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The Bluejay Shaman (An Alix Thorssen Mystery #1)

3.24  ·  Rating Details  ·  141 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Traveling the back roads of Montana, not-quite-fearless art gallery owner Alix Thorssen is far from home and up to her Ray-bans in shaman’s secrets, mysterious deaths, madness, and ah yes passion among the pine needles. Whoever killed Shiloh Merkin hated her and wanted her dead. But did Wade Fraser, Alix's brother-in-law and University of Montana anthropology professor, do ...more
Paperback, 242 pages
Published May 19th 2008 by Thalia Press (first published April 10th 1994)
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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.
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.
Sylvia Walker
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
Douglas Cook
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.
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
Jun 16, 2014 Yvonna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
Apr 11, 2014 Mara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nov 26, 2014 Suzanne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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!
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.

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.
Beth Ann
May 17, 2014 Beth Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nov 27, 2012 Rebecca rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
Nov 06, 2011 John rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
After reading 28% of this one I gave up. I was too boring and slow moving.
Dec 07, 2012 Carol rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
She writes well but for some reason, it took me a long time to finish this.
Nov 06, 2011 Helen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
decent first novel, rough edged mix of art, indian lore & psychology
Oct 17, 2015 scherzo♫ rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mys-tepids
Lame plotting and characterization with loads of drivel.
Jan 05, 2011 Helen rated it really liked it
Rough edged mix of art, Indian lore and psychology
Melody Smith
Interesting, not captivating, but an easy mystery read.
Oct 06, 2010 Liz rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Good story but a little slow.
Dee marked it as to-read
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Ian Donnelly
Ian Donnelly marked it as to-read
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Feb 04, 2016
Lakota rated it liked it
Feb 07, 2016
Yvette Osborne
Yvette Osborne rated it really liked it
Feb 01, 2016
Birdingrver marked it as to-read
Jan 29, 2016
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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 Conf ...more
More about Lise McClendon...

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An Alix Thorssen Mystery (4 books)
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