Cover image for Cave of Bones A Leaphorn, Chee and Manuelito Novel.
Cave of Bones A Leaphorn, Chee and Manuelito Novel.
Publication Information:
Harper Collins Books 2019/01
General Note:
[Mass Market]

On Order

Bob Harkins Branch2Received on 2/22/19
Nechako Branch1Received on 2/22/19



A New York Times Bestseller

Anne Hillerman brings together modern mystery, Navajo traditions, and the evocative landscape of the desert Southwest in this intriguing entry in the Leaphorn, Chee, and Manuelito series.

When Tribal Police Officer Bernadette Manuelito arrives to speak at an outdoor character-building program for at-risk teens, she discovers chaos. Annie, a young participant on a solo experience due back hours before, has just returned and is traumatized. Gently questioning the girl, Bernie learns that Annie stumbled upon a human skeleton on her trek. While everyone is relieved that Annie is back, they're concerned about a beloved instructor who went out into the wilds of the rugged lava wilderness bordering Ramah Navajo Reservation to find the missing girl. The instructor vanished somewhere in the volcanic landscape known as El Malpais. In Navajo lore, the lava caves and tubes are believed to be the solidified blood of a terrible monster killed by superhuman twin warriors.

Solving the twin mysteries will expose Bernie to the chilling face of human evil. The instructor's disappearance mirrors a long-ago search that may be connected to a case in which the legendary Joe Leaphorn played a crucial role. But before Bernie can find the truth, an unexpected blizzard, a suspicious accidental drowning, and the arrival of a new FBI agent complicate the investigation.

While Bernie searches for answers in her case, her husband, Sergeant Jim Chee juggles trouble closer to home. A vengeful man he sent to prison for domestic violence is back--and involved with Bernie's sister Darleen. Their relationship creates a dilemma that puts Chee in uncomfortable emotional territory that challenges him as family man, a police officer, and as a one-time medicine man in training.

Anne Hillerman takes us deep into the heart of the deserts, mountains, and forests of New Mexico and once again explores the lore and rituals of Navajo culture in this gripping entry in her atmospheric crime series.

Author Notes

Anne Hillerman, daughter of author Tony Hillerman, is a journalist and author. In more than twenty years as a journalist, she worked as editorial page editor for the Albuquerque Journal North and the Santa Fe New Mexican, and as an arts editor for both papers. Since 2001, she has been the Northern New Mexico food critic for the Albuquerque Journal.

Her first book, Children's Guide to Santa Fe, was published in 1983. Her other nonfiction books include The Insiders' Guide to Santa Fe, Gardens of Santa Fe, Done in the Sun, Ride the Wind: U.S.A. to Africa, and Tony Hillerman's Landscape: On the Road with Chee and Leaphorn. Santa Fe Flavors: Best Restaurants and Recipes won the New Mexico Book Award for Best Cookbook of 2009. Her debut novel, Spider Woman's Daughter: A Leaphorn and Chee Novel, was published in 2013. Her title's Rock with Wings and Song of the Lion made The New York Times Best Seller List.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Bestseller Hillerman's meandering fourth mystery set in New Mexico (after 2017's Song of the Lion) takes Navajo police officer Bernadette "Bernie" Manuelito into El Malpais, the badlands where Rose Cooper, the director of a program for troubled teenage girls, runs a campsite. When Annie Rainsong, one of the campers, goes missing, Domingo "Dom" Cruz, the assistant program director, goes looking for her. Annie returns safe, if a little scared, with a tale of finding a cave of bones. When Dom fails to return, the police send out a search party. Dom's disappearance may be linked to a long-ago case handled by former police officer Joe Leaphorn. Bernie soon gets caught up in a case of grave robbing and stolen artifacts related to the cave find. Meanwhile, Sgt. Jim Chee, Bernie's husband, who's in Santa Fe for training, checks up on her younger sister, Darleen, who's in school there and hanging out with the wrong people. Diffuse plotting makes this a weak series entry, though Hillerman's use of the harsh but beautiful landscape and details of Navajo life is as strong as ever. Agent: Elizabeth Trupin-Pulli, JET Literary Associates. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Library Journal Review

In the fourth series installment (after Song of the Lion), the law enforcement talents of -Hillerman's characters shine. New Mexico tribal police officer Bernadette Manuelito agrees to talk to a group of at-risk teenage girls who are participating in a wilderness challenge near a Navajo reservation. One of the girls has just returned from a vision quest with a story of being lost and spending the night in a cave where she discovered bones; now an instructor who had gone looking for her is missing. As the search is organized, the girl's mother, a prominent tribal official, accuses Bernie and the program leaders of stealing tribal funds. While Bernie sifts through the evidence, she encounters some questionable individuals who appear to be involved in stealing artifacts from Native American grave sites. Meanwhile, Jim Chee, Bernie's husband, discovers that a man he sent to prison is associating with Bernie's sister. As always, retired cop Joe Leaphorn is available for advice. Hillerman's vivid descriptions of Navajo culture and the desert landscape are top-notch; the story lines flow smoothly to a satisfying conclusion. -VERDICT Fans of Hillerman's characters will relish this Southwestern mystery and cheer Bernie's growing confidence as a sleuth. [See Prepub Alert, 10/16/17.]-Patricia Ann -Owens, formerly at Illinois Eastern -Community Coll., Mt. Carmel © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.