Sacred Clowns

Sacred Clowns Officer Jim Chee is making little headway in finding a Pueblo teenager who s gone missing from his boarding school and feels resentment at being asked to play truant officer by his new boss Lieutena

  • Title: Sacred Clowns
  • Author: Tony Hillerman
  • ISBN: 9780060167677
  • Page: 189
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Officer Jim Chee is making little headway in finding a Pueblo teenager who s gone missing from his boarding school, and feels resentment at being asked to play truant officer by his new boss, Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn Hillerman is the author of Coyote Waits, Talking God and Skinwalkers.

    One thought on “Sacred Clowns”

    1. Sacred Clowns is Tony Hillerman at his very best. Both Leaphorn and Chee are at a personal crossroad in their lives while attempting to solve two crimes which may or may not be related. A complex mystery is interwoven with the care befitting a sacred blanket as we learn about the Navajo and their beliefs.That crossroad for both men is fully explored during this one, each man's loneliness and their individual efforts to end it, poignantly painted by Hillerman in a mystery as good as any he ever p [...]

    2. Jim Chee had been reading a book of Margaret Atwood's short stories he'd borrowed from Janet Pete, thinking it might impress her. He decided Miss Atwood would call Blizzard's expression either "bleak" or "stolid." Or maybe "wintry."Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn are once again working a series of seemingly unrelated cases that end up coming together. This is the first book where Chee is working directly under Leaphorn and not Largo - hopefully another step towards these two becoming friends. I'm tryi [...]

    3. Total immersion in the unique and fascinating culture of our Indian southwest. Strong but imperfect characters struggling with moral issues. The kind of romantic interactions I like to read about (and write about and live). And, oh yes, an excellent detective story. Why did I wait so long between Hillerman novels?

    4. Short(er) and sweet. This is my second time reading this book, after a gap of 10 years or more. It is a bit shorter than some of the Hillerman novels, and definitely shorter than most other novels, especially these days. And besides the usual elements of crime and crime-solving, the personal stories of the lead characters woven through the plot are especially bittersweet. The growing sense of love between Leaphorn and his professor friend Louisa Bourebonette, and between Jim Chee and Janet Peet, [...]

    5. The late Mr. Hillerman really knew how to tell a story. I miss his output.From his home base in Albuquerque, he takes all these disparate parts, spreads them all over the four corners area and has his characters running all over the place making unlikely links to all the crimes.Is a joy to watch the Native American police work out the logic and motives behind the murders and theft exactly like Hercule Poirot.This is the third in a long list of both fiction and non-fiction that award-winning Mr. [...]

    6. Here's what I like about Hillerman: Navajo metaphysics and spirituality, unique settings, minor historical accounts, descriptions of gorgeous landscapes, broadlines plotting. The plotting was pretty intricate on this one but also just intricate enough that I didn't care to try to track down the threads in my head. I like his main two characters and - as Scott described - the evolution of their relationship. What I struggle with: thin and uneven story-telling, predictable outcomes on minor story [...]

    7. Tony Hillerman had been writing mysteries for over 20 years by the time he got around to Sacred Clowns. He was on top form, though maybe a little less “poetic” and a little more “didactic” than earlier on? In his earliest books it sometimes seemed as if he were writing for the Dinee as well as about them. A disapproving elderly (Dinee English for “old person”) might say “he behaves like he’s got no family,” without further explanation for outsiders of the broader cultural impli [...]

    8. The winter of 2007 is a shaman's curse/a ravenous and cruel apparition/stalking mesas and piñon forests/on the high desert of New Mexico/The wind arises out of the Northwest/bringing pain and hunger/stealing color, warmth, and lives/In the hogan we burn pine and cedar/day and night/melt snow for drinking water/ration the last of the mutton stew and coffee/Stock tanks are frozen solid/Animals die huddled together in ravines/Crystalline etchings on ice and window glass/mock our frailty/with usele [...]

    9. Sacred Clowns is an interesting, though not great mystery. Its chief strengths lay in Hillerman's ability to weave Navajo culture into a story without being preachy or even overly instructive. It is a decent enough story, but its resolution (especially re: the hit and run driver) left me feeling as if justice and the law, at least as far as one officer was concerned, was not really as important as his personal religious feelings regarding the restoration of harmony, etc. Now, I've got to do some [...]

    10. This was the first Tony Hillerman book that I read. Since then I have read almost every book that he has written. I really enjoy the characters, plots, and settings that Hillerman has created. His stories revolve around a tribal police officer, Jim Chee, and a detective, Joe Leaphorn. Jim and Joe work together to solve murders, robberies and other mysteries that come up on the Navajo reservation. Hillerman writes primarily about the 4 corners area of the United States and mixes in all kinds of I [...]

    11. One of the best of Hillerman's book as he contrasts the action of young Navajo policeman, Jim Chess with otherwise of Senior officer Joe Leaphorn. Jim manages to screw up by not really paying attention to what he is doing. It's spring all he thinking about is Janet Peete. His assignment is to locate a Indian lad who is missing from his school and tell him to call his grandmother. Jim asked Janet to go with him to the festival for romantic interlude and before he realizes it Janet has a couple of [...]

    12. Leaphorn and Chee are both at crossroads with their ladies and professionally. Widowed Leaphorn is unsure of where his relationship with Louisa is headed and what a trip overseas with her would entail, and Janet is taking her relationship slow with Chee to his frustration. When a murder of a teacher occurs on the reservation, Chee has to work for Leaphorn instead of parallel to him as in previous cases. Tribal politics and clan taboos come into play in the narrative, and was a strong book in the [...]

    13. Didn't like this one as much. For some reason I kept getting turned around and didn't follow well. I do like that Hillerman has Chee and Leaphorn working together but not really working together. I really liked how Chee handled the moral/ethical dilemma regarding the hit/run driver and the Navajo way of approaching it and the justice system's approach. I did not like how Chee and Leaphorn seemd to be turning into girls with their romantic relationshipsffttttt

    14. Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee, both skeptical of the other but nonetheless working together very effectively to solve the mystery of a koshkare being murdered, are both in love and perplexed about how to work and become romantically involved, both at the same time.This is the novel where Chee works with Leaphorn for the first time and where Chee discovers that, but for the rigidity of the Bad Talking Dinee's rules about marriage to someone of a related clan, he would relate to Janet Pete in a way th [...]

    15. Very well done Navajo detective Thriller as with all of Tony Hillerman's books it brings to life the beauty of the Southwest. Good characters excellent story

    16. This wasn't bad -- I read it to distract myself while being seriously ill, and it worked quite well. The plot seemed flimsier than in other Hillerman books, altho I really liked the cultural elements, especially the focus on Chee (and Janet). Granted I did not read it terribly carefully (at one point my cat knocked the paperback off the bed after I'd read myself to sleep, and when I picked it back up I all unknowingly skipped about forty pages and found myself thinking "I don't remember Hillerma [...]

    17. The beauty of this series is that it’s so much more than a set of detective stories. Hillerman, in his memoir Seldom Disappointed, tells how he first became fascinated by Navajo culture. Wounded toward the end of WWII, he was waiting in a hospital in Europe to be sent home, one of few soldiers were left. He made friends with a fellow patient, Navajo man, who told him about the ceremony his family would arrange for him when he got home, the Enemy Way. Its healing purpose was to bring warriors b [...]

    18. In his biography "Seldom Disappointed," Tony Hillerman says this book,"Sacred Clowns," was his breakthrough book. It unites Joe Leaphorn and JimChee, two Navajo policemen with very different ways of solving crimes.You are attending a Pueblo religious ceremony as the book opens, and yourviewpoint is the roof of a structure above the ceremony. You're there withChee and a young Navajo woman who has moved home after years away as a DClawyer.One of the features of the ceremony is the appearance of a [...]

    19. "Hillerman's long-awaited new novel shows how amply he deserves such high praise, as it reunites Navajo Tribal Policemen Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee in an effort to unravel a treacherous web of tribal politics and murder."Yesterday a teacher was killed at a mission school on the Navajo Reservation, but today in the Tano Indian pueblo murder seems inconceivable as a tribal ceremony unfolds. The sacred kachinas have danced into the ancient plaza, and the koshare in their grotesque disguises have tum [...]

    20. I've enjoyed getting to know the characters of Jim Chee and Lt. Leaphorn. But the main reason that I'm attracted to these books is the setting's quite literally in my backyard. The location of all three books I've read so far cover a huge portion of the Navajo Reservation (or Navajo Nation, as the locals refer to it)me places I see every day, some places I've already visited, and some I'll check out once the mud dries back into hard soil, making rural roads passable again!It's also interesting f [...]

    21. Every time I read a Tony Hillerman novel I wonder why it took me so long to get around to reading another on. These books are pure entertainment and brilliant writing. The strength of Hillerman is his characters and his obvious love of New Mexico and the native cultures that dwell there.This book deals with Hopi religious practices and money and environmentalists and the kind of personal justice that makes Tony Hillman so great.I love the feel of this early book, with Chee uncomfortable in his r [...]

    22. Even though I'm hitting the Very Good 4 stars out of 5 button for my rating, I'd really like to give Tony Hillerman's "Sacred Clowns" 3-1/2 stars. Yes, everything's there in good Hillerman fashion: Leaphorn and Chee each pulling on their own end of an elephant and finally meeting up in the middle, wonderful settings, nice descriptions, bad guys getting what's coming to them, etc But, for my taste's, Hillerman has added just to much personal pain to Jim Chee's life. From the moment the book start [...]

    23. Another Navajo-Hopi murder mystery unfolds under Hillerman's pen featuring the team work of Joe Leaphorn and Detective Jim Chee of the Navajo Police. They team up with Cowboy, a Hopi law enforcement officer, to solve a murder that revolves around the Tano Kachina spirit ceremony.As usual, Jim Chee is actually assigned on what he considers a nuisance case, looking for Delmar Kanitewa, a missing teen. But the case turns into a challenging first-rate mystery. Chee spots Kanitewa at the Kachina cere [...]

    24. In high school I was basically obsessed with Tony Hillerman books. Not really sure why, but I was. I tried to read all of his books in my school's library. The only thing I didn't like what I couldn't really figure out the order of the books, and so I read them out of order. These books are great. They are from a point of view from a cop who is caught between two words: Navajo and white. He treads back and forth between those lines, trying to find a balance while solving murders. Tony Hillerman [...]

    25. My admiration for Hillerman just grows and grows.I'm a passionate reader of mysteries. Whenever there is a "back story" I read from the beginning. Sacred Clowns is Hillerman's 7th and I'm struck by how the quality of his writing, the quality of his plot development and resolution and his ability to seamlessly weave a lesson in Indian philosophy and daily life into the story without making this non-fiction attempting to be fiction - well, his growth was noteworthy.About this book, in particular, [...]

    26. Jim Chee has been assigned to work with Joe Leaphorn and they're still getting used to each other's personalities. Their learning curve is pretty steep, but while they annoy each other, they both realize each other's capabilities. The mystery concerns two different murders of "valuable people" that have to be connected somehow, perhaps by a missing schoolboy. There's also a hit-and-run case and some political corruption, leaving Chee pulled several ways at once---when he's not obsessing over Jan [...]

    27. A White woodshop teacher is beaten to death in his classroom; a student is missing, and the boy’s uncle, a koshare or sacred clown in a Kachina dance is stabbed to death immediately after the ceremony; an old man is a victim of a hit and run. With their conflicting styles, our duo of Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn and Officer Jim solve these crimes together, overcoming not only the challenges of working with limited facilities, but that of jurisdiction authority. Typical of Hillerman, the book is ric [...]

    28. As a mystery it is quite good, with some interesting twists, especially at the end. The most interesting part is a glimpse into Navajo culture and world view. At one point the Navajo cop has to make a choice between "doing his duty as a cop" (serving restitution which ends up being punitive in this case) and the Navajo sense of justice (similar to what the Quakers would label "restorative justice".) I also liked the commentary on the old shamans who are rigid about rituals and the younger genera [...]

    29. Another winner from one of my favorite authors. I have always been fascinated by Native American culture and history so when I found an author who could give you information on both while turning out a well done mystery, I was hooked. I have spent a lot of time in the four-corners area so I am familiar with the landscape and the beauty of it. Add to that the PBS Mystery Theater productions of three of the previous books in the early 2000 with two of my favorite actors in the lead roles, Wes Stud [...]

    30. Again Hillerman writes a book hard to put down. It's been a long time since I last read him and now I remember why I did. The Indian cultures have been varied and unknown to me. After reading his books I have a better idea of how different they all are, and that's a good thing.The mystery seemed very esoteric and unsolvable, yet it was. Delightfully so. Loved his tight plotting and characterizations.

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