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Coyote Waits (Navajo Mysteries #10)

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  5,896 ratings  ·  145 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 Pinto. 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
Paperback, 352 pages
Published January 15th 1992 by HarperPaperbacks (first published 1990)
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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
7th out of 79 books — 55 voters
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Native American Fiction
55th out of 510 books — 472 voters

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Community Reviews

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Apr 23, 2008 Maurean rated it 3 of 5 stars
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
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)!
Laura Cowan
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.
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
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
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
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
Morris Graham
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
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
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
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.
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 3 of 5 stars  ·  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 4 of 5 stars
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
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
Lillian Carl
I've heard Mr. Hillerman speak, delightfully. I've seen the dramatizations of his work on PBS, which

I enjoyed but which may not have been so delightful to Mr. H Somehow, though, I had never

actually read one of his books. So when I left town for a few days I took along a battered copy of

Coyote Waits.

Coyote Waits opens with Chee finding a policeman friend of his murdered. He feels guilty

because he should have gone to the man's aid when he said he'd finally cornered a vandal---but

there'd been
Richard Jr.
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
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.
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
Nov 12, 2011 Kristin added it
Shelves: ra, plain-favorites
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
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
David Guy
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
TheIron Paw
A decent detective story set in the Navajo community and providing interesting insights into Navajo culture and beliefs in the context of a crime story. A worthwhile vacation read.
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
Not sure how I feel about this one. More character development. Plenty of plot twists to keep you guessing. The end seems a little contrived though, with an unsatisfying resolution.
Anna Pappas
I liked this book, but the ending wasn't very satisfying to me. The author was very good at depicting Navajo culture however, and I liked that aspect very much.
Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee are two of my favorite characters, so I was pleased to discover this Tony Hillerman book which I hadn't read, at the most recent library book sale. I am making a collection of his books as well as those of Ed McBain. This one was as interesting and exciting as any of the previous ones. Both Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn have significant roles. Jim gets injured trying to get a friend out of a burning car. He is on medical leave but still follows up on leads. His f ...more
Tammy Downing
Great book about the killing of a police officer on the reservation and solving the complicated mystery surrounding this killing. Well paced with many interesting twists and turns. I will be reading more of Tony Hillerman's books in the future.
Bill Donhiser
A fun mystery novel I have read one from this series previously and when I catch up on my stack I would like to add more of these to my "to read" list
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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

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)
  • Sacred Clowns (Navajo Mysteries, #11)
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)

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