Monday, January 26, 2015

Review: Rock with Wings (Navajo Mysteries #20) by Anne Hillerman

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (May 5 2015)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers CA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00MMET87S

Book Description

Navajo Tribal cops Jim Chee and Bernadette Manuelito, and their mentor, the legendary Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn, investigate two perplexing cases in this exciting Southwestern mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of Spider Woman’s Daughter

Doing a good deed for a relative offers the perfect opportunity for Sergeant Jim Chee and his wife, Officer Bernie Manuelito, to get away from the daily grind of police work. But two cases will call them back from their short vacation and separate them—one near Shiprock, and the other at iconic Monument Valley.

Chee follows a series of seemingly random and cryptic clues that lead to a missing woman, a coldblooded thug, and a mysterious mound of dirt and rocks that could be a gravesite. Bernie has her hands full managing the fallout from a drug bust gone wrong, uncovering the origins of a fire in the middle of nowhere, and looking into an ambitious solar energy development with long-ranging consequences for Navajo land.

Under the guidance of their mentor, retired Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn, Bernie and Chee will navigate unexpected obstacles and confront the greatest challenge yet to their skills, commitment, and courage.

About the Author

Anne Hillerman's newest book,"Spider Woman's Daughter" debuted at number 10 on the New York Times Best Seller list. The novel continues her father Tony Hillerman's popular Jim Chee/Joe Leaphorn series. The book followed "Tony Hillerman's Landscape: On the Road with Chee and Leaphorn," with photos by Don Strel of the country the renown mystery author visited in his novels. Her cookbook, "Santa Fe Flavors: Best Restaurants and Recipes" received the New Mexico Book Award for the best cookbook of 2009. Anne's other books include "Gardens of Santa Fe," "Ride the Wind, USA to Africa," and "Children's Guide to Santa Fe." When she's not writing, Anne enjoys cooking, writing restaurant reviews for the Albuquerque Journal, and skiing.

My Review

Tony Hillerman was one of my favorite authors. That his daughter Anne is carrying on his Leaphorn and Chee series is a fitting tribute to such a fine author. Hillerman could evoke such a sense of place that you could feel the wonders of the Navajo reservation as you were reading. His daughter Anne is able to do this as well.

Anne Hillerman has been able to keep up the continuity of the Leaphorn/Chee stories while focusing on Jim Chee's wife, Officer Bernadette Manuelito. She is able to tell the stories from a more feminine point of view as she deals with her aging mother and rebellious younger sister. Rock With Wings also spent quite a bit of time with Officer Jim Chee as he assisted his cousin in the Monument Valley region of the reservation as well as helping out with the substation there and problems with a movie set. Their mentor, Lieutenant Leaphorn, also was able to assist with their assignments.

Rock With Wings is the Navajo name for the amazing Ship Rock monument. We went and visited Ship Rock this past Spring. So spectacular! I'm always looking for Leaphorn and Chee in the 4 corners region.

I really enjoyed Rock With Wings. I found all of the story lines to be interesting, contemporary and culturally relevant. Anne Hillerman is a good storyteller and she knows the area well. I would recommend that readers do read the entire series however Rock With Wings could also be read as a stand alone.

Highly recommend! Rock with Wings is available in May.


  1. I've been thinking of including SPIDER WOMAN'S DAUGHTER in our summer mystery book group selections. Good to know that #2 will be out by then. Tony Hillerman was such a favorite of mine in times past. I haven't tried his daughter's writing yet, but I'm hearing good things. When we visited the 4 Corners area, I bored my husband silly telling him all about what I had read in the Hillerman books. :-)

  2. My husband has now read all the Hillerman books since our first visit there. He loves them as much as I do and he is enjoying Anne Hillerman's books as well.

  3. Thank you so much for this review. I am planning a vacation near where the book is set and it will be fun to read!

  4. Thank you so much for this review. I am planning a vacation near where the book is set and it will be fun to read!

  5. Deborah, if you approach Monument Valley from the north (from Mexican Hat), it is a glorious sight!