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Hunting Badger (Leaphorn & Chee #14)

3.99  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,452 Ratings  ·  185 Reviews
Three men raid the gambling casino run by the Ute nation and then disappear into the maze of canyons on the Utah-Arizona border. When the FBI, with its helicopters and high-tech equipment, focuses on a wounded deputy sheriff as a possible suspect, Navajo Tribal Police Sergeant Jim Chee and his longtime colleague, retired Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn, launch an investigation of ...more
Paperback, 318 pages
Published January 9th 2001 by HarperTorch (first published November 1st 1999)
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A Thief of Time by Tony HillermanSkinwalkers by Tony HillermanThe Blessing Way by Tony HillermanDance Hall of the Dead by Tony HillermanTalking God by Tony Hillerman
Native American Detectives
16th out of 80 books — 55 voters
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Native American Fiction
118th out of 588 books — 532 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mar 28, 2016 Carmen rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Mystery Fans
Chee relaxed, closed his eyes, recognized that he was feeling much, much better. Why did talking to Joe Leaphorn do that for him? And now this business with Bernie. Worrying about his ankle. Bossing him around. Why did that make him feel so much better? He opened his eyes and looked up at her. A very pretty young lady even when she was frowning at him.

I don't have much to say about this one.

A casino is robbed, two people are murdered and the FBI is swarming all over the area.

Joe Leaphorn is appr
B.R. Stateham
Aug 17, 2014 B.R. Stateham rated it it was amazing
I'm in a re-reading mode. Just finished Tony Hillerman's Hunting Badger. An excellent read, even if it's the second time around. Hillerman weaves into his stories tons of Navajo mythology. It's a requirement acctually, since his novels revolve around the Navajo tribal police down in the four corners section of the country.

If you haven't discovered the Jim Chee/Joe Leaphorn novels . . . and you are a History/Mythology fan . . . you are truly missing an enjoyable experience. The homicide cases the
Jun 25, 2008 Charlotte rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: mystery lovers!
Recommended to Charlotte by: Myrna Orozco
Shelves: favorite-authors
Tony Hillerman is my second favorite mystery author after Agatha Christie. Again, I appreciated that I couldn't figure out the solution to the mystery halfway through, and Mr. Hillerman is another master storyteller. You'll also learn lots about another culture from his books, as they are all set on the Navajo Indian reservation in New Mexico, and the heroes are always the Indians, even when they go up against the FBI! Of course, that's because they understand things about Indians that the white ...more
With Tony Hillerman's "Hunting Badger," I'm beginning to wonder if this is the onset of the series sailing over the Selachimorpha. There are three things in the book that worry me. First, as a trivial thing near the beginning, we've got this:

"The little hatch Chee had cut into the bottom of the trailer door clattered behind him on its rubber hinges, which meant his cat was making an unusually early visit. That told Chee that a coyote was close enough to make Cat nervous...."

Chee doesn't have a c
H R Koelling
Nov 28, 2010 H R Koelling rated it it was ok
After working in libraries for so long and not reading this popular author I figured I'd give him a try. My parents have several of his novels in the house and I didn't have anything else to read.

This book was OK. It went by very fast, but it seemed rather lacking in substance. Then again, I think this kind of book is published for the sole sake of entertaining the reader, a premise I support. This book didn't really entertain me, but I think that's because my expectations are higher. The editin
Morris Graham
Sep 21, 2013 Morris Graham rated it it was amazing
This is probably one of the best of Hillerman's Leaphorn-Chee detective series. Inspired by an actual manhunt on the Navajo Nations in which the FBI gave up the chase, concluding the suspects dead (what else could you say after the suspects disappeared into the vastness that is Navajoland.) Retired NTP Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn assists Sergeant Jim Chee and Officer Bernadette Manuelito on a hunt for the robbers of the Ute Casino and the killing of a security officer and the wounding of another. Hi ...more
Jan 17, 2014 Chuck rated it really liked it
This read was a breath of fresh air after reading L.A. Confidential. I put L.A.C. down due to exhaustion with the writer's style and his cast of thousands. Mr. Hillerman's style is simple and straight forward with very few surprises. He does display his geographic knowledge of the four corners area of the Southwestern U.S. of A. perhaps to excess but I didn't find it offensive. He had a story to tell and he told it concisely and understandably. A Native American casino in northern Arizona near t ...more
Margaret1358 Joyce
Oct 04, 2014 Margaret1358 Joyce rated it really liked it
For conveying with depth of characterization and exceptional word-pictures of the American Southwest the complicated Native American relationship to postmodern American reality, Hillerman is a subtle genius. In this book, as in others of his that I've read, he does the aforementioned with ease and canny humor. A fabulous writer of crime fiction, Hillerman has an unerring skill for concretizing the differences between Native American culture with postmodern assumptions about 'reality'. Hunting B ...more
Patrick Murphy
Mar 21, 2016 Patrick Murphy rated it liked it
3.5 stars.

Not sure, I may have read another Hillerman book in the way back. I've been under the weather this week, and I wanted something entertaining, easy, and not depressing, too violent, or vulgar. Hunting Badger delivered on those fronts.

I did feel the characters were a little thin. But perhaps that what I get for starting a series at number 14--it's possible the author had drawn and redrawn these characters, and not wanting to bore his consistent fans he cut to the quick on this one.

A good
Lynn Pribus
Apr 19, 2015 Lynn Pribus rated it really liked it
Not a new book -- Leaphorn is retired -- but in new condition on the gym's book swap table. Read easily in a day, smooth writing, logical plot, enough hints to figure it out, and also includes Chee and Bernie.

A winner all around.

(Read on Patriot's Day. I lived in Mass. as a child and it was a day off from school.)
Mary Ellen
Apr 28, 2015 Mary Ellen rated it really liked it
This was a straight-through non-stop re-read, rare experience that may have added to the pleasure. I have read all of Hillerman's Chee/Leaphorn mysteries at least once, so this was an opportunity to spend time with old friends.

The thing I noticed this time through, with much appreciation, was that Hillerman was not afraid to show weakness in his "Legendary Lieutenant" Joe Leaphorn. He's retired, and bored, and lonely, and though he has a healthy self-awareness, he can still evoke some compassion
Gerald Kinro
Oct 20, 2014 Gerald Kinro rated it really liked it
Three armed bandits raid a Ute casino. They kill one policeman, wound another, and disappear into the wilds of the Utah-Arizona border. This resembles the unsolved shootout and murder of a policeman back in 1998 and the mishandled federal investigation that followed. Once again, the federal authorities take over the investigation and their agents move in with helicopters and high-tech equipment. They believe a wounded deputy sheriff is a suspect. Enter Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn. Chee finds flaws ...more
Vivienne Neal
Jun 14, 2014 Vivienne Neal rated it it was amazing
Storytelling At Its Best

The author introduces the reader to two Navajo detectives, Sgt. Jim Chee and his old boss, retired officer Joe Leaphorn who sees a connection to a killing of two officers, a year earlier and the shooting of two policemen and the killing of a guard at a Ute Casino, a year later. The narrative is a blend of Native American customs, which explores traditional and modern thoughts. Several of the antagonists are multifaceted with various political, environmental and social vie
Jan 07, 2010 Jim rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Tony Hillerman is well known for his Navajo Myseries series featuring Navajo tribal policemen Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee. One of the things that I love about this series is that Joe and Jim solve mysteries using Navajo culture, tradition and wisdom.

I read a lot of Tony Hillerman's books several years ago and I was recently inspired to return to this wonderful series.

This book is later in the series and Joe Leaphorn is now retired, while Jim Chee still works for the Tribal Police. In this install
Jan 23, 2012 JBradford rated it liked it
I think I've made it pretty clear that I am a great fan of Tony Hillerman and his ever-growing series of novels about the Navaho Police Force, in which the main characters have become my friends as I observed them growing older, and my only regret is that I have not been able to read all of the series in chronological sequence. This one is another that contains both Lt. Joe Leaphorn (retired, now, but still capable of action) and Sgt. Jim Chee (on vacation, but not able to escape intrigue), and ...more
Tomas Meade
Jan 11, 2014 Tomas Meade rated it really liked it
Hunting Badger by Tony Hillerman
Tony Hillerman displaces a perfect balance of action and description in his excellent book Hunting badger. This book is about main characters Navajo tribal police officer Jim Chee and his once superior, retired police chief Joe Leaphorn. The plot is relatively straight forward when you look back on the book, but it also manages to be very complex in an intriguing way. The book begins with Jim Chee who has recently come back from Alaska and is beginning to settle
Orville Jenkins
Jan 14, 2014 Orville Jenkins rated it it was amazing
This was a delightful and engaging mystery, and kept my attention, like all the Hillerman Navajo-Hopi detective mysteries.

Sergeant Jim Chee of the Navajo Tribal Police is called to assist in a manhunt for three who robbed a Ute casino, killed one officer and wounded another. His retired former boss Joe Leaphorn gets involved incidentally when he discovers the body of a rancher in the area, who has a suicide note on his computer naming himself and two accomplices as the robbers.

Of course, the fec
Sep 01, 2007 Johnsergeant rated it really liked it
Listened to the audiobook from Recorded Books

Narrated By: George Guidall
Joe Leaphorn/Jim Chee mystery

Tony Hillerman’s best-selling reservation series occupies a unique place in the world of mystery novels. By combining Native American lore and history with suspenseful crime stories, he enlightens and entertains his many fans. Hunting Badger takes you to the Navajo reservation where police sergeant Jim Chee is facing a thorny dilemma. One year ago, Sgt. Chee was part of an FBI search for two cop
Aug 29, 2012 Judith rated it liked it
'Hunting Badger' is readable and enjoyable. It's good to see that as they grow older and more mature, Chee and Leaphorn are finally beginning to develop a relationship that transcends the mentor/acolyte status they've always had and becomes--dare I say it--friendship? Also, it's a relief to see that Chee is finally ditching Janet Pete and opening his mind to a relationship "closer to home," while Leaphorn is finally acknowledging that there is a life after his beloved Emma. These are the real th ...more
Dec 17, 2009 J rated it liked it
The onging story of Sgt. Jim Chee and Officr Bernadette Manuelito continues to develop as Chee and Lt. Leaphorn solve another crime in Navajoland.

The FBI doesn't fare well and it brings a chuckle as the Feds have a reputation that seems universal among law enforcement. Perhaps this is why I really like Hillerman; he has taken the time to cultivate relationships with police and to understand their culture. It is evident to me that he had a few friends who were old salts.

As always, I find myself
Richard Malcolm
May 25, 2009 Richard Malcolm rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Another favorite Hillerman. Be warned, it's one of the bloodiest. Love the tension with the FBI folks, it adds another dimension and casts the rez cops policing style in relief against the feds - very fun. Enjoyed learning more about Leaphorn's relationship with his lady friend the anthropologist and with Chee. The final cave shoot-out is extremely exciting.

Side note: calling Hillerman "slow" is kind of missing the point. The steady build-up and deliberate pacing is his style of letting the ten
Mar 13, 2012 Dale rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is better the second time around.

Tony Hillerman (1925-2008)
Read by George Guidall.
Lasts about 6 hours.<?i>

I've read all of the Hillerman books so I'm re-reading them as audiobooks to ease a tedious drive to work and to re-enjoy them.

I had remembered this one as a weak link in the series, and I was wrong. The book, as usual for this series, is set on the Navajo reservation. Joe Leaphorn is retired but gets involved anyway. The story involves the is about the armed robbery of a Ute Indian
Apr 21, 2014 Debfiddle rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-on-tape
Three men raid the gambling casino run by the Ute nation and then disappear into the maze of canyons on the Utah-Arizona border. When the FBI, with its helicopters and high-tech equipment, focuses on a wounded deputy sheriff as a possible suspect, Navajo Tribal Police Sergeant Jim Chee and his longtime colleague, retired Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn, launch an investigation of their own. Chee sees a dangerous flaw in the federal theory; Leaphorn sees intriguing connections to the exploits of a legend ...more
Tammy Hinton
Nov 28, 2015 Tammy Hinton rated it really liked it
I like having the two POVs of Chee and Leaphorn. The plot flowed and was plausible. I will another book by this author.
Dec 13, 2014 Stephen rated it really liked it
Having read at least ten Hillerman books, I don't try to rate them all nor (would be much harder) to rank those I recall from most favorite to least. I like most of them a lot, though there is a fairly recent one in which Jim Chee leaves Navajoland to pursue something to I think it was LA It's the characters (both major and minor), the setting and the revelations about the way, the life among the Dine that make them work for me; the plots are secondary. Hunting Badger is like that.
Jun 18, 2015 Diana rated it really liked it
A casino on a Navajo reservation is robbed. They appear to just disappear and can not be found. Reminds people of situation years ago when a policeman was killed and the 3 perps get away despite a very extensive manhunt by a large number of people.
I enjoy the stories about Lt. Joe Leaphorn (I have him pictured looking like Sgt. Fish on "Barney Miller") and Jim Chee. They are truly interesting characters and Tony Hillerman puts them in so many situations. Love his descriptions of the area when
James G.
Fun to read/hear really good detective fiction on the ride. Makes me think of my mom <3
James Biser
Mar 06, 2015 James Biser rated it liked it
I have read a few of Tony Hillerman's Jim Chee books. I always enjoy them. This story was excellent because Joe Leaphorn was involved in the investigation, even though he was already "retired". I also love it when Federal agents come in, as they did in this story, believe they have "taken over" the investigation, and then get called in by Officer Chee, and retired officer (Leaphorn) to arrest the criminals in a place their agency had decided was a irrelevant to the case.
Jul 04, 2014 Lynn rated it liked it
Shelves: crime
A casino is robbed, leaving one employee dead and another badly wounded. Police suspect an inside job and the hospitalized employee is the main suspect, but a visitor to retired Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn tells a different story. Tony Hillerman's books are full of descriptions of the rugged countryside in New Mexico and Utah, as well as enlightenment into Navajo culture. Hunting Badger was an enjoyable, quick read.
John Yingling
Jan 12, 2015 John Yingling rated it it was amazing
This series is excellent, with very appealing, interesting characters. In addition, Tony Hillerman gives you a real feeling for the land and for the Navajo people. For further enjoyment, listen to the audiobooks read by George Guidall. He brings real life and depth to the story and to the characters, especially for Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee, the protagonists in each book.
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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)
  • Coyote Waits (Leaphorn & Chee, #10)

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