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The Bluejay Shaman (An Alix Thorssen Mystery #1)

3.27  ·  Rating details ·  181 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
Traveling the back roads of Montana, not-quite-fearless art gallery owner Alix Thorssen is far from home and up to her Ray-bans in shaman’s secrets, mysterious deaths, madness, and ah yes passion among the pine needles. Whoever killed Shiloh Merkin hated her and wanted her dead. But did Wade Fraser, Alix's brother-in-law and University of Montana anthropology professor, do ...more
Paperback, 242 pages
Published May 19th 2008 by Thalia Press (first published April 10th 1994)
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Roland Clarke
I received this book free from the author on Instafreebie. I liked the premise and was first drawn to the author via her France-based thrillers so will read more. This was her debut and as such I'm hesitant to criticise it as I've been there and made some howlers.

The Bluejay Shaman has a few, like a heroine that makes mistakes that irritated me. The second crime that should have changed her approach to the police was never resolved, and a key element with the resolution jarred badly - but that w
Cathryn Ferrara
Sep 08, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Just not very good. There were so many clashing cultures and things going on that the mystery simply felt very forced and I neither cared nor was even interested in who the killer was or why they did it.
Nov 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A gripping mystery. I always enjoy stories about Native Americans and their histories. This book combines both a murder mystery and the Native American heritage in an enthralling and delightful way. I seriously enjoyed this book.
Aug 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Bluejay Shaman was a very interesting read. Some of the characters were a bit quirky and definitely memorable. I enjoyed the inclusion of Native American artifacts, rituals, customs and history. The mystery and intrigue of this novel were a definite plus.
Emily Crow
In The Bluejay Shaman, art dealer and forgery expert Alix Thorssen turns amateur sleuth to help clear her brother-in-law of murder charges. Set in Montana, the story revolves around the murder of Shiloh Merkin, a woman involved in a "New Age" type group attracted to the Native spiritual traditions of the Salish tribe. Anthropologist Wade, her brother-in-law, had insulted Shiloh for being disrespectful and stupid, so when the murder weapon turns out to be his knife, it doesn't look good.

It was en
Douglas Cook
THE TETONS SCRATCHED the summer sky, still sporting a hint of orange from the long-gone sun. Rough and hard, the mountains proved man's impermanence. Woman's too. When I pointed my old car north, leaving behind the gallery in Jackson, the hum— the hymn— of the road gave me the feeling my life going somewhere. Being on the road was like that, a trickster highway. Somewhere in the distance is happiness, satisfaction, whatever it takes to feel good. Over that rise. Just a little farther.
The main character of The Bluejay Shaman is Alex Thorssen, art dealer and amateur sleuth from Jackson Hole, Montana. She is pulled into a murder investigation when she tries to help her sister's husband who has been arrested for the murder of Shiloh Merkin. The Bluejay Shaman is set in Montana and one of the major themes of the story involves how college academics and new-agers interpret Native American religious beliefs.

The plot works and the characters and dialogue are fairly well developed.
Mar 08, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this could have been a better book. The premise is interesting, but the author doesn't carry through.

As a mystery, it fails because there are multiple mysteries which are vaguely related, but the author fails to make them clear.

One of the mysteries (the paintings in the rental van) is never resolved.

The last chapter should not have to be a narrative of exactly what happened, who did what, when, and why. It's there because the rest of the book just isn't clear.

As a detective, Alix can't s
Nov 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alix Thorssen, an art gallery owner from Wyoming, is in Montana to identify and value some possibly stolen artwork and artifacts. She is staying with her sister and brother-in-law. A murder happens and her brother-in-law is charged with the murder. The descriptions in this book are really good and give you a good flavor of the scenery and Native American history which I loved because it gave the story a clearer picture. The characters need a bit more development, but I expect that to come in the ...more
Sylvia Walker
A better-than-average cozy, I think because of the setting (Montana) and the art-forgery expert heroine. Although one of the sub-plots, the stolen works of art in the rental van that she was hired by the police to examine, never was resolved, really. The writing was a cut above many of the "cozies" I've read, a genre that I pick up purely for entertainment, and this book did just that, entertain me. The characters didn't quite draw me in enough for me to search out more works by this author, but ...more
I got this free for the Kindle on Amazon. The edition is full of typos and grammar issues. But, it was free, so I can't really complain, right?

It was a good mystery, set in a part of the world I love, Montana, involving the native tribes of the region. Some of the plot didn't develop accurately, but it was an enjoyable story.

Sep 19, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mysteries, nook
I'm being a bit generous with two stars - I'd go 1.5 if I could. This book was slow moving and seemed very disjointed. I didn't care much for any of the characters as they all seemed two-dimensional. I don't even really understand the mystery and why the Bluejay shaman was such a big deal. Too bad because I wanted to like this!
Jun 16, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I enjoyed the heart of the story, I found much of the plot to get bogged down. Someimes I just didn't care. Several times throughout the reading, I just wanted the writer to get on with it. I liked Alix, but I didn't like many of the other characters.
Nov 27, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-free
Formatting and insufficient editing issues certainly didn't help the experience. Also things left unresolved and neglected that seemed like they should have been connected. So it was only a decent quick read.
Nancy Newhall
Good story...

This was a pretty good read..since I had read plan x....which was written by her and it was pretty good also I decided to actually leave a review to be fair...this was an easy read and an interesting plot..
Beth Ann
Sep 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Have just started this, it seems pretty good so far ! I like the protagonist, and can see reading more books with her in them. It also helps that it is set in Montana, and that it deals with NA lore.
Ginny Palmieri
Sep 04, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started this right after finishing Blackbird Fly by the same author. I liked Blackbird Fly better. This was another light, quick read which was enjoyable, but nothing too meaty. Again, rounded up my rating because McClendon's good at engaging you in her tale.
Jan 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Rough edged mix of art, Indian lore and psychology
Nov 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Bluejay Shaman

What a great read. Totally enjoyed reading this book. A lot of Native American culture. Very interesting. I will read more books from this author.
Apr 02, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty good writing. Quite a few underlying story lines. A few to many 'major' characters liking but it was the first book I read from the author.
Sep 03, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is the first in a series, it was okay, I may read more . I liked that it was in the west, and has some good descriptions of the western landscapre.
Jul 22, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alix's brother-in-law gets arrested for murder so Alix searches for the real murderer in order to clear his name. Set in Wyoming.
rated it really liked it
Apr 08, 2012
Gloria Brooks
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Nov 10, 2015
John Steele
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Jul 28, 2016
Suz'n Black Wilson
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Feb 06, 2014
Susanne Lee
rated it it was amazing
Jul 27, 2011
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Jan 11, 2018
Sydney Young
rated it it was ok
Jun 11, 2011
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Jul 31, 2016
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Lise McClendon is a fiction writer living in the Rocky Mountains of Montana. She has been a film reviewer, a film maker, a journalism professor, and a PR flack. Since her first novel, The Bluejay Shaman, in 1994, she has served on the national board of Mystery Writers of America and the International Association of Crime Writers/North America, as well as on faculty of the Jackson Hole Writers Conf ...more
More about Lise McClendon...

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