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Coyote Waits (Leaphorn & Chee #10)

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  7,025 Ratings  ·  190 Reviews
The car fire didn't kill Navajo Tribal Policeman Delbert Nez—a bullet did. And the old man in possession of the murder weapon is a whiskey-soaked shaman named Ashie Pinto. Officer Jim Chee is devastated by the slaying of his good friend Del, and confounded by the prime suspect's refusal to utter a single word of confession or denial.

Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn believes there i
Paperback, 352 pages
Published January 15th 1992 by HarperPaperbacks (first published 1990)
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Mar 29, 2015 Carmen rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Mystery Fans
He knew the motive. Whiskey.... Water of Darkness... The savagery of whiskey erased the need for a motive. No Navajo policeman - or any policeman - had to relearn that message. Death slept in the bottle, only waiting to be released, and every policeman knew it.

This was an excellent entry in Hillerman's Navajo Mystery series.

Jim Chee is going to meet his fellow officer for coffee. But Nez sees a vandal they have been trying to get a hold of for quite some time and takes off after him.

When after d
I have been reading Tony Hillerman's books for about 30 years. Now, with the help of Goodreads, I am reading all the ones that I missed. This book starts with Navajo Policeman Jim Chee finding the dead body of fellow Navajo Policeman Delbert Nez, shot dead and inside his burning patrol car. Officer Chee gets badly burned pulling Nez out of the burning car. Chee feels guilty that he wasn't there when Nez was killed and even though he is on sick leave recovering from his burns, he sets out to find ...more
Nov 07, 2016 Hana rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, 2016-reads
Thinly plotted and less interesting than A Thief of Time but still worth a read for fans of Tribal Police Officer Jim Chee and Lt. Joe Leaphorn. Hillerman's descriptions of the Southwest Border Country make me want to 'Go West, old lady! Go West!'.
On the vast rolling prairie that lead away from the highway toward the black shape of Ship Rock every clump of sagebrush, every juniper, every snakeweed, every hummock of bunch grass cast it's long blue shadow--an infinity of lines of darkness undulat
Apr 23, 2008 Maurean rated it liked it
Recommended to Maurean by: bookring
As I stated before, this is my second installment of the Jim Chee series, and I have come away with the same mixed feelings I had on the first go-around.

While I found the Navajo lore to be very interesting and informative, and Mr. Hillerman's characters are very well-developed and entertaining, my disappointments lie in the mysteries these tales are based around. The mystery seems to take a backseat to the lives and setting of the characters involved. I would prefer a bit more intrigue in the w
Jan 09, 2009 Kristen rated it liked it
Shelves: serial-mystery, 9-09, 2013
If you love mysteries set in the Southwest, you'll enjoy the great Tony Hillerman's Navajo Mysteries series. We're introduced to Tribal Police Officer Jim Chee and FBI agent Joe Leaphorn. These two men are embarked on the same wild case of a death of a Tribal Policeman Delbert Nez, which is nothing what it seemed to be. From breath-taking Arizonan landscape to majestic New Mexican scenery, he painted a picturesque scene with various and eclectic characters. He takes us on a wild ride on this mys ...more
Feb 20, 2009 tomlinton rated it it was amazing
I know the names of the books
in Jim Chee's trailer
for yei's sake

I had coffee for breakfast this morning
Waffles for dinner last night
Lunch of corn meal boiled
then top browned
with roasted kidney beans
and finished with butternut squash soup
and that was just
to get into the mood

After yesterday's reading
A Thief of Time
up near Grand Gulch Utah
leading down to the San Juan River
between Mexican Hat and Bluff
reminiscing about my drives and hikes
into the 25,000 square mile Navajo Big Rez
and nearby

All that's
May 20, 2014 Catherine rated it really liked it
The best of many worlds: a subtle murder mystery set on a Navajo reservation and the barren landscapes of New Mexico and Arizona. It made me want to travel to the Southwest again and to revisit the pueblos and reservations I went to. Very much reminded of the ways in which the richness and complexity of many Native American cultures clash or interact with American life and politics. But also: just a great book (aka stayed up late to finish it)!
Apr 19, 2017 Nolan rated it really liked it
This feels like one of the earlier Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn books. They aren’t even friends per se in this book; but they learn to work together, and I suspect this is the beginning of the friendship that eventually fully comes to fruition. I was surprised to learn that this was the 10th book in which the two appear together.

Navajo Nation Officer Delbert Nez has been tracking a criminal, and he at last seems to have the guy. He is thrilled about that, and those listening to the tribal police c
Aug 07, 2011 Stuart rated it it was amazing
I read this many years ago, when it first came out in 1990, and have just re-read it, as I am reading a series of other southwestern-themed mysteries and I wanted to see if Hillerman’s stories held up against both time and the newer stories. The answer is yes, it did – it held up well against both.
I still enjoyed it very much, even after 20-plus years. I had remembered some of it, but not all, so some of it felt new again. And although the Internet, DNA and smart phones have taken over our lives
Richard Jr.
Apr 04, 2013 Richard Jr. rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Coyote Waits by Tony Hillerman (Four Stars)
Hillerman does this one up pretty well in a long winded tribute to the cunning, evil and almost man attributes of Coyote who, “ always waits outside and is always hungry.”
The tale telling is well scripted in the part where old Pinto tells his tales of the Witches’ lair outside of the Ship Rock section of the reservation. The tale pulls together well, showing how Coyote lays for even the most innocent of us through taking our own avarices to the extreme
Jun 02, 2013 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the not so usual detective lierature
Shelves: detective, 2013
I like this little markets where people sell about anything secondhand, I have bought some great stuff including secondhand Hardcover books for next to nothing. It also the placeto acquire books your would not have bought in you usual state of mind. Which deleivers the odd surprise now and then especially when it comes to sleuthing of the ethnic variety.

This is a book from a series about policing in the Native American reservation by the inhabitants themselves, the general white person in this b
May 28, 2015 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
In Coyote Waits, Jim Chee makes a mistake on duty and a friend of his, another police officer, ends up murdered. Chee believes that he has caught the perpetrator of the crime, an act that is the best he can do to atone for his error, but things also don’t seem quite right. Why would a kind old man, a shaman, kill a police officer in the middle of nowhere. So, Chee, and eventually Joe Leaphorn, end up on the case, trying to unravel the mysteries of the night.

Coyote Waits, to me, is a good, but no
Apr 18, 2012 Ron rated it really liked it
As a reader whose interest is in the literature of the American West, rather than mystery writing, I had to be encouraged to read Tony Hillerman. And it was a happy discovery when I read "Coyote Waits." With his cast of Navajo characters, including law officers Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee, the author introduces readers to the world of the modern-day reservation and the surviving Navajo culture in the Four Corners area of New Mexico and Arizona.

The coyote of the title, from Navajo mythology, repres
John Tipper
Mar 15, 2015 John Tipper rated it liked it
Hillerman's Coyote Waits begins on the Navajo Reservation, which is approximately the size of West Virginia. Hillerman's stock detectives are Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee, and in the beginning they tend to believe the FBI report that Ashie Pinto, a stereotype of the drunken Native American, killed Chee's buddy and fellow Tribal Officer Delbert Nez. Pinto is on the scene with the murder weapon and he's inebriated. He refuses to talk to authorities.

As Chee examines the crime more he doubts Pinto is t
Gerald Kinro
Nov 18, 2012 Gerald Kinro rated it really liked it
In Navajo culture, the coyote is not loved. It is associated with evil and ultimately brings bad luck. Jim Chee waits for his friend, Navajo Tribal Policeman Delbert Nez, to join him for coffee. However Nez, in trying to apprehend vandals is murdered, his car torched. A drunk old man, Ashley Pinto, is near the scene carrying the murder weapon. Open and shut. Not really, Pinto, in his inebriety, refuses to speak, at least coherently. Nevertheless, Chee arrests him.
Janet Peete, once the object of
Feb 28, 2012 Brianna rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in crime, murder mysteries, Native American culture
In high school I was basically obsessed with Tony Hillerman books. Not really sure why, but I was. I tried to read all of his books in my school's library. The only thing I didn't like what I couldn't really figure out the order of the books, and so I read them out of order.
These books are great. They are from a point of view from a cop who is caught between two words: Navajo and white. He treads back and forth between those lines, trying to find a balance while solving murders.
Tony Hillerman
Coyote Waits 03242007 Tony Hillerman

Jim Chee sits drinking coffee while partner Tribal Policeman Delbert Nez meets his demise. Chee catches the obvious perpetrator. A Navaho shaman, with a bottle in one hand and THE gun in his belt. Case closed.
Because of his guilt at not backing up his partner and at the insistence of Chee's on again and off again relationship with the defending attorney, Janet Pete, Chee must find out for him self what happened and if he may have made a mistake.
Because of a r
Apr 20, 2009 Valerie rated it liked it
I first became acquainted with Tony Hillerman novels over 20 years ago when I attended a book discussion course on mysteries at the public library. I don't remember which Hillerman novel I read for that course, but afterward I read and enjoyed a number of his mysteries, this one included.

This weekend we listened to Coyote Waits in the car while traveling to South Dakota for a wedding. Interestingly, it was read by the author who had a great voice for this Southwestern Navajo reservation setting.
Jul 16, 2015 Maggie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Coyote Waits was an excellent mystery, but I thought that Chee was sometimes annoying and whiny. Since he'd been badly injured at the beginning of the book and was in pain he had a right to whine, however, that wasn't what he was complaining about. He thought, without anything to back it up, that Leaphorn thought he was a screw-up and that he was investigating the case either to backup Chee's work or to prove his point. None of that was true and, though I probably should have found that funny, i ...more
Nov 05, 2011 Kristin added it
Shelves: ra, plain-favorites
I really loved this book. I've read and attempted a couple other Hillermans up to this point (liked The Dark Wind; couldn't get into a couple others)--but none of them hooked me like this one so far. The setting and the atmosphere/tone were my favorite aspects, and the storyline was interesting. I should probably be ashamed, though, that since I usually don't like mysteries (read: really hate them), what kept me interested in the mystery from the beginning was the hint that the supernatural migh ...more
Apr 02, 2011 Abra rated it really liked it
I've read a lot of Tony Hillerman books, and love that while each plot is different, the main characters are familiar to the reader.
I also like that as the series (?) goes on, the various relationships between characters change: Leaphorn's wife passes away, and he and the Professor start to spend more time together. Chee grows as a police officer and Navajo man. Leaphorn and Chee begin to like each other more, and Chee goes through several relationships which, while often hard to look at (I'm n
David Bryant
Aug 31, 2015 David Bryant rated it it was amazing
Recently re-read this, probably 10 years or more since I first read it, and it was still extremely enjoyable. I love the way Hillerman explains and respects the Navajos and other Native American groups, but is also able to portray their differences and conflicts. His love of the southwest is always present as well.
The book has the usual lead characters, Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee, and several others are familiar as well -- Janet Peet in particular. Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn are suitably flawed,
Jun 12, 2014 astaliegurec rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tony Hillerman's "Coyote Waits" is one of his more emotionally gripping Leaphorn & Chee novels. We've got the wonderful Navajo setting, Navajo/White philosophical conflicts, Jim Chee temperamental/professional conflicts, nice mystery, and good resolution. What makes this story more emotional than the others is that the crime is much closer and more personal to Jim Chee than before. A gripping book. I rate it at a Very Good 4 stars out of 5.

Hillerman's "Leaphorn & Chee" novels are:

1. The
Sep 11, 2013 Susan rated it really liked it
Although Coyote is often portrayed as am ambiguous trickster, in this novel he represents the dark and deadly forces of chaos that the police must deal with. Navajo Tribal Policeman Delbert Nez is shot while out searching for vandals that are splashing white paint on some large rock formations. The old man holding the murder weapon is a shaman named Ashie Pinto, who refuses to say a single word of confession or denial. Delbert’s good friend, Officer Jim Chee charges in to investigate. Lieutenant ...more
David Guy
Sep 09, 2010 David Guy rated it really liked it
This summer--in between volumes of Tristram Shandy--I read ten mysteries by Tony Hillerman, of which this is a representative example. I began reading the Hillerman books out of disappointment with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, which I thought had some good characters but was poorly written. Hillerman on the other hand is a superb writer, and I loved his two Navajo detectives, as well as the Navajo concept of Hozro, which is somewhat hard to define but is a general sense of harmony with thing ...more
Mar 01, 2014 Sue rated it it was amazing
I’m in love. Stole this book out of my husband’s old books and found a new obsession. The late Tony Hillerman wrote a series of mysteries starring Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn of the New Mexico Navajo tribal police. In this, one of Hillerman’s later books, an officer is shot and burned up in his car on a deserted road. Chee comes along, tries unsuccessfully to save him, and finds an old man walking down the road with a bottle of whiskey and a pistol. The man is a shaman, known to have given up liqu ...more
Jun 02, 2013 Shannon rated it liked it
Perhaps not one of the best ones but still a good story. Sadly, a Tribal police officer is killed while Chee is waiting to met up with him for coffee. While once again, Leaphorn and Chee approach this case from different angles and their paths cross (albeit only over phone calls), the story is a little thin and the supporting stories aren't really developed well. It was very interesting that Butch Cassidy's legend is involved and the part where Ashie Pinto tells his old stories is very good. The ...more
Morris Graham
Jan 07, 2015 Morris Graham rated it it was amazing
This book was devoted to the Navajo Tribal Policemen killed in the line of duty, often in remote areas, and without back-up. The book feels real, as if Hillerman had the tragedy of the killing of an NTP officer in mind when he wrote it. The end also deals with an issue that sometimes plagues the Navajos-acaholism. In this installment, Chee also deals with his conflicted heart over Janet, a half-Navajo woman who, in hose and high heels, wants to put a rope on him and get him a job off the reserva ...more
Nov 13, 2016 Nancy rated it really liked it
At this stage in the series, I expect more of a friendship from Leaphorn and Chee, but perhaps that's for the best. Having them be buddy/buddy might be selling them short, and Hillerman is aiming for a more realistic portrayal of friendships and relationships. Speaking of relationships, I was glad to see Chee and Janet Pete acknowledge their attraction, and was pleasantly surprised at the Leaphorn and Bourebonette development.
Feb 11, 2015 Bri rated it liked it
This book swept me away to this other wonderful world. The setting was brilliantly set. I could totally see it in my mind. But the characters were definitely my favorite part. They are all so colorful, interesting, exciting, and hilarious. The main character is just perfect. The plot moved fast enough that I couldn't stop reading lest I miss something, but the author still took the time to flesh out the details. The details are what really make or break a story.
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Tony Hillerman, who was born in Sacred Heart, Oklahoma, was a decorated combat veteran from World War II, serving as a mortarman in the 103rd Infantry Division and earning the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, and a Purple Heart. Later, he worked as a journalist from 1948 to 1962. Then he earned a Masters degree and taught journalism from 1966 to 1987 at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, wh ...more
More about Tony Hillerman...

Other Books in the Series

Leaphorn & Chee (1 - 10 of 21 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)
  • Sacred Clowns (Leaphorn & Chee, #11)

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“From where we stand the rain seems random. If we could stand somewhere else, we would see the order in it.” 95 likes
“The red light changed the color of her shirt, and her faded jeans, and her face. Her hair was disheveled, her expression intent, and, taken all together, she looked absolutely beautiful to Jim Chee. It would be a lot better, he thought, if friends didn't look like that.” 0 likes
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