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The Bluejay Shaman (Alix Thorssen Mystery Series Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Lise McClendon
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Traveling the back roads of Montana, not-quite-fearless art gallery owner Alix Thorssen is far from home and up to her Ray-bans in shaman’s secrets, mysterious deaths, madness, and – ah yes – passion among the pine needles. Whoever killed Shiloh Merkin hated her and wanted her dead. But did Wade Fraser, Alix’s brother-in-law and University of Montana anthropology professor, do the deed? What happened to the petroglyph of the bluejay shaman? Alix follows a trail of sex, moonlit rituals, and legendary artifacts as another murder leads her to a chilling confrontation with the killer. In this first novel of the Jackson Hole series about Alix Thorssen, Lise McClendon weaves a gripping tale of suspense, blending Indian lore, the timeless clash of western values, and the magnificent landscape of the Rockies.
"Reminiscent of Tony Hillerman at his best," says James Crumley, author of The Last Good Kiss.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this gripping debut, a Wyoming art expert and consultant for the FBI returns to her home state of Montana to appraise a trailer full of stolen art for the local police. The evening of Alix Thorrsen's arrival, her sister's husband is arrested for the murder of a woman named Shiloh, spiritual leader of a woman's group called the Manitou Matrix. Although Alix can't believe her brother-in-law, an anthropology teacher, would have killed Shiloh, his knife may be the murder weapon. Moreover, he admits to having had a loud argument with her the day before when, incensed that someone had cut the limbs off a tree sacred to the Native American Salish tribe, he had questioned Shiloh and her group. Taking on the job of proving his innocence, Alix gets a call from a woman asking her to authenticate a Jackson Pollock painting. When that woman is found murdered nearby, Alix discovers that the victim had also been trying to locate an artifact known as the Bluejay Shaman. Because Shiloh, too, was looking for the elusive Bluejay pictograph, Alix focuses her search on the ancient stone. Ancient rituals and the powerful Montana landscape are deftly integrated in this suspenseful tale.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

When her sexist brother-in-law, anthropology professor Wade Fraser, is jailed for killing spiritual counselor Shiloh Doris, Jackson (Wyo.) art historian Alix Thorssen puts her FBI consulting on hold to help her sister Melina. The evidence against Wade is bad medicine: He'd quarreled loudly and publicly with Shiloh, the local contact for a women's group called the Manitou Matrix, over a recent outbreak of vandalism on the Salish reservation (Manitou head Orianna Gold Flicker had finally ordered a group of followers to sit on him), and ten years earlier he was charged with assaulting Marcus Tilden, his chair at the university. Since then Tilden has gone on to earn the nickname ``Mad Dog'' by leading his female groupies in orgiastic dances as the Bluejay Shaman, half- man, half-bird. How is this weird behavior tied in to the bluejay pictograph both Shiloh and wealthy Oklahoma collector Charlotte Vardis were looking for before they were killed? Mad Dog is a piece of work, all right, but the rest of newcomer McClendon's low-profile cast, from heroine to killer, are no more substantial than tribal spirits as they run through their obligatory scenes. For regional specialists only. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • File Size: 789 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Thalia Press (April 2, 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0019UN980
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #380,250 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read March 29, 2010
Format:Unknown Binding
I have had this book in my TBR pile for eons. Finally got around to reading it, and really enjoyed the story and the main character. I am saddened to see the author hasn't written anything more on this series since 2001. The protag is Alix, an Art Gallery owner from Jackson Hole, WY. She comes down to help her sister, who's husband has been arrested for murder. The information in this book regarding art is very interesting, and I enjoyed reading about it. The story moves along quite nicely and wraps up pretty good. I would like to read the other books, but then knowing that this series has pretty much ended I really don't want to put my energy into getting into another series when I know it's going nowhere.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine story August 5, 2011
By SPRock
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I liked this mystery story very much. I wish the author liked it as much as I did. Author, this is a market not a reading group. Please get this book to an editor. Rashes of typo's, no bridges or segueing between many scenes and four glaring plot holes, makes a brutal experience for your reader. I am going to give it four stars because of the strength of the story. A couple of good edits would have made it an excellent book worth five.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read but... November 27, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoy Alix Thorssen, art dealer and amateur detective. I like it very much when she describes the local landscapes and makes smart observations about various characters. But-I hate the South American boyfriend, and the books have way too many crying women, all of whom need constant mothering. This whole "by a chick for chicks" plot, present in every book, is very tedious and makes me skim that part. Jack Reacher she isn't.
I would very much like to see more mysteries, but without all the clinging.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Only in MT March 26, 2014
By neonsky
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was mostly glad for a different rez for this mystery. Seemed a little far out there but in MT who knows. I lived there for several years and enjoyed the descriptions of areas i was familiar with.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Bluejay Shaman December 16, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. It takes place in Montana and keeps takes you into the outback on a hunt for an Indian artifact . I like this author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting venue July 11, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Good characters in an interesting setting. And a really interesting and unique plot. Look forward to more from this author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I loved this story! May 28, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This mystery kept me on my toes. It had many twists and turns. I liked the insights about how our upbringing molds us into the adults we become. Having visited Missoula, Montana in the past, I really loved the setting of the story and the Indian information throughout. I also liked the inner conflict between being an independent woman who can stand on her own, and a human being who needs other people inherent life to connect with and love. I was surprised to find myself drawn to read on and on, regardless of the time. I literally read until I fell asleep, reading! Great story!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy Alix Thorssen May 9, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Thoroughly enjoyed all of the Alix Thorssen mysteries so far, and will be looking for more in the future. Bring 'em on!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Bluejay Shaman by Lise McClendon
This book has much too many typos! That makes it very difficult to read! Now I know NOT to order any books by this author.
Published 2 months ago by Jo's Mama
2.0 out of 5 stars Wanted to like it but it bored me
Alix Thorssen # 1

Art expert Alix Thorssen leaves her Jackson gallery to identify and value some found artwork in Montana, but winds up trying to clear her... Read more
Published 7 months ago by MamaSylvia
3.0 out of 5 stars Meh...
When I started reading this one I was engaged, however as it went on I lost interest for some reason. It wasn't terrible but nothing to write home about either.
Published 10 months ago by M. Derr
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable
Story moved along at a nice pace and it was interesting, but there was a sort of disconnect between what Alix does professionally and what she was doing in this book. Read more
Published 12 months ago by doodlegirl
5.0 out of 5 stars Bluejay Shaman was a big hit.
When I started this book I was not sure I was going to stick with it. But it got better and better and I loved it. Will seek more of McClendon's books.
Published 17 months ago by N K Hill
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow start to an interesting story.
I would only give it a 4 because it started out so slow. I almost stopped reading it a couple times in the first few chapters but I'm glad I didn't because it got so much better... Read more
Published 17 months ago by catherine miller
1.0 out of 5 stars crap
Pretty boring, not well written plot limps along stumbling from one scene to the next. Best part was I didn't pay for it.
Published 17 months ago by wade
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed Alix Thorssen mystery
I enjoyed the history as well as the suspense. I intend to read more books by Lise McClendon and the Alix Thorssen series.
Published 17 months ago by A. I. Zimmerman
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More About the Author

It's been a long time coming but finally a sequel to Blackbird Fly is winging your way! The Girl in the Empty Dress finds Merle Bennett back in France, this time with all four of her sisters plus one friend. The friend, a law colleague of one sister, is moody and secretive and the Bennetts don't warm toward her. When she finds an injured dog along the roadside and determines to keep it, the walking tour of the Dordogne takes a dark and dangerous turn. Who is this dog everyone is after? And who is Gillian Sargent, the friend no one knows?

So exciting to be back in France again with the sisters. I did my own walking tour of France in 2012. It was much less exciting, but no more delightful, than the story told in The Girl in the Empty Dress.
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Lise McClendon writes fiction from her home in Montana. She is the author of nine novels, short stories, and articles. In 1997 she wrote and directed the short film, The Hoodoo Artist, featured at the Telluride Indiefest. She has served on the national boards of directors for Mystery Writers of America and International Association of Crime Writers/North America. She is on the faculty of the Jackson Hole Writers Conference and co-presents the workshop for writers, Truly Richly Deeply: Structure and Depth in the Novel.

Lise also writes under the pseudonym Rory Tate. Jump Cut (2011) and PLAN X (2013) are by Rory Tate.

"After thirty years writing fiction has become as necessary as breathing. Finding the essential story in the novel, chipping away the rock until the solid core is revealed, is an adventure and a joy."

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