I enjoyed the heart of the story, I found much of the plot to get bogged down. Someimes I just didn't care. Several times throughout the reading, I just wanted the writer to get on with it. I liked Alix, but I didn't like many of the other characters.
Nov 27, 2012 Rebecca rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle-free
Formatting and insufficient editing issues certainly didn't help the experience. Also things left unresolved and neglected that seemed like they should have been connected. So it was only a decent quick read.
Beth Ann
May 17, 2014 Beth Ann rated it really liked it
Have just started this, it seems pretty good so far ! I like the protagonist, and can see reading more books with her in them. It also helps that it is set in Montana, and that it deals with NA lore.
Ginny Palmieri
Sep 04, 2011 Ginny Palmieri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started this right after finishing Blackbird Fly by the same author. I liked Blackbird Fly better. This was another light, quick read which was enjoyable, but nothing too meaty. Again, rounded up my rating because McClendon's good at engaging you in her tale.
Apr 11, 2014 Mara rated it liked it
Pretty good writing. Quite a few underlying story lines. A few to many 'major' characters liking but it was the first book I read from the author.
Sep 11, 2008 Janice rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is the first in a series, it was okay, I may read more . I liked that it was in the west, and has some good descriptions of the western landscapre.
Dec 14, 2012 Jack rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alix's brother-in-law gets arrested for murder so Alix searches for the real murderer in order to clear his name. Set in Wyoming.
Jeanny rated it really liked it
Apr 08, 2012
Gloria Brooks
Gloria Brooks rated it really liked it
Nov 10, 2015
John Steele
John Steele rated it liked it
Jul 28, 2016
Suz'n Black Wilson
Suz'n Black Wilson rated it liked it
Feb 06, 2014
Susanne Lee
Susanne Lee rated it it was amazing
Sep 19, 2011
Sydney Young
Sydney Young rated it it was ok
Jun 14, 2011
Karen rated it really liked it
Jul 31, 2016
Vickie Fournier
Vickie Fournier rated it liked it
Oct 11, 2015
Peggy rated it really liked it
Apr 18, 2012
Chari rated it it was amazing
Dec 26, 2014
Becky Arundale
Becky Arundale rated it it was ok
Aug 25, 2011
M Franczieska
M Franczieska rated it it was amazing
Aug 08, 2016
Ann Brottlund
Ann Brottlund rated it really liked it
Feb 11, 2015
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Lise McClendon is a fiction writer living in the Rocky Mountains of Montana. She has been a film reviewer, a film maker, a journalism professor, and a PR flack. Since her first novel, The Bluejay Shaman, in 1994, she has served on the national board of Mystery Writers of America and the International Association of Crime Writers/North America, as well as on faculty of the Jackson Hole Writers ...more
More about Lise McClendon...

Other Books in the Series

An Alix Thorssen Mystery (4 books)
  • Painted Truth (Alix Thorssen Mystery, #2)
  • Nordic Nights (Alix Thorssen Mystery, #3)
  • Blue Wolf

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