From the back: Nothing had seemed complicated about the old "Golden Calf" case. A con game had gone sour. Wealthy old Wiley Denton had shot the swindler, called the police, confessed, and done his short prison time. No mystery there. Except why did the rich man's bride vanish? Cynics said she was part of the swindle plot, but the explanation never quite satisfied retired Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn, though the case was long over. Now, papers found by Sergeant Jim Chee and Officer Bernie Manuelito in a new homicide case connect the victim to Denton and o the mythical Golden Calf Mine. The first victim had been there just hours before Denton killed him. And while Denton was killing him, four children trespassing in the long-abandoned Wingate Ordance Depot reported police that they had heard what sounded like music and the cries of a woman.
The questions raised by this second Golden Calf murder draw Joe Leaphorn out of retirement and aren't answered until Leaphorn discovers what the young trespassers heard in the wailing wind.
Quote: She sat on a sandstone slab in a mixed growth of aspen and spruce, eating her sack lunch, thinking of Sergeant Jim Chee, and facing north to take advantage of the view. Pastora Peak and the Carrizo Mountains blocked off the Colorado Rockies, and the Lukachukai forest around her closed off Utah's peaks. But an infinity of New Mexico's empty corner spread below her, and to the left lay the northern half of Arizona. This immensity, dappled with cloud shadows and punctuated with assorted mountain peaks, was enough to lift the human spirit. At least it did for Bernie.
Why this book you might ask: 1. I am a fan of the series. 2. I hadn't read this book yet. 3. I found this unabridged CD of the book at a used book store for less than half price!My Thoughts: I have liked all the novels in this series and liked this one just as well. The mystery was good, Jim Chee seems to be making some progress in his relationship with Bernie, the sense of place and people was good. For instance one of my favorite scenes was when Jim "helps" an FBI agent interview a Navajo singer. It is funny to read as Chee crafts his own interview of the medicine man into and around FBI's inept translator's interview. I like the way Hillerman writes about the land, as in the wrote above.
This was a fun read. You might need to read the earlier books to understand the relationships among the characters, but you won't be sorry.
Read part of the book.
A review I liked.
The Chee/Leaphorn novels
Unofficial Hillerman page
Hillerman's obituary at Huffington Post
Publisher: HarperAudio; Unabridged edition (May 7, 2002)
mystery, Navajo, Jim Chee, Joe Leaphorn, murder, Native American