Thursday, September 06, 2007

Dance Hall of the Dead

Book #9 for the Book Awards Reading Challenge

Dance Hall of the Dead, the second Lt. Joe Leaphorn mystery, was written by Tony Hillerman and won the Edgar Award in 1974.

Tony Hillerman is a consistent writer, and I was not disappointed in this book. Characterization was solid and the plot moved along and held my interest throughout.

from the back of the book:

Two young boys suddenly disappear. One of them, a Zuni, leaves a pool of blood behind. Lt. Joe Leaphorn of the Navajo Tribal Police tracks the brutal killer. Three things complicate the search: an archeological dig, a steel hypodermic needle, and the strange laws of the Zuni. Compelling, terrifying and highly suspenseful, Dance Hall of the Dead never relents from first page till last.

I enjoyed the peek into the different religious beliefs of some of the native peoples.

I loved this bit when Leaphorn and a couple of others are being filled in on their jobs in this case:

The FBI people always seemed to be O'Malleys -trimmed, scrubbed, tidy, able to work untroubled by any special measure of intelligence. O'Malley was still talking. Leaphorn looked at him, wondering about this FBI policy. Where did they find so many O'Malleys? He had a sudden vision of an office in the Department of Justice building in Washington, a clerk sending out draft notices to sll the male cheerleaders and drum majors st U.S.C., Brigham Young, Arizona State, and Notre Dame, ordering them to get their hair cut and report for duty.

There was also a Memphis mention -one of the characters was a graduate of Memphis State.

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