Wednesday, April 17, 2019

"The Tale Teller"

Anne Hillerman is an award-winning reporter and the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Spider Woman’s Daughter, Rock with Wings, Song of the Lion, and Cave of Bones, as well as several nonfiction books. She is the daughter of New York Times bestselling author Tony Hillerman and lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

She applied the Page 69 Test to The Tale Teller, her fifth Leaphorn, Chee & Manuelito novel, and reported the following:
Sometimes, a gal gets lucky and my page 69 exercise is one of those times. This section neatly captures several important details of The Tale Teller. I smiled as I read it again.

Here, the reader sees retired Navajo Police Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn, the central detective in this book, in action. Leaphorn has been a crime solver for longer than some of my readers have been alive. Tony Hillerman introduced him in his first novel back in 1970. My continuation of the series hasn’t make life easy on the Legendary Lieutenant. But after a brain injury and a long rehab process, he’s back at work. Leaphorn has accepted a complicated case that seems to involve theft and perhaps even murder.

The opening lines come at the end of Leaphorn’s telephone conversation in the Navajo language (he still has trouble with English) with the manager of the Hubbell Trading Post. He’s asked the trader to facilitate a meeting with a well-respected Navajo silversmith and needs to ask the trader’s opinion of some photos. Leaphorn hopes the trip will help him understand why a young woman with a lot to live for died unexpectedly.

This excerpt also reflects a peaceful interlude in what turns out to be a rocky phase in Leaphorn’s relationship with his long-time friend and housemate, Louisa Bourbonette.

Finally, readers will find my affection for writing about real places in the Southwest. The universe has created more settings of beauty and mystery on the vast Navajo Nation than I could describe in a lifetime. I love adding real sites to my fiction.

The only things missing are references to this tale’s other story lines, mysteries that revolve around burglaries, unclaimed corpses, family jealousy, and the general mayhem the confronts my younger crime solvers, Jim Chee and Bernadette Manuelito.
Learn more about the book and author at Anne Hillerman's website.

My Book, The Movie: Spider Woman's Daughter.

The Page 69 Test: Spider Woman's Daughter.

The Page 69 Test: Song of the Lion.

--Marshal Zeringue