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

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  1,099 Ratings  ·  98 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 Books (first published 1994)
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Randee Baty
May 09, 2014 Randee Baty rated it liked it
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
Mar 10, 2011 Amanda rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Julie Howard
Sep 20, 2015 Julie Howard rated it it was ok
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
Nov 02, 2012 Chris rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery-4corners
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
Aug 25, 2013 Patty rated it it was ok
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.
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!)
Jun 18, 2014 Jen rated it it was ok
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.
Amber Foxx
Dec 12, 2013 Amber Foxx rated it it was amazing
An analytical review

I’ve previous reviewed James Scott Belle’s writing guide, Super Structure: The Key to Unleashing the Power of Story, and I love the mystical mysteries of James D. Doss. To teach myself to better apply Bell’s structural signposts, I reread Doss’s first book, noting how he intuitively applied those story-line elements in his unconventional way, long before Bell wrote the book. I hope this review will be useful to readers looking for a good book and to authors hoping to write on
May 21, 2017 Carolyn rated it it was amazing
I have all these Doss books and liked every one....and have kept them as I plan to re-read them later this year. Sorry that he has passed away...I was hoping for more on Charlie Moon....
I have all of Margaret Coel's Indian mysteries and hoping more from her.
Kerrie Jo
Dec 13, 2016 Kerrie Jo rated it liked it
A little slow paced but kept me guessing.
Kevin Orth
Mar 01, 2017 Kevin Orth rated it it was amazing
Wow! Wow, wow, wow. This is really two complete novels in one. The first is a very engaging detective murder mystery and the second is the etherial world of a Native American Shaman.

Both are masterfully written and very engaging. I'm so glad this is the first in a long series. I cannot wait to see where the author takes us in this long, meandering journey!
Titus Burley
Jul 13, 2012 Titus Burley rated it really liked it
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
Gerald Kinro
Dec 30, 2013 Gerald Kinro rated it really liked it
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
Aug 16, 2010 Gail rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 16, 2016 Julieann287 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dedective
I so enjoyed this book! I couldn't help but to compare this story to Tony Hillerman's books. I enjoyed Hillerman's journalistic style and have been looking into other writers to fill that void.

James Doss' The Shaman Sings was a very fun read. I am a native of southern Colorado and love the Four Corners area. I appreciated his imagery of the Colorado and New Mexico where four states come together. Also enjoyed the development of the main character, Granite Creek police chief Scott Parris, recent
Dec 29, 2009 Denise rated it liked it
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
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
May 31, 2013 Ann rated it liked it
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
Oct 04, 2011 Janelle rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 26, 2012 KDawn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
*sigh* Well, this was the first time I ever skipped the second half of a book and just checked "who dun it" at the end. It wasn't a great surprise. What I really found confusing was why this was labeled "a Charlie Moon" mystery, when dear old Charlie wasn't in the book for the first 70 pages. Maybe he's more of a main character later in the books. I also wanted more information about the Ute traditions (maybe I skipped over it in the 2nd half?), like Tony Hillarman gave you in the Joe Leaphorn s ...more
Sep 15, 2010 Andrea rated it really liked it

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.
Dec 08, 2012 Ann rated it liked it
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.
Jan 06, 2008 Deirdre rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, murder
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.
Jan 19, 2016 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jeff Carpenter
Oct 03, 2010 Jeff Carpenter rated it really liked it
Shelves: james-d-doss
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.
Oct 31, 2013 Nigel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 15, 2016 SouthWestZippy rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
A female physics student has been murdered in Granite Creek, Colorado. Police chief Scott Parrish sees the killings in his dreams as well as shaman Daisy Perika. Tribal Police investigator Charlie Moon, who is the nephew of Parrish and Perika, is in charge of finding the killer but he first must summon up the supernatural for help. Hard to follow and just could not get into story.
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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)

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