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Spider Woman's Daughter (Leaphorn, Chee and Manuelito Series #1)

Spider Woman's Daughter (Leaphorn, Chee and Manuelito Series #1)

4.2 102
by Anne Hillerman

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Anne Hillerman, the talented daughter of bestselling author Tony Hillerman, continues his popular Leaphorn and Chee series with Spider Woman’s Daughter, a Navajo Country mystery, filled with captivating lore, startling suspense, bold new characters, vivid color, and rich Southwestern atmosphere.

Navajo Nation Police Officer Bernadette Manualito


Anne Hillerman, the talented daughter of bestselling author Tony Hillerman, continues his popular Leaphorn and Chee series with Spider Woman’s Daughter, a Navajo Country mystery, filled with captivating lore, startling suspense, bold new characters, vivid color, and rich Southwestern atmosphere.

Navajo Nation Police Officer Bernadette Manualito witnesses the cold-blooded shooting of someone very close to her. With the victim fighting for his life, the entire squad and the local FBI office are hell-bent on catching the gunman. Bernie, too, wants in on the investigation, despite regulations forbidding eyewitness involvement. But that doesn't mean she's going to sit idly by, especially when her husband, Sergeant Jim Chee, is in charge of finding the shooter.

Bernie and Chee discover that a cold case involving his former boss and partner, retired Inspector Joe Leaphorn, may hold the key. Digging into the old investigation, husband and wife find themselves inching closer to the truth...and closer to a killer determined to prevent justice from taking its course.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Tony Hillerman's 18 mysteries followed the investigations of Navajo cops Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee. Fans mourned when Hillerman died in 2008. Now the late author's beloved characters return in this series relaunch by his daughter, Anne. The book opens with an act of unexpected violence against a dear friend, witnessed by police officer Bernadette Manualito. She and her husband, Jim Chee, begin to piece together clues and determine who would commit this crime, even questioning the motives of the unaccounted-for Louisa Bourbonnette, Leaphorn's friend and housemate. Interspersed throughout the tale, yet important to character development and emphasizing the role of Navajo culture and beliefs (a highlight of the previous series), are vignettes of Bernadette's troubled sister and Jim's past studies to become a Navajo healer and descriptions of Navajo creation stories. Characters from 1988's Thief of Time play a dominant role in the unfolding of the plot. Pot hunters, archaeologists, controversy over the museum display of tribal objects, and insurance fraud culminate in a heart-stopping, action-packed conclusion as Bernadette and Jim risk their lives to bring a would-be assassin to justice. VERDICT Fans of Southwestern mysteries will cheer this return of Leaphorn and Chee. [See Prepub Alert, 4/29/13; also highlighted at LJ's Day of Dialog Editors' Picks panel.—Ed.]—Patricia Ann Owens, formerly with Illinois Eastern Community Colls., Mt. Carmel
Publishers Weekly
In her first novel, reporter Hillerman successfully revives Navajo policemen Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee, last seen in The Shape Shifter (2006), the final book from her father, MWA Grand Master Tony Hillerman (1925–2008). Officer Bernadette Manuelito, who married Chee in 2004’s Skeleton Man, sees a gunman shoot Leaphorn in a restaurant parking lot, but isn’t close enough to stop the shooter from driving off. With Leaphorn comatose, Chee is named head investigator, while Manuelito is officially removed from the case because she’s a witness. Leaphorn’s current job evaluating a collection that the American Indian Resource Center is acquiring may provide a clue to his attacker. The much used getaway car and the odd disappearance of Leaphorn’s anthropologist lady friend, Louisa Bourebonette, may offer other clues. Chee may lead, but Manuelito forcefully injects herself into the case as a desperate killer threatens to strike again. Like her father, Hillerman has a gift for combining history and mystery. Agent: Elizabeth Trupin-Pulli, JET Literary Associates. (Oct.)
Craig Johnson
“Chip off the literary block—there are a lot of things Tony taught is daughter, Anne, and one of them was how to tell a good story. Spider Woman’s Daughter is a proud addition to the legacy, capturing the beauty and breath of the Southwest as only a Hillerman can.”
Jo-Ann Mapson
Spider Woman’s Daughter is an intricately plotted, suspenseful, colorful, and unforgettable journey. Readers will fall in love with Bernie Manuelito and look forward to Anne Hillerman’s next effort in what should be a long, enjoyable, successful series. Her depiction of the Navajo Nation is spot on. I loved this book.
“Difficult to put down...If you love mysteries, this book is for you.”
Kirkus Reviews
A daughter takes on her famous father's legacy in resuming a series focused on Navajo culture. Bernadette Manuelito is at the helm of a mystery that involves all of Shiprock's Navajo Tribal Police force when one of her longtime colleagues is gunned down after a breakfast with co-workers. Bernie is on hand when a hooded figure shoots her colleague, Lt. Joe Leaphorn, and she'll do anything it takes to find his assailant while his life hangs in the balance. Unfortunately, as witness to the crime, Bernie is forced to take a back seat in the case. Luckily, her husband, Sgt Jim Chee, is leading the inquiry, so she's still a party to insider information. In the time she has open from investigating, Bernie connects with the American Indian Resource Center, trying to finish a job Joe had contracted to help with. The AIRC houses an unbelievable collection of Indian art and artifacts, and Bernie soon finds herself drawn not only to the beauty of what she sees, but also to the connections of the staff to Jim's and Joe's pasts. At the same time, she's forced to shift some attention to her little sister Darleen's care of their mother when it becomes apparent that Darleen's drinking is affecting her caretaking abilities. With big shoes to fill, Hillerman does her best to copy the style of her father Tony's beloved series (The Shape Shifter, 2006, etc.), maintaining the integrity of Navajo culture throughout. Fans will spot the guilty party a mile off.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Leaphorn, Chee and Manuelito Series , #1
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Meet the Author

Anne Hillerman is an award-winning reporter, the author of several nonfiction books and the New York Times bestselling novel Spider Woman's Daughter, and the daughter of New York Times bestselling author Tony Hillerman. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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Spider Woman's Daughter 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 102 reviews.
Andrew_of_Dunedin More than 1 year ago
They say that confession is good for the soul.  Assuming that's true, I will admit that I was a big fan of Tony Hillerman and his Navaho series – Joe Leaphorn, Jim Chee, and the rest.  BUT I was disappointed in the last few novels in the series.  When Mr. Hillerman left us, I thought that would be the end of the line for my special glimpse into life on the Navaho reservation – and that my last memories would be of average work from a writer who typically turned out extraordinary stories. A great big THANK YOU to his daughter, Anne Hillerman.  Not only did she pick up her father's mantle and provide us with another story in the series, BUT she also restored the quality that the name “Hillerman” had come to represent.  One of Ms. Hillerman's  tricks – perhaps the secret of her success with this book – was to put the spotlight on Officer Bernadette Manuelito (finally married to Jim Chee), who was never more than a supporting character when her father documented the series.  That's not to say that Leaphorn, Chee, and the rest are not present – but that there are other talented and interesting characters worth some time in the sun. I hope this is NOT a one-shot, and that this excellent series has found a new life with Anne Hillerman. RATING: 4½ stars, rounded up to 5 stars out of appreciation for the return of these beloved characters and the excellent job in doing so.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I guess it's no surprise that Tony Hillerman's daughter, Anne, in undertaking to continue her late father's wonderful mystery series set in the Southwest's Indian country, would put a feminine spin on the narrative. The dust jacket of "Spider Woman's Daughter" identifies the book as "A Leaphorn & Chee Novel." More accurately, it's a Bernadette Manuelito novel, whose protagonist is the young Navajo police officer married to Lt. Jim Chee. Leaphorn plays a totally passive role in the story; Chee's role is that of Bernie's adjunct and supportive spouse in her intepid quest of the villain. That said, this book is a welcome continuation of Tony Hillerman's characters and insights into the culture of the Southwest. It's well-plotted, well-written, and fast-paced. Tony's fans won't be disappointed.
NefinMtnPk More than 1 year ago
I think Anne did a great job carrying on her fathers legacy. Yes, there were slight differences in the writing - why wouldn't there be? She is of a different generation - all the better to understand Chee, Bernie and bring them to the current time period. She has now made these characters her own. I really liked the way she tied this book in to one of Leaphorn's old cases and my favorite book "A Thief of Time". If you are new to the Leaphorn mysteries - read it first. You will enjoy this book - great plot, great characters, wonderful descriptions of my favorite state - New Mexico.
Home-on-the-Range More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading the book. While it seemed to go along with Tony Hillerman's style of writing, I realized she centered her story on the female character rather than the two male characters her father had developed. It certainly did not diminish the story at all. The story line had lots of twist and turns that added to the mystery. I look forward to more stories by Anne Hillerman.
mystery_readerCA More than 1 year ago
I bought this book to see if Ann Hillerman could really carry on her father's heritage. The story picks right up where Tony Hillerman left off in covering the trials and triumphs of Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn. The new story was entertaining and the mystery was well-written. I look forward to her next endeavor to see whether she is truly able to continue to bring the two detectives to life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Following in her father's footsteps. The book is a great start for a new author, and a great read. One of those books you don't want to end!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a very enjoyable book. Anne does a nice job picking up where her father left off. I'm hoping there will be many more "four corners" mysteries to come.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. I love the Chee & Leaphorn series, I hope she will continue to write about them. She did a wonderful job.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She does a great job of continuing the series. So glad to see Leaphorn and Chee back. Anxiously awaiting her next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So glad to see the return of Tony Hillerman's characters. Thanks to Anne Hillerman for extending the "lives" of Joe,Jim, Bernie, and the rest of the family.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been reading Tony Hillerman's books since about 1986. This book by his daughter was so very close to his books I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recomnmend it to every reader of Tony Hillerman's series of books. I will anxiously await her next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Did not want to read a tony hillerman like book after he passed away. A review changed my mind and I am so pleased it did. This is a really good book in every way. I am sure Mr. Hillerman would be proud. Highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beautiful and fun
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am glad to see the mysteries continued. I felt like I lost a friend when Mr. Hillerman passed away. I'm glad his daughter had the courage to pick up her pen and follow her father's footsteps into fictional writing. I thought she did a wonderful job. I'm looking forward to her next book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Always liked her Dad's books, now I like hers.
SaraRoseGA More than 1 year ago
I was apprehensive about this book because I am a huge fan of Tony Hillerman's work and didn't want to be disappointed reading his daughter's work. I wasn't disappointed at all. Anne has her own style of writing, but has followed in her father's footsteps and writtten an interesting book that combines mystery with insights into Navajo culture. I'm looking forward to her next book.
Anonymous 6 months ago
A welcome and well done continuation of the Tony Hillerman novels.
Repeat_BandN_Customer More than 1 year ago
Good first novel and good re-launch of the series. That said, if the next one is too much like this one, I won't buy a third one. The reason is simple: too little mystery and too much about the young policewoman's personal joys and dramas. The clues and false trails were not distributed for best mystery impact, and several things that either did happen or did not happen were a bit too much of a stretch for my taste. Here's hoping that this author will make an adjustment to better deliver the mystery and thereby breathe new life into a storyline with some exceptional previous novels.
Henry_McLaughlin More than 1 year ago
I approached this novel with some trepidation. Tony Hillerman was one of my favorite authors and I wasn't sure about someone else picking up the Joe Leaphorn/Jim Chee series. My concerns were groundless. Anne Hillerman does a superb job of continuing her father’s characters. Leaphorn is retired now. Chee and Bernadette Manuelito are in a relationship that comes across as complex and believable. Miss Hillerman gives great insights into their personal relationship and their family relationships, especially the conflict between Bernie and her sister which forms one of the more intense subplots in the story. The secondary characters are also done well w/ unique personalities and quirks that add depth and nuance. And the villain is sufficiently creepy with believable motivations. Miss Hillerman continues her father's tradition of providing an excellent portrayal of Navajo culture and history. The descriptions bring the Southwest alive in the readers mind. I also enjoy how she respects and factors in the time it takes to travel in that vast landscape. It adds the perfect touch of realism. This novel is a welcome addition to the Leaphorn-Chee-Bernie library of stories and I look forward to reading more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She has definitely kept the spirit of the series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a wonderful follow-up to her father Tony Hillerman's Leaphorn and Chee mysteries, and I was happy the officers were back. Ms. Hillerman is clearly a writer worthy of taking over her father's series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thanks Anne for writing such a fun read. You did your dad proud. Keep it up, I can't wait for the next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
as the novels written by her Dad. It was a pleasure to again enjoy the characters created by Tony Hillerman. I hope she writes many more!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the story! Anne Hillerman proves a good story well told matters, Her father would be proud! She made it her own and carries on hus legacy legacy with her own unique talent, love it when the mystery unravels at the very end