On the 27th of October, we were driving home from the Women Writing the West conference that had been held this year in San Antonio, Texas. In one of life's little ironies, we had just crossed over onto the Navajo Nation and were enjoying a beautiful New Mexico sunrise when we heard on the news that Tony Hillerman had died the day before. To be there at that moment when we got the news made me want to cry even though I never knew the man.
As we crossed a corner of the land that he wrote so vividly about, I found myself recalling all my favorite books of his: The Dark Wind, The Blessing Way, A Thief of Time, Coyote Waits, Skinwalker. I will admit that who-dun-it mysteries have never been my favorite type of books, but Hillerman's books were the exception for me. I loved his stories, the setting, and his protagonists Leaphorn and Chee. He is going to be missed, and his books will be coveted more than ever before.