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The Shaman's Game (Charlie Moon #4)

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  553 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews

For the Ute of Southern Colorado, the annual Sun Dance is among the most solemn and sacred of rituals. But too often recently Death has been an uninvited guest at the hallowed ceremony. None of the deceased has sustained visible, life-ending injuries, so Charlie Moon is reluctant to call it murder. Yet he knows there was nothing "natural" about the unexplained deaths of yo

Paperback, 352 pages
Published August 1st 1999 by Avon (first published 1998)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Fredrick Danysh
Jul 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
When people start dying at the Southern Cheyenne Sun Dance, Charlie Moon suspects something sinister even thought there are no overt signs of murder.
Aug 09, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Charlie Moon series by James D. Doss is excellent! Always a good read.
Lois Blanco
Jul 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Poor Charlie Moon and his women - they find him appealling but he doesn't have a clue. I liked the quip about Horace being thought a half-wit but his father thinks he would need more schooling to be called that.
Jun 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
I love James Doss's use of language, how he describes the landscape of southern Colorado, and Ute culture. This book may move too slowly for some, but I was thoroughly engrossed from the beginning. The book is about witchcraft, Ute style, as well as some Christian themes, and about Ute belief systems. The story surrounds the Sun Dance as performed in several locations, with Ute, Paiute, and Shoshone participants. During "dancing thirsty" the quest is for a vision, after several days in the south ...more
Brian Chafin
Dec 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Perhaps it isn't fair, but any Indian-led mystery set in the Four Corners has to be compared to a Hillerman. Doss' plotting isn't as tight, his settings are not as vivid as Hillerman's. I would like to say that Charlie Moon is not fleshed out as well as Jim Chee. That would be unfair, since I've read many more Chee books. Moon has the potential to be more interesting than Chee, perhaps even rivaling the Legendary Lieutenant Leaphorn. Doss does a good job with the ceremonial description. The twis ...more
Karenbike Patterson
Feb 03, 2014 rated it it was ok
On page 90 a sixty something Ute Sun Dance dies on day three. At first it looks like natural causes and then maybe not. The rest of the book has Charlie Moon, a Ute Policeman tracking down what happened. We don't know much about the original victim so it is hard to care much about his death. The next victim is well developed but the whole thing is resolved in a really silly explanation.
Sep 06, 2012 rated it it was ok
It was obvious this was a man writing this book because he didn't have a clue how women's minds think. I found his female characters very irritating. The story was interesting and had a good ending but I didn't feel the characters were fleshed out enough. I also would have liked more depth on the Indian legends and practices. Great descriptive writing about the location settings.
Sep 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fiction
This one, number 4 in the series, follows Charlie Moon almost exclusively as he tries to sort out his love life and figure out how come participants in several Ute-sponsored Sun Dances keep dying. It turns out not to be at all what anyone expected. Interesting and surprising. Scott Parris is barely in this one.
Apr 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
This mystery was very interesting once I got past the first couple of chapters. It was a bit slow at first, but after a few chapters my interest was caught and continued to the amazing end. Great read!!
Michael  Starsheen
A good read

I enjoyed this book for its characters and the interplay among them. The plot was suspenseful, and I had no idea where it was going until the end. The presentation of the Ute culture adds to the story in significant ways, and made the book particularly enjoyable.
Feb 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I enjoyed the characters, and their world and hope I get the chance to read the story again and/or to read more within the series.

My Rating System:
* couldn't finish, ** wouldn't recommend, *** would recommend, **** would read again, ***** have read again.
Jun 19, 2010 added it
Shelves: mystery-suspense
I picked this up on vacation in Utah because it was about the four corners area. It was a good story, with interesting info on the Native Americans of that region. Some would think it moved too slowly.
May 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
This story reminds of the soft link between the modern and the spiritual. Takes you to the mystery of the desert and that maze of the human mind. Easy read , really enjoyed this book.
Jul 30, 2011 added it
Loved it! Lots of info about Native American culture. Interesting characters, good plot.
Nov 22, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, fiction
This book was very tedious through the first half, but grabbed my interest for the last half as I actively tried to figure out whodunit. Great surprise ending woven into Indian lore!
Jun 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
I am really enjoying these Charlie Moon mysteries.
Elizabeth  Lopez
Oct 14, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading this book. It was a great insight to native american traditions mixed with a new outlook on how generations change.
Mar 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
stealing the strength of the sun dance
Feb 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Another great mystery writer in the Native American genre.
Jan 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, have-read
Charlie Moon is working at the Sundance when the unthinkable happens and his aunt has the answers. Lots of who-done-it and mysterious visitors make this one exciting read.
Jan 17, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
The Shaman's Game (Shaman Mysteries) by James D. Doss (1999)
Apr 16, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommended to Jenny by: Tom K
Shelves: mystery
This was a different kind of mystery book combining American Indian folklore with modern day police work. The plot revolves the Indian Sun Dance. Not very fast paced, but rich with descriptions.
Toesnorth's mom
Dec 04, 2012 added it
Shelves: mom-s
not as good
Karen Cowgill
Apr 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite authors!!! Doss never disappoints. Spooky, too!
Amanda Otis
Oct 13, 2014 rated it liked it
The solution to this mystery will definitely knock you upside the head.
Diane Nodell
Feb 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Great characterization
rated it it was amazing
Feb 28, 2015
Chris Ingebretsen
rated it it was amazing
Nov 07, 2013
rated it liked it
Feb 05, 2008
rated it really liked it
Mar 22, 2013
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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 Sings (Charlie Moon, #1)
  • The Shaman Laughs (Charlie Moon, #2)
  • The Shaman's Bones (Charlie Moon, #3)
  • 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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“Hidden within the heart of every man is that small boy who shudders at those dread things who shuffle among the shadows” 0 likes
“[Attending the Sun Dance] There was a smattering of tourists, both serious and recreational. Professors of anthropology and ethnology. Writers of fact and other fiction. A family from Wisconsin pausing on their long, sacred pilgrimage to The Land of Disney.” 0 likes
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