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(Leaphorn & Chee #7)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  10,703 ratings  ·  385 reviews
Navajo Tribal Police Officer Jim Chee and Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn investigate murders that lead them into spine-tingling and mystical world of Navajo witchcraft. Three unsolved homicides and an attempt on Chee's life have left the Navajo Tribal Police baffled. Are the murders somehow connected, although they occurred 120 miles apart? Or are they random acts of violence? Ch ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 282 pages
Published April 1990 by HarperPaperbacks (first published December 1986)
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Popular Answered Questions
Lauri Saplad Yup! I am. I think each book stands alone, but you'd probably get more about the culture if you read in order
Lauri Saplad No spoilers! But they never give the person a name, you just have to figure it out....

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4.04  · 
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 ·  10,703 ratings  ·  385 reviews

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Bobby Underwood
Oct 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Those looking for a great mystery series who have yet to discover Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee are in for a treat with Skinwalkers. Tony Hillerman created an entire genre with these novels. Though they've been copied, no one has ever quite blended Native American beliefs and traditions, with modern day mystery in the same entertaining way at which Hillerman was so skilled.

Skinwalkers is one of Hillerman's finest pairings of young Navajo Tribal Police Officer, Jim Chee, and the legendary Lt. Joe Lea
Mar 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Mystery Fans
Recommended to Carmen by: Library
Leaphorn was a hotshot. But Leaphorn was wrong about this.

This was a good, exciting entry in Hillerman's Navajo Mystery series. (#7). People are being killed in various ways on the reservation with no apparent rhyme or reason. Who's doing this and why?

The book opens particularly well in a long and exciting sequence that basically ends with Jim Chee's cat saving his life. The cat becomes quite a character in this book.

Jim Chee has a Navajo view of animals and hates interfering with them, but h
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I listened to the audiobook and I enjoyed the narrator. I also enjoyed the story and how it incorperated some of the Native American Folklore/Mythology into the mystery. I've never read or listened to a Tony Hillerman book before and I was please with the story and the characters. I would consider reading another booy in this series. I found that I liked Chee as a character and even by the end of the story he still seemed a little mysterious to me, but it could be due to listening to the 7th boo ...more
Apr 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Hillerman’s collection of mysteries set in the Navajo/Hopi lands of Arizona/New Mexico/Utah. One side benefit of reading this stories is what the reader learns about historical and contemporary Hopi and Navajo culture. Hillerman has created two attractive detectives, former fabled Navajo tribal policeman Joe Leaphorn and current policeman and apprentice Jim Chee, who is also studying to be a traditional medicine man.
David Putnam
Aug 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Loved all Hillerman books with Leaphorn and Chee
Mar 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: male-lead, mystery
Enjoyed it. As usual, nice description of the landscape and setting. Leaphorn is particularly distracted by his wife's medical issues. Chee is less distracted by his female friends than normal, as things are ending with Mary and he skirmishes professionally with Janet. Suspenseful plot.
Oct 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016-reads, mystery
Skinwalkers is a real page turner. This is my first dip into Hillerman's mystery series featuring Lt. Joe Leaphorn and Officer Jim Chee of the Navajo Tribal Police. I know absolutely nothing about Navajo culture and next to nothing about the tribe's history so I can't vouch for the authenticity of Hillerman's book but I can testify that this was highly entertaining and the mystery of was suitably tricky (I sort of guessed who might be involved but I had no idea how it could have been done). Lots ...more
Apr 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Until this case Lt. Joe Leaphorn and Officer Jim Chee had never met. Both are part of the Navajo Tribal Police force, but Leaphorn is based at Window Rock whereas Chee operates out of Shiprock, 120 miles to the north, across the rugged Chuskas Mountains. Their initial encounter is awkward. Someone blasted shotgun holes through Chee's trailer. Leaphorn's interrogation skirts the unspoken question, what are you not telling me? Like every other investigator, they both know that an intended murder v ...more
The suspense factor was perfect!!!!!!
May 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Am just beginning yet another mystery that will be totally engrossing....

And I finished reading this book I was thinking yes, it was totally engrossing! Initially, Officer Jim Chee is shot in his trailer. As the story continues, Chee begins working with Lieutneant Leaphorn on a murder investigation. This is no ordinary murder investigation - it is one that involves Navajo skinwalkers! As you are reading their journey through their investigation, you learn about what the Navajo beliefs are on wit
Aug 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
I found this better than the last few in the series. The two cops/detectives finally meet. In so many ways they are opposites. Young/older, religious/agnostic, single/married, impulsive/cautious and so on. Neither particularly likes the other but both grow to think of the other in a more positive way by the end of the story. Both are dealing with potential personal loss in their lives. The story involves murders and attempted murders separated by over a hundred miles. Could these have anything i ...more
Sep 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Two conscientious Tribal police work to solve several apparently unrelated murders before one of them is killed by the perpetrator. The young, impulsive and spiritual Jim Chee teams up with the experienced, methodical and superstition-hating Joe Leaphorn.
Like a nonfundamentalist Christian, Chee believed in the poetic metaphor of the Navajo story of human genesis. Without believing in the specific Adam's rib, or the size of the reed through with the Holy People emerged to the Earth Surface World,
Apr 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee meet up in this thriller. Each of these 2 law enforement officers are dealing with their spouses having difficult times. For Leaphorn's Emma, doctors fear she may have Alzheimer's disease while Jim Chee's Mary Landon remains in Wisconsin to go to graduate school. Leaphorn and Chee must also team up to find the common thread in a series of four murders. Leaphorn and Chee both suffer gunshot wounds. Chee's far more serious than Leaphorns. A lightening fast reading 300 pag ...more
Dec 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
I haven't read a murder mystery in years, probably not since I was into Agatha Christie as a teenager, but, after reading Hillerman's Skinwalkers, I might start reading more. Hillerman is clearly a master of setting, with the gathering storm in the southwestern desert reflecting the gathering momentum of the unsolved murders at hand on the Navajo Reservation. I liked both Chee and Leaphorn as the two police officers tackling the case of three seemingly unrelated homicides; they were smart, level ...more
Apr 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
A nice quick mystery about witching and the people that are convinced to do one person's killing in the name of witchery. The ultimate reason for the killings is one of the oldest motives in the book and Chee and Leaphorn do figure it out...almost too late for Chee but since there are so many others in this series I'm not giving anything away to say that Chee survives to work another case or two.
Erin Wolak
Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hard-cover
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The tension in this one grew and grew as the pages turned...and the ending was surprising and breathtaking. Hillerman delivers again!
Mar 06, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys murder mysteries and/or Navajo culture
Recommended to Susan by: book club read
Shelves: adult-fiction
I don't usually read murder mysteries, but I guess that is the point of book clubs to get you to read what you normally wouldn't. I found this particular mystery to be well written, just enough plot to keep me interested in the homicide cases that develop between two officers of the Navajo Tribal Poilce, Lt. Joe Leaphorn and Officer Jim Chee.

Both of these men are main characters in other Tony Hillerman novels, but he brings them together in this multiple homicide thriller about the dark and sin
Jan 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
I read mystery novels to unwind. Someone had left one of this series, Coyote Waits, in the place we were staying in New Mexico, and since it's set locally I thought I'd read it. So, have now discovered another good author! Have now also read a couple of the other novels in the series and will read more (only problem with them is I get the titles mixed up). They're not spectacular literature, but they remind me of the desert Southwest - kind of like Nevada Barr, only not quite as descriptive - yo ...more
Feb 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm pretty sure I read most of these early books in the Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee mysteries, but it's been many years and I don't remember much for details. I enjoyed this one a lot! Leaphorn and Chee are just getting to know one another as they investigate several deaths that are somehow connected, but they can't quite get a handle on how or why. Leaphorn also believes the attempt on Chee's life--someone pumped three shotgun blasts into his trailer where he should have been sleeping--is tied in ...more
I never thought I'd say this, but oh my word, this book made me homesick! I loved that Skinwalkers explored the the Southwest in a way that felt both really familiar, but also exposed me to details of Navajo culture that were new and fascinating. Tony Hillerman's obvious respect for the Navajo is evident throughout the book, but he doesn't romanticize his view and portrays realistic struggles of reservation life.

The mystery is perfectly paced and the detectives compliment each other in really a
Lauri Saplad
Excellent but strange story set in the Navajo nation. Officer Jim Chee is being stalked by someone who believes he's a witch. The Navajo take witchcraft very seriously and there are a series of related murders. Mr. Hillerman does a great job with the native culture and traditions as well as describing the desert and reservation terrain.
Quickly-paced, engaging whodunit that provided an engaging introduction to lead characters Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn. Suspect I'll be reading more of this series.
Randall Reese
Dec 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Gave this a four star rating. More of a 4.2 or 4.3. Maybe even a 4.4.

There were a lot of storylines to keep track of in the book and the number of characters *almost* became too many to remember. There were a few side characters that you read about a week before, then, right at the end, that side charatacer becomes critical.

That being said, this book did a very good job of weaving in the Navajo traditions and beliefs into the actual story. Some of the Hillerman books are only very tacitly rela
Apr 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Awesome book, I continue to love Hillerman's books.
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really find this series fascinating. The Indian culture and the Four Corners area is so well described and I feel that not only did I read a great novel, but I learn so much with each book. I do suggest that they be read in order.
Barry Flanders
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An excellent mystery woven into New Mexico landscape. Tony Hillerman never disappointed.
This was a fun little who-done-it mystery novel. What makes it different from CSI Miami (or whatever crime drama the kids are watching these days - I don't really pay attention to such things) is that it's set in the world of a Navajo reservation. Although Hillerman himself is not Navajo, he did extensive research to capture the essence of the Navajo culture. Not knowing much about the Navajo culture myself, from an outsider's perspective, he did an excellent job.

Only three stars because I found
Cale Gregory
Oct 04, 2015 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finally, in "Skinwalkers (Navajo Mysteries 7)," Hillerman begins the process of bringing his two protagonists together. Whereas in Hilllerman’s first three Navajo Mystery novels, Lt. Joe Leaphorn is the main character; the next three – books 4, 5, & 6, introduce Sgt. Jim Chee, a young reservation law enforcement officer who struggles to find balance between the traditional ways of the Navajo and the white man's world. A standoffish relationship is seen between the two Navajo Policemen; they ...more
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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

Other books in the series

Leaphorn & Chee (1 - 10 of 23 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)
  • A Thief of Time (Leaphorn & Chee, #8)
  • Talking God (Leaphorn & Chee, #9)
  • Coyote Waits (Leaphorn & Chee #10)
  • Sacred Clowns (Navajo Mysteries, #11)