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The Tale Teller

(Leaphorn & Chee #23)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  3,949 ratings  ·  560 reviews
Legendary Navajo policeman Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn takes center stage in this riveting atmospheric mystery from New York Times bestselling author Anne Hillerman that combines crime, superstition, and tradition and brings the desert Southwest vividly alive.

Joe Leaphorn may have retired from the Tribal Police, but he finds himself knee-deep in a perplexing case involving a p
Hardcover, 302 pages
Published April 9th 2019 by Harper
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Karen I'm sorry you didn't like the book. I have read all the Hillerman books and I think Anne has done a great job of carrying on the characters of Chee an…moreI'm sorry you didn't like the book. I have read all the Hillerman books and I think Anne has done a great job of carrying on the characters of Chee and Leaphorn. I enjoyed it very much.(less)
Debbie Beichler The characters have been used over many previous novels but the books can be read separately. You will be able to understand what is going on in the b…moreThe characters have been used over many previous novels but the books can be read separately. You will be able to understand what is going on in the book without having to read the others. Usually the author to rd you enough background of you need it from a previous book. (less)

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Average rating 4.08  · 
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Anne Hillerman threads the needle of the past into the uneven substance of the present in The Tale Teller. If you've ever read one of her books or those of her famous father, Tony Hillerman, you know that there will be the grounding of authenticity.

Retired Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn of the tribal police has been called in by Daisy Pinto of the local museum/library. Joe still exists on the perimeters of limited speech capacity since he was shot in the head a few years back. But Joe is like no other
The Tale Teller

That daughter Anne has taken up the quest to continue and expand upon Tony Hillerman’s Navajo world is a treat for all of us. I was devastated when I heard he’d passed, as Joe Leaphorn and Lt. Chee are in my hero box along with Perry Mason, Insp. Gamache, Bosch, Maigret, Poirot and Philip Marlowe. I enjoyed this tale, and Leaphorn back in action (kinda) after his last almost end adventure.

I also enjoy the weave of the Navajo and indigenous peoples’ cultural and linguistic threads
Jeff Dickison
Apr 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Ms. Hillerman continues to improve her writing skills and in the understanding of the main characters. If she keeps this up she will be almost as good as her father. I say almost, because in my opinion, no one can equal Tony Hillerman. I am glad Anne is making the effort because I really enjoy these characters. Recommended to all Leaphorn fans.
Nov 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read all of Tony Hillerman's books, and was glad that his daughter Anne kept writing about the same Navajo characters. She's as good a writer as her father was, and I like that female characters play an important role in her novels. Bernie and her husband Jim are investigating both a string of burglaries and a murder, and Leaphorn is looking into a theft of items ostensibly donated to a Navajo museum. The cases dovetail in a surprising way in this suspenseful thriller, and even though the c ...more
Dec 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The fifth book we find that Joe Leaphorn has been hired to find the donor of an anonymous gift to the Navajo Nation. Unfortunately, the most costly item, bill, a dress worn on the long walk of 1864 is not in the box. One of the employees of the museum dies a strange death. Jim Chee is working on a string of burglaries in Chinle and Bernie Manuelito finds a dead body on a popular running trail. This event brings the FBI into the area causing problems. The separate themes are brought together nice ...more
Dick Peller
A good effort, and I’ll keep reading her books, but she’s not Tony...
Barb in Maryland
Excellent addition to the series. It is always good to revisit the Navajo lands in the company of Navajo police officers Bernie Manuelito and her husband Jim Chee. The best development, however, has Joe Leaphorn, the retired 'legendary lieutenant', recovered enough from being shot in the head* to resume his consulting detective work.
Joe's case appears to be a simple one--find the items missing from a recent donation to a local museum. Were they ever in the box (as the packing slip indicated) or
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Originally published at Reading Reality

I found the original Leaphorn and Chee series sometime in the 1990s, when I had a horrifically long commute in the Chicago suburbs and audiobooks saved my sanity if not my life. Audiobook publishing was nowhere near as robust as it is today, and there weren’t a lot of options for someone who spent 3 hours in their car, 5 days a week, for most of 9 years.

I listened to a lot of books, and The Blessing Way (the first book in the series) and all of the followin
David Crow
Apr 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I grew up with Tony Hillerman and loved his books. I didn't think anyone could write about the Navajos. But I was wrong. Daughter Anne has picked up where the great Tony left off. This riveting story will not only keep you on the edge of your seat but also deepen your understanding of the Navajo people.
Clare O'Beara
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: america-crime
I'm delighted with this latest offering from the Four Corners. Anne has written her best book yet in this continuation of her father's series. The crimes include a death of a museum employee, shortly after a box of donated goods is found to be short of a tribal artefact that would be greatly missed. Also, a man is found dead near a jogging trail. Some elders have had items stolen from their homes. And a young woman has a boyfriend of the wrong sort.
All these need to be resolved by the Navajo Tr
I was very glad to see Joe Leaphorn back, taking a more involved role in this addition to this series. Joe is investigating some missing ancient Navajo artifacts when his case turns into a possible murder investigation. And Bernie finds a man's body alongside her jogging path, which keeps she and Chee both busy. Louisa is out of town, which is probably better since Joe is so busy with this investigation, but he still has time to pause and realize how much he misses her. This continues to be one ...more
Apr 17, 2019 rated it liked it
I always liked Tony Hillerman's books and looked forward to reading the newest one. In keeping with tradition, I now enjoy Mr. Hillerman's daughter's books and look forward to the next one. Anne
Hillerman is quite good at continuing the stories of her father's characters, and the books are a joy to read. I do hope there is another one in the future (if not more).

The reason I gave it three stars instead of four was because of the ending. By the time you get most of the way through the book you sh
Sarah Freeland

Very, very little consideration of character development. Overall, a weak story line and plot structure; it honestly reads like a high school- level creative writing assignment.
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There are two separate storylines in this book. One of them is boring and the other isn't told very well. The dialogue between characters is awful. Is everyone in the Four Corners region that rude and annoying??
Jun 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such a pleasure to be back in Navajo Country, back with Navajo detectives Leaphorn, Chee and Manuelito. I love the descriptions of the landscapes and the history. Two mysteries to solve in this book: retired detective Leaphorn's private case of the missing woven dress that may have belonged to Juanita, wife of the "Long Walk" chief & Navajo hero Manuelito and then a string of robberies and a murder for the Navajo police.

The mystery puzzles aren't the strongest parts of the book -- it is the cha
Apr 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Definitely the best of this series that are written by Anne Hillerman! Loved having Leaphorn as a major character again, his and Bernie's development as characters, all the evolving relationships, all the cultural and historical information being so key to the story, and the interwoven storylines.

Just still frustrated that Chee seems more like a cardboard cutout than a real character. I imagine he might be the hardest for this Hillerman to write after her father focused on him so much in his bo
Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a solid threesome mystery at officers Chee and Manuelita had crimes to solve and retired Leiutenant Leaphorn had a mystery to figure out.  I found this more engaging then the previous "Cave of Bones" probably because Leaphorn's mystery was the main action.  I did miss having a map to refer to such as was in the earlier novel. I also regretted having put away my AMA map of the SouthWest (of the USA) when Tony Hillerman passed away, not expecting any more Chee/Leaphorn stories to check th ...more
Barbara LeMere
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have been a fan of Tony Hillerman's writing for a very long time. I love his series of books which are about the Navajo Tribal Police. They give you a feel for what life on the Reservation is like out west and a feel for the people who live there. The Tale Teller by Anne Hillerman is a seamless continuation of this series. HIllerman's vivid depiction of Officer, now Sargent Jim Chee, Lt, Joe Leaphorn, and Captain Largo continue to solve crimes, help their neighbors and friends and and the addi ...more
Patti Biley
Dec 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve read two books now from this author and been impressed with both of them. She’s continuing the legacy of her father Tony Hillerman, whose Navajo Tribal Police mystery novels take place in the Southwest. It’s enjoyable each time to encounter the main characters, detectives Joe Leaphorn, Jim Chee and Bernie Manuelito as they solve crime in the vast reaches of the Four Corners.
Garlan ✌
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another good read from Anne Hillerman. She's taken over her dad's series and done an excellent job of it. Leaphorn, Chee and Manuelito are still solving crimes across the Navajo nation. Good, modern day storyline with this one.
Apr 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book. Great story and lots to think about. I am so happy Anne Hillerman has continued her father's tradition and added Bernadette as a main character.
Casey Wheeler
Anne Hillerman continues her father's series focusing on the history and crime within the Navajo Reservation. As usual the story involves the characters of Joe Leaphorn, Jim Chee and Bernadette Manuletio. The book details some additional history of the Navaho nation which is involved in the solving of one of the mysteries/crimes in this book. It is well written making it a fast read.

I recommend this book to fans of the Leaphorn - Chee novels.
I enjoy Anne's books and have been delighted to have her father's characters continue in such a familiar manner. She certainly has caught his spirit and his writing ability. That said, this was not my favorite. I got weary of the two strands of stories intermingled and both with crimes of theft. I thought they were too similar and kept thinking each was its own individual story cut up to fit into a longer book. The first half of the book seemed more smoothly than than the last half. The saving g ...more
Jim Mullin
Jun 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always enjoy to begin the newest Hillerman novels as it is comparable to meeting up with old friends who you haven’t seen for a long time
This latest volume continues the stories of the Navajo Police, the Chee’s and Joe Leaphorn as they progress solving mysteries . Perhaps the most interesting aspect of these novels is how the authors weave the history and culture of the old and present day Navajo culture in a stunning described prose of the beauty of the Navajo reservation and surrounding sou
Jun 30, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
poor writing confusing way too much fluff and not much story line. confusing 2 plots with nothing connecting them. gave up on page 256. have read all of tony's books. last one of Anne I will waste my time on. go on to something else anne. this is worse than the last one.
Karen Levay
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was her best book to date. Much better than the last book. Glad to see Joe Leaphorn back in business!
Joe Bolin
Oct 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anne Hillerman continues to develop the character of Bernadette Manuelito in this addition to the the Chee/Leaphorn series begun by her father. In addition to updating us on how our favorite Navajo police officers are doing, The Tale Teller is a solid mystery, falling somewhere between a police procedural and cozy mystery. Although the solution to the main mystery is clear early on in the book, there are two other mysteries that will keep readers guessing until the end. As I noted in my earlier ...more
This is one of those times when I wish I could split the rating into categories.

I'd give 2 stars (and that would be a gift) to the actual writing. There were too many characters, and unless you knew their relationships with each other from reading other books in this series, they all came off as flat. None of them jumped off the page (except for maybe Louisa, who I wanted to shake and say "Stop being a bi*ch").

I'd give the historical background 4 stars as I'm sure while many readers know about
John Yingling
Apr 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those books I wish I could give more than 5 stars to. Anne Hillerman has done a masterful job of continuing the Joe Leaphorn/Jim Chee/Bernie Manuelito series after the passing of her father Tony. It’s not an exaggeration to say that I love the characters of Joe, Jim, Bernie, Louisa, Captain Largo, and Cowboy Dashee, among others, in this consistently excellent series that takes place in Navajo country in New Mexico and Arizona. I have developed a great respect for the Navajo peopl ...more
May 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have liked all of Anne Hillerman's books in this series. I liked this one especially for its many historical references to The Long March which forced the Navajo Indians from their ancestral lands to live in a concentration-like camp. Part of this story involves seeking a dress that belonged to one of the leaders who signed a treaty reclaiming the ancestral lands and led The People back home. Aside from the historical references this book contains other interesting topics: rehabilitation from ...more
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Anne Hillerman's newest book,"Spider Woman's Daughter" debuted at number 10 on the New York Times Best Seller list. The novel continues her father Tony Hillerman's popular Jim Chee/Joe Leaphorn series. The book followed "Tony Hillerman's Landscape: On the Road with Chee and Leaphorn," with photos by Don Strel of the country the renown mystery author visited in his novels. Her cookbook, "Santa Fe F ...more

Other books in the series

Leaphorn & Chee (1 - 10 of 24 books)
  • The Blessing Way (Leaphorn & Chee, #1)
  • Dance Hall of the Dead (Leaphorn & Chee, #2)
  • Listening Woman (Leaphorn & Chee, #3)
  • People of Darkness (Leaphorn & Chee, #4)
  • The Dark Wind (Leaphorn & Chee, #5)
  • The Ghostway (Leaphorn & Chee, #6)
  • Skinwalkers (Leaphorn & Chee, #7)
  • A Thief of Time (Leaphorn & Chee, #8)
  • Talking God (Leaphorn & Chee, #9)
  • Coyote Waits (Leaphorn & Chee #10)

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“Death Waits in the Dark tells a gritty story of betrayal, deceit, and danger through the eyes of Navajo protagonist Arthur Nakai. The tightly written noir plot moves from scene to scene like a thriller, building suspense in every page.
—Anne Hillerman, New York Times bestselling author of The Tale Teller.”
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