Dance Hall of the Dead, was my first encounter with Tony Hillerman. I know this is scandalous, because I live in the Southwest. Blasphemous perhaps! Before you start judging me please realize that I have read other Southwestern literature classics like Rudolfo Anaya’s Bless Me Ultima, which I enjoyed.
I did not hate Dance Hall of the Dead, but it is not my cup of tea. After talking with family and friends, I realize that I have made a tragic mistake. I inadvertently skipped book one and read book two. This could lead to my not connecting with the characters. (I read Dance Hall of the Dead, because my book club students chose to read it.)
It is a murder mystery set in Arizona on the Navajo and Zuni lands. Two boys go missing and Lt. Joe Leaphorn must solve the mystery. It is a pretty straightforward murder mystery. Because I did not read book one, I have no connection with Leaphorn. I also did not feel upset about the two young boys who go missing. Scandalous I know! Perhaps I have spent too much time engrossed in first person point of view books?
Who done it? The villain of course. Like Esso I am pretty much the last person to know who did it. The clues are there. Leaphorn knew who did it before I did. However, the answer, the who done it, still leaves me baffled.
Overall I feel accomplished, because I finished the book to discuss it with my students. I feel let down, because I did not enjoy it. Lastly I wonder what I am missing, because so many others have enjoyed Tony Hillerman. Sigh…oh well…back to the world of young adult literature! ...more