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A Thief of Time (Joe Leaphorn/Jim Chee Novels) Mass Market Paperback – January 5, 1990


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Threshold
Threshold
If you're a cop long enough, you will sooner or later have to make a tough choice: Detective Sergeant Mickey Dolan is at this point. Take a look at all of author G. M. Ford's books

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Here, kicking off a new mass market paperback line, tribal police officers Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee head a big and skillfully realized cast involved in the disappearance of an anthropologist. "Hillerman's new novel seamlessly unites drama, pathos and naturally humorous incidents in the continuing story of Navajo life set in the American Southwest," lauded PW. $250,000 ad/promo.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

YA-- Hillerman's fans have another hit to celebrate, another surprising mysterious adventure. It may be a toss-up as to what draws them most strongly: varied, detailed, and fascinating revelations of contemporary culture; or compelling, complex, and original murder mysteries. Against the backdrop of the puzzle of the long-ago vanished Anasazi people, a complex mystery emerges in which Anglo culture and values pull against those of the Navajo, resulting in a bizarre series of murders solved by the Navajo Tribal Police. Fast, literate, absorbing reading with unique settings and characters, this title is for lovers of adventure as well as mystery.
- Annette Demeritt, Houston Public Library
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Joe Leaphorn/Jim Chee Novels
  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTorch (January 5, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061000043
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061000041
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,696,513 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tony Hillerman was the former president of the Mystery Writers of America and received its Edgar® and Grand Master awards. His other honors include the Center for the American Indian's Ambassador Award, the Silver Spur Award for the best novel set in the West, and the Navajo Tribe's Special Friend Award. He lived with his wife in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Customer Reviews

Everything went so smoothly!!!
M. Levitt
Very well done, I am sure mystery buffs as well as those interested in the culture and history of Native Americans will be drawn to it.
Brian Lewis
One of the best of the Hillerman stories with particularly rich character development & a marvelously taut plot.
Owl

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Wayne Collier on February 14, 1999
Format: Turtleback
Lt. Joe Leaphorn and Officer Jim Chee of the Navajo Tribal Police join forces in Hillerman's imaginative series on crimes occurring in or around the four corners country of the Southwest. Leaphorn and Chee track down a killer and along the way travel throughout the vast Navajo nation imparting arcane data on Native American pots, shards, and rituals.
Leaphorn and Chee's murder investigation touches on the "thieves of time;" those persons who desecrate and often destroy Native American archaeological sites in their fervor to collect ancient artifacts. The officers decipher clues leading to the identity of a killer who leaves bodies at Anasazi sites which have been looted. The interchange between Leaphorn and Chee, both said and unsaid, forms the main contrast in this book. Both men are interesting but Leaphorn is a more complex person; an aging Indian nearing the end of his career.
Known as the ancient ones, the Anasazi have been the subject of numerous studies by academia as to their origin and demise ranging from speculation to sober reality. The end result is conjecture although Hillerman is able to touch on the Anasazi lifestyle and history with a sure and steady hand.
There are more than 140,000 Native American sites registered within the states of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. Registration is required and approval is needed from the U. S. Government before digging can be undertaken by archaeologists at any of these sites. Unfortunately, the vast majority of sites are unidentified and thus unregistered. If they are identified, they are often unprotected and subject to vandalism by anyone.
Many of the unregistered sites are located on private land allowing the owner or others to remove aritifacts under cover of law.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Leah Jesse on July 13, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the first Hillerman novel I picked up and it won't be my last. The story centres around the unexplained disappearance of an anthropologist who is suspected of being a 'thief of time' or pot hunter. While Lt. John Leaphorn and Officer Jim Chee look for the missing person, recent dead bodies are discovered at plundered sites. It's up to Leaphorn and Chee to find out who's causing all this destruction before they find another body.
As an anthropology student, I liked Hillerman's detailed research and his obvious respect of the Navajo Nation. As a mystery reader, I liked the police story line and how it fit quite nicely with Hillerman's anthropological angle. Great read and I hope to read more from this exceptional author.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful By John O. Shambra on April 30, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Having spent 30 years in Law Enforcement, and knowing forensics, and how much down and dirty investigating goes into solving a crime, and having a keen interest in Archeaology, I felt that Mr. Hillerman is a master of combining police work, Archeaology, suspense into one believable mystery. His intertwining of Indian culture, and modern day police work is ingenious. I have read all of his books twice or more. I love them.
Mystery Buffs should not miss Hillerman's work.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Peggy Vincent on November 10, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Did you know you can take a topographical map of the Four Corners area and track every arroyo, every butte, every mesa and canyon and rio seco mentioned in Hillerman's books? They're all there. Just get yourself a 4-wheel drive vehicle and go off road and have an adventure as you read each of his mystery tales. Right where he says the truck in his book went left into what looks like an untracked wilderness down a barely-visible double track leading to god knows where, sure enough, there those faint tracks in the dust appear.
Set against the backdrop of the long-vanished Anasazi, Hillerman weaves a complex tale setting Anglo culture against the values of the Dinai, the Navajo tribal people. Elderly Joe Leaphorn and brash newcomer Jim Chee (with one foot in the spirituality of the Navajo healers and the other in the Western world) combine forces to solve the mystery surrounding the disappearance of an anthropologist.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Smallchief on January 8, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"A Thief of Time" is the eighth book in Tony Hillerman's Navajo detective series, but the first one to make national best seller lists and propel him into bigtime literary stardom.
"Thief" is one of Hillerman's least mysterious mysteries, but one of his most interesting books. He tells of the Anasazi, the ancient ones, an amazing proto-civilization of a thousand years ago that left ruins and potsherds scattered all over the austere, forbidding desert country of the Four Corners area. The mystery deals with ancient pots, the "thieves of time" who dig up graves and sell the pots they find, and of ambitious archaelogists who strive to make their reputations by discovering the secrets of the Anasazi.
Navajo detectives Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee confront several mysteries: a missing archaeologist, a stolen backhoe, and the bodies of two pot thieves. For Leaphorn, the solution to the mystery goes back twenty years into his past to a canyon along the San Juan River in Utah.
Atmosphere is what Hillerman sells in his books and this one has it in abundance. Navajo culture and ceremonies, modern police work, and the treasures of the Anasazi are woven together into a landscape of pure, clean-aired natural beauty. The weather -- thunderstorms, droughts, sudden blizzards, the thunderheads of approaching doom -- is also prominent in Hillerman's novels. His books combine elements of mysteries, westerns, and exotic culture -- and they are really, really worth reading.
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