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Coyote Waits ➸ [Reading] ➺ Coyote Waits By Tony Hillerman ➭ – The car fire didn't kill Navajo Tribal Policeman Delbert Nez—a bullet did And the old man in possession of the murder weapon is a whiskeysoaked shaman named Ashie Pinto Officer Jim Chee is devastate The car fire didn't kill Navajo Tribal Policeman Delbert Nez—a bullet did And the old man in possession of the murder weapon is a whiskeysoaked shaman named Ashie Pinto Officer Jim Chee is devastated by the slaying of his good friend Del, and confounded by the prime suspect's refusal to utter a single word of confession or denialLieutenant Joe Leaphorn believes there is much to this outrage than what appears on the surface, as he and Jim Chee set out to unravel a complex weave of greed and death that involves a historical find and a lost fortune But the hungry and mythical trickster Coyote is waiting, as always, in the shadows to add a strange and deadly new twist.

10 thoughts on “Coyote Waits

  1. Thomas Thomas says:

    I have been reading Tony Hillerman's books for about 30 years. Now, with the help of Goodreads, I am reading all the ones that I missed. This book starts with Navajo Policeman Jim Chee finding the dead body of fellow Navajo Policeman Delbert Nez, shot dead and inside his burning patrol car. Officer Chee gets badly burned pulling Nez out of the burning car. Chee feels guilty that he wasn't there when Nez was killed and even though he is on sick leave recovering from his burns, he sets out to find out what happened to Nez.
    In the meantime, a shirttail relative of Navajo Police Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn comes to him and tells him that her uncle, Ashie Pinto, arrested for Nez' murder, is innocent. Leaphorn tells her that the FBI has jurisdiction on all felonies committed on the reservation, but agrees to look into it. Chee and Leaphorn come at this case from different angles, but do solve the case in a very well written mystery. All the pieces come together in a satisfying ending to the plot, but a sad commentary on Native American problems.
    Hillerman includes a lot of information on Navajo traditions and the local landscape. He was made an honorary member of the Navajo nation because of his very accurate portrayal of their way of life in his books. I highly recommend this book and the series. Read them in order if possible(unlike me). I rate this library book 4.5 out of 5 stars(rounded up to 5).

  2. Carmen Carmen says:

    He knew the motive. Whiskey.... Water of Darkness... The savagery of whiskey erased the need for a motive. No Navajo policeman - or any policeman - had to relearn that message. Death slept in the bottle, only waiting to be released, and every policeman knew it.

    This was an excellent entry in Hillerman's Navajo Mystery series.

    Jim Chee is going to meet his fellow officer for coffee. But Nez sees a vandal they have been trying to get a hold of for quite some time and takes off after him.

    When after drinking two cups of coffee without Nez showing up, Chee feels panic overtake him. He drives out to the rocks only to see a patrol car burning, Nez trapped inside.

    Now, with Nez dead, Chee is crippled in more ways than one. His left hand is burned through from opening the car door and dragging Nez's body from the burning vehicle. Who knows if he'll ever gain use of it again? And he's also crippled with guilt about Nez. He should have gone with him, he should have worried about him sooner. All this is his fault, Chee believes. He plans on resigning from the force as soon as the killer is caught.

    The killer turns out to be an eighty-year-old decrepit shaman, one Hosteen Ashie Pinto. Found shit-faced on the side of the road walking away from the accident.

    He has a bottle of expensive whiskey in his hand and a recently fired gun in his waistband. All he'll say is I am ashamed. I am ashamed. with no word on why he killed Nez and no actual confession.

    BUT DID ASHIE PINTO REALLY KILL NEZ? Was The Drink enough to drive this man to murder as it was when he killed that another decades ago?

    Chee is determined to put whoever murdered his colleague away.

    Lieutenant Leaphorn is approached by two women - a relative of Pinto and a professor who was working with Pinto - to help Pinto get off. The women are convinced Pinto is innocent.

    A drunken old man full of shame. A vandal who is making white marks on a volcano for no apparent reason. A missing history professor. A Vietnamese general-turned-math-teacher. Can Chee and Leaphorn make sense of all the clues and find out the truth before Chee's love interest Janet Pete has to represent Pinto at the trial? Could something more sinister than a drunken rage be at the root of this slaying?

    Leaphorn and Chee are on the case!

    Leaphorn and Chee are STILL NOT FRIENDS, for those of you keeping track at home. I don't know what is up with Hillerman. This is book #10 in the series and we still have Leaphorn showing up at Chee's trailer in an accusatory way and the two not fully communicating or trusting each other. I am very frustrated.

    The closest we get is Leaphorn's grudging admission of Chee's bravery.

    Now Chee was refilling the pot, the heavy bandage on his left hand making it a clumsy project. The fruit of freelancing, Leaphorn thought. But in fairness he should say a dead policeman was the result of the rules-bending, the burned hand the product of Chee's bravery. He wondered if he would have walked into that fire, gripped that red-hot door handle, to save another man's life. He wasn't sure he would have. He might have stood there, calculating the odds of success - trying to do what was rational.

    We have two love stories here in this novel, much to my delight.

    Chee is continuing his pursuit of the elusive lawyer Janet Pete.

    The thing about Janet Pete was that he could talk to her about things that were hard to talk about. She wasn't Mary Landon. NO soft, pale hair, no bottomless blue eyes, no talent for making him feel like the ultimate male. But by tomorrow, he thought, he could talk to her about listening to Delbert Nez laughing on the radio. He could talk to her about how the dreadful feeling grew as he sat over his coffee at the Red Rock Trading Post, and waited, and waited, and waited.

    But with Janet Pete having the job of representing Pinto in the murder trial, and Chee's fierce determination to nail him for the murder of his colleague, the two potential lovebirds are butting heads.

    A very classy woman, Chee thought. He felt a wave of affection, and of chauvinistic Navajo pride in her. And more than that, he felt a hunger for her. And a sense of failure. Since the day she'd come to the hospital to see him he'd lost ground with her. He was sure of that. She liked him less now than she did that morning.

    I thought the resolution of this whole problem was BRILLIANTLY done by Hillerman. He exactly captures how miscommunication and misreading of people can lead to strife in a relationship, and also showcases what a good man Chee is and how that is shining through to Janet Pete. Very cute.

    Our second love story takes us by surprised as the widowed Leaphorn struggles with depression and a desire to travel.

    When Professor Bourebonette storms into his office, claiming that Pinto is innocent, Leaphorn is curious.

    She's so smart...

    She nodded, agreeing with some inner notion. Leaphorn considered her. What was she thinking? It would be something intelligent, he was sure of that.

    And a good listener...

    Long silences didn't seem to bother her. Unusual in a white.

    And she smells so good...

    He smelled coffee brewing. Professor Bourebonette was wearing a cologne of some sort. The aroma was very, very faint. So faint it might be his imagination.

    Of course, we - the readers, can see what is happening, but our old friend Leaphorn is a little bit slow on the uptake.

    Leaphorn considered whether he would look stupid if he was wrong. It occurred to him that he was showing off. And enjoying it. He considered that. Why would he be showing off? Why enjoying this?

    Sigh. Let's be patient with him. He'll figure it out eventually!

    I won't tell you how this (potential) love story ends, but let me just tell you that I was tickled pink by the ending of this novel. Very exciting.

    Tl;dr - An interesting and captivating mystery. A bonus: two possible love stories for the price of one!

    Is the old man guilty of killing a policeman in a fit of rage?

    Can Chee and Janet Pete keep their budding relationship strong even while on opposite sides of the courtroom?

    Is widower Leaphorn actually noticing another woman!?!?!?!?!?!

    All this and more in the exciting tenth novel by Tony Hillerman!

  3. Glen Glen says:

    Jim Chee investigates when a colleague is killed in what appeared to be a routine traffic stop. An elderly shaman is found, drunk and confused. Chee's object of affection is charged with defending the old man, and this creates a rift between them.

    Leaphorn decides to investigate and finds links to a legend and a lost fortune. Chee learns that maybe one simply can't be a shaman and a policeman.

    Not bad.

  4. Hana Hana says:

    Thinly plotted and less interesting than A Thief of Time but still worth a read for fans of Tribal Police Officer Jim Chee and Lt. Joe Leaphorn. Hillerman's descriptions of the Southwest Border Country make me want to 'Go West, old lady! Go West!'.

    On the vast rolling prairie that lead away from the highway toward the black shape of Ship Rock every clump of sagebrush, every juniper, every snakeweed, every hummock of bunch grass cast it's long blue shadow--an infinity of lines of darkness undulating across the glowing landscape....

    North, over Sleeping Ute Mountain in Colorado, over Utah's Abajo Mountains, great thunderheads were reaching their evening climax. Their tops, reflecting in the direct sun, were snowy white and the long streamers of ice crystals blown from them seemed to glitter. But at lower levels the light that struck them had been filtered through the clouds over the Chuskas and turned into shades of rose, pink, and red. Lower still, the failing light mottled them from pale blue-grey to the deepest blue. Overhead, the streaks of high-level cirrus clouds were being ignited by the sunset. They drove through a fiery twilight.
    Sadly, the love interests did not interest me and I found Chee's guilt trip over the death of his cop friend, Officer Delbert Nez, somewhat unconvincing. The most compelling character was the elderly drunken Navajo charged with the murder of Officer Nez. Ashie Pinto is a shaman who says nothing on his arrest except I am ashamed. I am ashamed.

  5. tomlinton tomlinton says:

    I know the names of the books
    in Jim Chee's trailer
    for yei's sake

    I had coffee for breakfast this morning
    Waffles for dinner last night
    Lunch of corn meal boiled
    then top browned
    with roasted kidney beans
    and finished with butternut squash soup
    and that was just
    to get into the mood

    After yesterday's reading
    A Thief of Time
    up near Grand Gulch Utah
    leading down to the San Juan River
    between Mexican Hat and Bluff
    reminiscing about my drives and hikes
    into the 25,000 square mile Navajo Big Rez
    and nearby

    All that's missing
    is a photograph of sunset
    from a high spot on the highway
    out over the peaks and washes
    through the shadows of the thunderheads
    and the visible rain
    which might not even touch the ground

    No I also
    need a double-expanded AAA map
    of the 4-corners Indian Country
    like Joe Leaphorn's
    so I can stick
    different colored map pins in it
    and find the patterns
    which would bring
    every thing
    into a semblance
    of Navajo Hohzho


  6. Julie Julie says:

    I really like these stories but have always been disappointed with the Chee/Leaphorn relationship. Sigh...This time I figured it out. It will not change into a Starsky and Hutch type where they work together. After reading the first 9 in the series it has become apparent to me that they only cross paths about once every 2 years or so. That explains why they don't consult with each other and solve the cases faster! I am so dumb sometimes...

  7. Maurean Maurean says:

    As I stated before, this is my second installment of the Jim Chee series, and I have come away with the same mixed feelings I had on the first go-around.

    While I found the Navajo lore to be very interesting and informative, and Mr. Hillerman's characters are very well-developed and entertaining, my disappointments lie in the mysteries these tales are based around. The mystery seems to take a backseat to the lives and setting of the characters involved. I would prefer a bit more intrigue in the whodunit portions of the series.

    Overall, tho, it was a quick, lite read ( I *did* enjoy this one better than the first), and I appriciate the opportunity to give it a go.

  8. Kristen Kristen says:

    If you love mysteries set in the Southwest, you'll enjoy the great Tony Hillerman's Navajo Mysteries series. We're introduced to Tribal Police Officer Jim Chee and FBI agent Joe Leaphorn. These two men are embarked on the same wild case of a death of a Tribal Policeman Delbert Nez, which is nothing what it seemed to be. From breath-taking Arizonan landscape to majestic New Mexican scenery, he painted a picturesque scene with various and eclectic characters. He takes us on a wild ride on this mystery that has many surprises to keep us guessing right to the end with a wild twist. We get to see and learn about Native American culture.

  9. Carol Carol says:

    Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee are two of my favorite characters, so I was pleased to re-discover this Tony Hillerman book. This one was as interesting and exciting as any of the previous ones. Both Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn have significant roles. Jim gets injured trying to get a friend out of a burning car. He is on medical leave but still follows up on leads. His former girl friend, Janet Pete has returned to the area and is defending the accused murderer. Navaho legends and scholarly research enter into the story as well

  10. Polo Polo says:

    An enjoyable book of mystery with likable and complex characters. I like the setting and landscapes of the Four Corners area with trips to Albuquerque. The landscapes, Navajo legends and Butch Cassidy lore make this an intriguing read. Most of the book was so engaging that I can forgive the somewhat weak ending.

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