Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The First Eagle (Navajo Mysteries, #13)” as Want to Read:
The First Eagle (Navajo Mysteries, #13)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The First Eagle (Navajo Mysteries #13)

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  3,750 ratings  ·  140 reviews
It seems like July 8 is going to be a bad day for Acting Lieutenant Jim Chee. He's got a stack of overdue paperwork on his desk. Anderson Nez has died of plague, but the circumstances around the death are murky. His ex-fiancée, Janet Pete, is returning from Washington, D.C., and Chee doesn't know what to think about her last letter. (Will they be getting married this time? ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published May 2nd 2000 by HarperCollins (first published January 1st 1998)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The First Eagle, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The First Eagle

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Michael Fox
There are many things to like about Tony Hillerman's Navajo Tribal Police mysteries, yet foremost (in my mind at least) is how he builds them on relationships. In this story, the relationship between Joe Leaphorn and Louisa Bourbonette continues to evolve. It finds a comfortable place in friendship. Also, the Jim Chee and Janet Pete relationship continues its brittle slide as Chee follows his concise to help a wrongly arrested man gain freedom. Then, there is the budding of a relationship with O ...more
Pretty good, except for the totally annoying presence of Louisa Bourbonette, whose "collaboration" Joe Leaphorn is completely improbable. I readily acknowledge that she pisses me off because I am loyal to Leaphorn's late wife, Emma, who was a solid, loveable, intelligent, and dignified woman who occupied an equal yet separate domain of the marriage. She did not try to tag along, and although Leaphorn readily shared his thoughts with her and appreciated her perspective, she was not part of the in ...more
Ed Mestre
Tony Hillerman can always be counted on for a quick, enjoyable read. Unlike Patricia Cornwell's "Body Farm" I recently reviewed it doesn't have the handicap of sounding a bit dated no matter when it was published. That's because these mystery solvers don't rely on the latest forensics & computers to come up with the solution. It has to do with relationships. Relationships to their culture, community, & most of all the land of the four corners area of the American Southwest. The space &am ...more
Mark Robertson
The legendary Lieutenant Leaphorn is retired but still investigating mysteries on the reservation, and it's a good thing, as his insights are invaluable to his longtime subordinate Jim Chee. In this mystery Chee's focused on the murder of a Navajo police officer under his command while Leaphorn is investigating the disappearance of a field scientist looking for the source of bubonic plague that's killed a couple of Indians. The researcher disappeared on the same day that the officer was murdered ...more
OK. Yet another 3-1/2 stars instead of the official Very Good 4 stars out of 5 showing here. I'm going to assume that since "The First Eagle" is the 13th book in Tony Hillerman's "Leaphorn & Chee" series, the people reading this by now know how Hillerman writes. This is mostly that. However, there are problems. The most trivial is that the Kindle version has a lot of OCR/editing issues. Next, the little inconsistencies in technical writing that I noticed in the last book ("The Fallen Man") a ...more
Orville Jenkins
A murder mystery and a medical mystery coincide with the appearance of bubonic plague on the reservation. The usual FBI swaggers appear as comic relief in the Hillerman style, referred to by Navajo Police Detective Jim Chee as the Federal Bureau of Incompetence.

With the rich cultural backdrops, the brusque Feds always manage to overlook the sensitive worldview issues. They come off looking stupid due to their arrogance and ignorance of the local factors in a case. George Guidall's clear vocal ac
Oct 26, 2007 Jo rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everone
Shelves: mystery, arizonia
Lots of intresting details, good research, but I was not really in suspence. Really wonderfull charecters too.
Later-I discussed this with a goodreads friend and 2 others and came to relize this was #14 in a series. I may go back and read #1 down the road. The anthropology was a blast.
Bobby Underwood
Tony Hillerman has once again created a fresh and involving entry in his fine series about the Navajo Tribal Police. In this one, the retired Leaphorn is at loose ends after the death of his beloved wife, Emma. Chee, meanwhile, has become acting Lieutenant, but is experiencing reservations over the possibility that it might become permanent. There is a little less of the Navajo mysticism in this entry, but the vast territory covered by the Navajo Tribal Police is given its due as always.

I have read number of Hillerman's Navajo series now and fine them ranging from good to outstanding this one is former. The characters continue to grow with each book I read as does the information on the area and bubonic plague is excellent. This book we here about Skinwalkers again. Jim Chee is backing up a Tribal policeman and find the apparent KILLER standing over the man cover with blood. He arrests the man a Hopi Indian and it is felt by the FBI that the case is complete. The Hopi says he c ...more
Robert Walton
This book is especially resonant in the age of Ebola. Tony Hillerman and Edward Abbey are the great champions of of the Southwest, though only Hillerman embraces the natural world as an active character in his novels. That world seizes primacy in First Eagle. Old friends Leaphorn, Chee and McGinnes have their thoughtful conversations, but they and the other characters float upon deadly, murderous currents. In trying to resolve the death of a murdered policeman and the fate of a missing woman, th ...more
Mary Ellen
Both of Hillerman's detectives are in new positions that don't quite fit: Joe Leaphorn is spending his retirement acting like a cop and Jim Chee, Acting Lieutenant, avoids supervisory duties by plunging deep into the investigation of the murder of one of his officers. I love the contrast between "modern" Leaphorn and "traditional" Chee and the bits here and there about Navajo (and to a lesser extent, Hopi) belief and practice, which gradually add up to presentation of a whole world view.

My seco
I've read and enjoyed many of Hillerman's Navajo Tribal Police novels, though apparently not during this past year, and not this one before. These are low-key mysteries, in which the police characters - Jim Chee and the (now-retired) Lt. Joe Leaphorn - work methodically toward solving their problems. Leaphorn is a traditional thinking detective in many ways - I might compare him to Simenon's Maigret, except the two writers' narrative styles are so different. In this particular novel, there are t ...more
Mar 03, 2012 Sull rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sull by: Library find
Missed this one, a good one, somehow when I was reading these years (decades) ago. I'm finding these Hillerman Navaho mysteries so full of meaning now, especially the ones dealing with retired policeman Leaphorn. I think I was bored with these slower (sadder) stories when I read this series in my 20s, but now that I'm inching trepidaciously into my 60s, I'm consuming these tales of elderly retirees & wily shamans working together with more interest, more need. Back then I guess I liked the m ...more
I really like Tony Hillerman's book. One of the things I like is that they are set in the 4 corners area and I have spent a little time there. Hillerman is good at explaining some things about Indian culture (several different tribes) This book is about a group of people, from several agencies, studying plague and other diseases that have become more virulent due to the overuse of antibiotics. At the beginning to the story a man has just died of plague contracted from fleas on prairie dogs. I ha ...more
James Korsmo
I have long been a lover of Tony Hillerman stories. I enjoy the cultural landscape that surrounds his mysteries, and appreciate the cultural tensions in which his characters struggle and flourish. This book displays that same depth with the same quality mystery that typifies Hillerman's work. Now, his writing is as deep as P. D. James, but that's okay. Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn are two good main characters, and they again put their detecting skills to work to solve a murder and a disappearance. ...more
Narrated By: George Guidall
Joe Leaphorn/Jim Chee mystery

New York Times best-selling author Tony Hillerman packs his flawless mysteries with evocative southwestern scenery, Native American lore, and finely-crafted characters. In The First Eagle, fear has been sweeping the Navajo reservation ever since a vicious killer and an unusually virulent strain of bubonic plague started claiming victims. When Tribal policeman Jim Chee discovers a blood-stained Hopi man hovering over a young officer’s body,
Elizabeth Mosley
I didn't really enjoy this Leaphorn/Chee mystery. The main plot hinges around the disappearance of a "vector specialist," a woman who works for the NIH studying diseases in rodents. I felt like much of the book was a rehashing of biology class. It was technical and boring, and there wasn't nearly enough character development for me to care about any of the main figures. Even Chee and Leaphorn's characters got short shrift in this book.
I think because I am reading this series in order, I love the stories even more than I did the first time. Characters that show up sporadically in the books are fresher in my mind and therefore I don't spend trying to remember their back story.

This book is not as enjoyable if you have not read previous Leaphorn/Chee stories. I loved everything about this story.

I am sadly getting closer to the final Tony Hllerman story.
Mary Helene
This really had everything I want in a mystery: decent writing, evocative setting, and reflections on relationships: ethical, romantic and fraternal. Joe Leaphorn, Jim Chee and "Cowboy" all love each other; other characters support that love. It's worth taking to heart. The plot: a bit clunky, but only because it wasn't the point. The plot was adequate to carry the rest, and even clever. I've been thinking about the ending and it's satisfying.
The author mentions two other books in passing, which
Sylvia McIvers
Nice show of Indian beliefs, a little about life on the reservation, and a missing woman who is (surprise!) actually dead. The first eagle was a witness to the murder... sort of.

Add a little plague, and you've got some urgency to solving the case. The plague-solver is a complete jackass, and isn't interested in solving the murder of a single person - its far more important to solve the mystery of the plague, which can kill millions.
I wasn't sure what to expect with this book, and I'm not entirely sure I liked it, but I did enjoy certain aspects. I loved the incorporation of the Hopi and Navajo cultures. I like the CSI/plague angle, although I would have liked more of it. Something about the way it was written made it a slow read, but overall it was a good story.
I'm not normally a great lover of mysteries, but since my work for the Park Service has me researching the Navajo, I thought I'd better listen to one of Hillerman's books on my drive home last month. As far as mysteries go, I did not find the First Eagle terribly suspenseful. It was quite obvious that the accused murderer was not the murderer, and no one seemed to be in any danger of anything while the real murderer was ever so slowly tracked down. I also found the book tediously full of details ...more
Anne Dart
I enjoyed this mystery set in the Southwest which involves the Hopi, the Navajo and the white man in a modern day setting. The resurgence of the bubonic plague and attempts to find a cure added a new wrinkle to this mystery as a young Hopi is accused of killing both an eagle and a law enforcement officer.
As a retired academic biologist, I found the book interesting because it depicts, albeit exaggerated, competition between scientists. The plot reminded me of one of Hillerman's earlier books in which competition between several archeologists resulted in murder for the sake of claim and fame over theories and artifacts. Shades of this competition does exist in academia and research, but not to the point of murder, obviously. Regardless, Hillerman's novels use murder/crime as a trope for plot deve ...more
Patrick Gibson
From most authors, this would be an impressive book. From Hillerman, it is not. He was coasting with this one -- worth reading, but don't buy it unless, like me, you find it at the used bookstore.Yes, it has Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn, and it's set on the reservation. But the precipitating conflict is between two non-Native American researchers on the reservation. Leaphorn gets hired by one of the researcher's parents to solve her disappearance. Glimpses of Navajo culture and thinking, and Hopi c ...more
Morris Graham
A Hopi eagle poacher, the murder of a Navajo Tribal Policeman, a missing vector control agent sudying bubonic plague cases among the prairie dog burrows... Follow retired NTP Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn and acting Lieutenant Jim Chee on their search for the truth. This story is full of angles, troubles between local law enforcement on the reservation and the FBI, along with the return back to the reservation of Chee's half Navajo ex-fiance turned public defender that makes this novel a spellbinding ...more
Susan  Odetta
I thought I had read every single book Tony Hillerman ever wrote, but I'm not sure about this one. Either I have read it and lost it in the recesses of my aging brain, or I missed it. Either way I'm enjoying reading it (again?).

OK....I never read this on before and it is as wonderful as all of Hillerman's Jim Chee/Joe Leaphorn stories. Hillerman is one of those rare writers who, like Alexander McCall Smith, takes you to a location in such a way that you can feel and know the place as if you are
Jan 20, 2008 Hope rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any mystery fan, cozy-readers as well as hard-bitten sleuths

I listened to Tony Hillerman's First Eagle, read by George Guidall. It was excellent, as his novels usually are. It's one of his Navajo mysteries. Each novel stands alone as a single episode, but they also make up a serial story about the characters' lives. I've read quite a few of them, entirely out of order, and haven't had any trouble following the serial aspects of the story. Mr. Hillerman manages to give enough information for you to keep up, while keeping the mystery story central.

The myst
Two series of events come together: an eagle-poacher accused of murder and a virologist gone missing. I enjoyed Jim Chee's collaboration with an Indian cop not from the Navajo tribal police.
I have read a lot of Tony Hillerman and I enjoy them very much. The Legendary Lieutenant, Joe Leaphorn, is retired in this book and has taken on a private investigation of a missing woman who is working on tracking bubonic plague in the area. Jim Chee, Leaphorn's protegee is now the acting Lieutenant in the Navajo police and he is looking into the murder of one of his officers. Are the two cases related? Leaphorn does not believe in coincidence, and the two case overlap more than either can expl ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Spirit Woman (Wind River Reservation, #6)
  • Cry Dance
  • Bad Medicine (Ella Clah, #3)
  • Spider Woman's Daughter (Navajo Mysteries, #19)
  • The Shaman's Bones (Charlie Moon, #3)
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

Navajo Mysteries (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • The Blessing Way (Navajo Mysteries, #1)
  • Dance Hall of the Dead (Navajo Mysteries, #2)
  • Listening Woman (Navajo Mysteries, #3)
  • People of Darkness (Navajo Mysteries, #4)
  • The Dark Wind (Navajo Mysteries, #5)
  • The Ghostway (Navajo Mysteries, #6)
  • Skinwalkers (Navajo Mysteries, #7)
  • A Thief of Time (Navajo Mysteries, #8)
  • Talking God (Navajo Mysteries, #9)
  • Coyote Waits (Navajo Mysteries, #10)
The Blessing Way (Navajo Mysteries, #1) Skinwalkers (Navajo Mysteries, #7) A Thief of Time (Navajo Mysteries, #8) Listening Woman (Navajo Mysteries, #3) Dance Hall of the Dead (Navajo Mysteries, #2)

Share This Book