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The Shaman Sings (Charlie Moon, #1)
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The Shaman Sings (Charlie Moon #1)

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  916 ratings  ·  81 reviews
The howling Coyote, messenger of the dwarf master pitukupf and dancing balls of fire, the bruja. These are the omens that appear to the aged Ute shaman Daisy Perika and her shepherd friend Nahum Yaciiti. Omens signaling the work of the Dark One among the matukach, the white people in this southwestern corner of Colorado. The brutal, late-night murder of graduate student Pr ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published November 1st 1995 by Avon (first published 1994)
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Community Reviews

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This series is often compared to Tony Hillerman novels, though the writing styles of these two authors are markedly different. The similarities are primarily in genre with mysteries involving Native American culture, Colorado settings, and tribal investigator protagonists. Qualities appreciated by Hillerman fans won't necessarily translate to Doss novels, and vice versa. My limited experience with Hillerman novels is based on Dance Hall of the Dead, which I couldn't even finish for its hard-boil ...more
Michele Beacham
Picked this up from the Local Authors shelf at a bookstore in Albuquerque on a whim to read while I was there for the weekend. It was pretty good and a fast read, but I was a little bit disappointed at it being listed at the first "Charlie Moon" book, because he was hardly in it at all. I probably would have liked it less had I not read it on vacation (I find that vacation makes everything better!)
Voilà un polar "ethnique" très sympathique. Bourré d'humour, un juste équilibre entre sciences, ici une sombre histoire d'assassinat suite à la découverte du Graal des super-conducteurs, et traditions natives-américaines, avec les visions de Daisy Perika, vieille chaman Ute, et les prémonitions du chef de la police Scotty Parris.
Un tas de fausses pistes à l'entourloupe bien menée, des personnages chouettes et drôles, même si certains sont un peu trop caricaturaux (le criminel mexicain et le flic
Randee Baty
It seems like I compare books to food a lot lately so this one reminds me of casserole where it tastes pretty good but there’s just some ingredient in it you just can’t place and would have been fine without and maybe the whole thing is slightly underseasoned.

The Shaman Sings was James D. Doss’ debut novel and I think that shows pretty clearly. There are a lot of elements in the story. There is the mystical Ute woman, the Keystone cop deputies, the illegal immigrant, the visions, the dreams, th
Gerald Kinro
Priscilla Song, a physics graduate student, is brutally murdered, shocking the peaceful town of Granite Creek, Colorado. Signs point to Julio Pacheco, maintenance worker at Rocky Mountain Polytech University with an eye for Priscilla. Pacheco is an overall bad-assed illegal Mexican alien. Chief of Police Scott Parris is not so sure; he dreamed of the killing. Daisy Perika, an elderly Ute shaman, had the same dream. She also knows that the student was on to a breakthrough discovery. Meanwhile, th ...more
Julie Howard
First, the positive......good characters, and an interesting murder.
The negative......1. Not enough Charlie Moon 2. Too much stuff left unexplained that is unrelated to the story. Daisy's friend is taken by angels and his sheep killed? No one investigates? 3. The pretty reporter is hurt badly then is out running around the next day? Seriously, no. 4. There were serious hints of a supernatural thing about the killer, never explained. 4. What the heck were the fireballs and witches that Daisy saw
Titus Burley
It's always a little haunting to pick up a book on whim (especially one by an author who has been penning books for years) and then discover that the author in question has just passed away. I'd been aware of Doss's mystery series for years, but I had never got around to reading any of his books. When I happened upon a copy of his debut novel in the series and found myself hooked after the first couple of chapters, I put aside the handful of books I was half-heartedly reading and raced through t ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Doss, James D.

The shocking death of a female physics student has shattered the peaceful community of Granite Creek, Colorado—and police chief Scott Parrish has a hunch he can’t even begin to explain. He saw the killing…in his dreams.

Daisy Perika experienced the same visions. An aged Ute shaman who lives in a trailer on the lonesome highlands, hers is the realm of the Native American spirit. But Daisy doesn’t need scientific proof to know that the student’s breakthrough dis
Although this series is listed as a cozy on I don't know that I would call it a cozy. It has some pretty graphic stuff in it. This is the first book in the Charlie Moon Mystery series. What I found interesting is Charlie Moon had a very small part in this book, and there wasn't much Native American stuff in it either. I hope that this first book is just laying the groundwork and more Native American story will be in the upcoming books. I just put The Shaman Laughs, t ...more
Meh. I just discovered this author recently and I really liked the concept of mysteries set on the Ute reservation. Like having another Hillerman to read. But somehow, so far, he never quite pulls it off. I do like some of his characters. But the plots get pretty contrived, and the twist is never "honest" from the reader's point of view, IMHO.
I am reading the entire series at this time, so I don't remember the exact plot of each one. However, Ute tribal investigator, Charlie Moon and his best friend Granite Creek Chief of Police, Scott Parris make the entire series a lot of fun. The antics of Charlie's grouchy Aunt Daisy, a Ute Elder and Shaman, make for good plot twists and high adventures. If there weren't some grisly murders along the way, these books might be considered "tea cozy" mysteries for and about cowboys. I love these boo ...more
Ok mystery set mostly on a Ute reservation in Colorado. Not as good as Hillerman novels, and lots more mysticism, but still a fun read with interesting characters.
This is the first book I've read by James Doss. I don't know how I missed this great author but so glad I found him! I love books that include the Native American Myths and culture. Check this one out you won't be disappointed!
This is another series of mysteries I've always enjoyed, and is special because the books provide insights into the Native American Ute culture in Colorado through the eyes of Charlie Moon. If you enjoy inside looks at Native American cultures you would also like the series by Tony Hillerman who wrote about the Navajo people in New Mexico and Arizona through his heroes Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee. Another Navajo mystery series I liked was about tribal police chief Ella Clah written by husband and ...more
Kaye Dewar
Great book for readers of James Doss and other native American who dun its!
I had a hard time with this one. Charlie Moon is hardly in it. Most of the book has your typical stereotypes of lawmen, academics,etc.. Some of the action feels contrived and hollow. In one case a character is almost murdered but she survives and is walking around like nothing happened within hours of the near fatal wounding. The best parts of the book were about the scientific discovery. The attempt to meld the Native American mythology with a murder mystery didn't succeed like the works of Ton ...more
Jerry Peace
Won't continue with this series.
There were some interesting bits to this story that will have me seeking out at least one more in the series (the superconductor science, the Native American settings), but Charlie Moon whose name is attached to the series hardly features in it at all, and some of the characters were just obnoxious. The pace of the "romance" between the sheriff and the reporter seemed disjointed to me, and I couldn't tell how seriously or "real" some of the shamanistic experiences were supposed to be considered.
John Grose
I can't say as I really cared for it. And the titular character is barely in it.
Billy Maise
Started slow but got good at the end. Better than I expected.
The first in a series that shows promise. Scott Parris has a hunch and a dream about a murder and his hunches are turning out to be pretty accurate. Along with him Daisy Perika is seeing some of the same things, however she acknowledges that this is shamanistic visions, he's reluctant to agree.

It's an interesting blend of paranormal and investigation and while the clues are there you don't realise who dunnit until late. Many red herrings litter the story to keep you interested as well.
Jeff Carpenter
This is the first Charlie Moon novel, although he doesn't make an appearance until the last couple of chapters. The book is interesting, if you like Tony Hillerman you will like James D. Doss. Where Hillerman's books take place in Navajo country, Doss writes about the Utes in Southern Colorado. The two authors writings are very similar however Doss does seem to delve into mysticism more than Hillerman. I liked it enough to go out and buy several more entries in the series.

A young graduate student is brutally murdered in her lab at the local university. New police chief Scott Parris has just arrived from Chicago. He begins to look into the murder and is aided by Anne Foster, a local newspaper reporter. They encounter Ute Indian shamans, physics professors and the odd hermit or two before they find the murderer. The story is well written and fast moving. I liked it and hope there are more to come.
The town of Granite Creek, Colorado is shocked by the death of a promising physics student from the local college. Police Chief Scott Parrish is troubled because he saw the death in his dreams. The trail leads to the nearby Ute reservation where he meets the tribal cop, Charlie Moon. Charlie also introduces Scott to his aunt, Daisy Perika, who is a shaman. Daisy sees that Scott is one who has a gift of sight.
Features someone I know!
I enjoyed this a fair bit. Basic cops/murder story but made better than simply that by some good writing and characters. Throw in some humour and it was a worthwhile read for me. My only read complaint is that it is tagged as A "Charlie Moon novel" and he almost doesn't appear in it and I was expecting a bit more of the magical mysticism but I'll read another as soon as I can.
Steven Howes
This book was rather disappointing to me when compared to some of the other mystery series I have read such as the Tony Hillerman books, Gabriel Dupree Montana Mysteries, and the Wind River Mysteries. While I learned some things about the spiritual beliefs of the Southern Ute Indians, the rest of the story was a bit far-fetched for me.
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James Daniel Doss, recently retired from the technical staff of Los Alamos National Laboratory, now spends most of his time in a small cabin above Taos -- writing mystery fiction. He also travels to the fascinating locations where his stories take place, often camping in remote areas to absorb the impression of an Anasazi ruin, a deep canyon, an arid mesa, or a Sun Dance.
More about James D. Doss...

Other Books in the Series

Charlie Moon (1 - 10 of 17 books)
  • The Shaman Laughs (Charlie Moon, #2)
  • The Shaman's Bones (Charlie Moon, #3)
  • The Shaman's Game
  • The Night Visitor (Charlie Moon, #5)
  • Grandmother Spider (Charlie Moon, #6)
  • White Shell Woman (Charlie Moon, #7)
  • Dead Soul (Charlie Moon, #8)
  • The Witch's Tongue (Charlie Moon, #9)
  • Shadow Man (Charlie Moon, #10)
  • Stone Butterfly (Charlie Moon, #11)
The Shaman's Bones (Charlie Moon, #3) Grandmother Spider (Charlie Moon, #6) The Shaman Laughs (Charlie Moon, #2) The Witch's Tongue (Charlie Moon, #9) White Shell Woman (Charlie Moon, #7)

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