Tony Hillerman Books in Order – Discountbiblebook

If you love crime fiction, Tony Hillerman books should be on your reading list. His award-winning mystery novels feature the Navajo Nation Tribal Police in New Mexico and Arizona as they work to solve complicated cases involving their culture and traditions. With so many captivating stories in his vast collection, it can be difficult knowing which book to pick up first. Therefore, let us help make things easier by providing you with a guide that outlines the correct order for Tony Hillerman books chronologically!

Who is Tony Hillerman?

Tony Hillerman was an American author of detective novels and non-fiction works best known for his popular mysteries featuring Navajo Tribal Police officers Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn. Hillerman wrote eighteen crime fiction books, starting in 1970 with The Blessing Way, as well as several nonfiction works about the Southwest. His novels have been adapted into several movies, earning him numerous awards and critical acclaim.

Hillerman’s books blend traditional detective fiction with cultural elements of the Navajo tribe and its people in an effort to provide a unique experience for readers.

Who is Tony Hillerman?
Who is Tony Hillerman?

Tony Hillerman Books in Order

Embark on an exciting journey with Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee, in Tony Hillerman’s brilliant series of mystery novels. Discover the secrets they uncover as you delve into their thrilling adventures! Trace back to where it all began with summaries for each of the first ten books – a perfect way to become acquainted with these beloved characters before diving in.

The Blessing Way

Perched high atop a lonely hill, the body of an unknown victim was found with shocking evidence: their mouth full of sand. With no tracks or clues leading away from this grim scene, investigators face a daunting challenge in solving this heinous crime and bringing justice to such an abominable act.

Tony Hillerman Books in Order
Tony Hillerman Books in Order

Dance Hall of the Dead

Lieutenant Leaphorn of the Navajo Tribal Police faces a dire situation – two Native-American boys have disappeared in an eerily strange manner, leaving only blood as evidence. The crimson pool speaks volumes to their fate, and time is running out for this tragic case – one victim being of Zuñi descent adds greater complexity than ever before imagined.

Listening Woman

Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn of the Navajo Tribal Police is faced with a challenge that pits reality against legend: Listening Woman, an enigmatic blind shaman who speaks of witches and restless spirits, would have him believe in supernatural evil – but his instinct tells him there’s something far more sinister lurking behind these savage killings involving an old man and teenage girl. Can he prove what eyes cannot see?

People of Darkness

Sgt. Jim Chee of the Navajo Tribal Police seeks answers to some perplexing questions: who would commit murder against a man near death, why someone would steal an unremarkable box of rocks and for what motive did a wealthy wife pay $3,000 in compensation? His search leads him into the searing Southwest where he discovers that decades-long acts of avarice have been shrouded by bloodshed…and now an assassin awaits his arrival with grim visions and dark secrets.

Tony Hillerman Books in Order
Tony Hillerman Books in Order

The Dark Wind

Sgt. Jim Chee of the Navajo Tribal Police is tasked with unraveling a twisted mystery involving mysterious airplane crashes, bizarre attacks on windmills, and vanishing shipments of cocaine – all connected to an unsettling case in which someone was “scalped”. As he dives deeper into this sinister puzzle driven by both old-world sorcery and modern greed, his every move could be his last…

The Ghostway

Old Joseph Joe has seen it all – he witnesses the tragic consequences of a deadly confrontation between two strangers at Shiprock Wash-O-Mat, with only one survivor being able to drive away. The mysterious man shows an image to Joseph; Tribal Policeman Jim Chee uses this information as his cue for embarking on a thrilling journey that leads him through ghostly hogans and shady alleys in L.A., finally ending up somewhere unexpected: where death is chosen as the ultimate solution for revenge and murder…


On a journey through the vast and mystical world of Navajo witchcraft, Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn must unravel an intricate web of three unsolved murders that have perplexed their fellow officers. But as they delve deeper into these crimes seemingly connected by fate across 120 miles, the stakes grow higher when Leaphorn’s life is unexpectedly put in danger – raising even more questions about this labyrinthine case involving dark acts of violence.

A Thief of Time

Amid the moonlight of a desecrated Indian ruin, two detectives must bravely venture into hidden secrets to uncover an incredible truth and expose a ruthless murderer. For here lies the scene of where “thieves of time” have pillaged sacred ground in pursuit for profit – only leaving behind stolen goods, shattered bones…and corpses with bullets matching that from noted anthropologist’s gun who has gone missing on his quest for groundbreaking revelations.

Talking God

Navajo Tribal Police Lt. Joe Leaphorn and Officer Jim Chee are faced with two baffling cases: an unidentified corpse, and the grave looting of a Smithsonian conservator – Henry Highhawk. As they investigate further, their search leads them deep into uncharted territory fraught with superstition, ceremony and powerful gods; exploring secrets hidden in both ancient history as well as more recent events to uncover who is behind it all.

Coyote Waits

The tragic death of Navajo Tribal Policeman Delbert Nez has left Detective Jim Chee and Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn searching for answers. A whiskey-soaked shaman named Ashie Pinto holds the murder weapon, yet refuses to speak a word of confession or denial. But there is more than meets the eye in this tangled tale – greed, mystery and an ancient historical discovery are all at stake as they unravel its secrets while something sinister lurks in their shadows…the mythical trickster Coyote with another dangerous turn!

Sacred Clowns

Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee were faced with a mission of the utmost importance – to find an old woman’s missing grandson. On their hunt, they came across quite an unexpected scene: sacred clowns performing in a Pueblo ceremony! The sight may have been peaceful at first but soon became chaotic as pandemonium broke out when one of these clowns was murdered in mid-performance. Still fighting against all odds, our heroes desperately search for answers among this carnival chaos that had taken over the town.

Tony Hillerman Books in Order
Tony Hillerman Books in Order

The Fallen Man

After enjoying a peaceful retirement, the beloved Joe Leaphorn finds himself thrown into suspenseful action when an ancient human skeleton is discovered on the edge of Ship Rock Mountain in “The Fallen Man.” As he steps back out onto familiar ground as a private investigator, will this retired policeman be able to solve one final mystery?

The First Eagle

When you combine a sinister murderer or group of murderers with the frightening possibility of an ancient Navajo witch, you get an unforgettable tale. It’s so thrilling that it will have readers on edge and unable to put down this suspenseful story!

Hunting Badger

Amidst a mysterious casino heist, two unlikely partners–Chee and Leaphorn–are thrown together to form an unbreakable bond. Uncovering false leads along the way, Hunting Badger offers readers non-stop excitement as they follow the twists and turns of this thrilling story while witnessing dynamic character development in its protagonists.

The Wailing Wind

When Bernadette Manuelito, a fresh recruit to the Navajo police force, stumbled upon an unexpected scene in which she found a dead body inside of a blue pickup truck with bullet wounds and an ex-convict’s phone number tucked away in his pocket – her newfound career was launched into mayhem. Naturally not knowing what to do next or how to handle such sensitive material put Bernie at odds with FBI agents determined for justice. Fortunately for her though, Jim Chee came through by requesting help from renowned investigator Leaphorn who then discovered further details about this perplexing case and helped keep BLM out of severe trouble!

The Sinister Pig

When a murder is committed near Jicarilla Apache’s natural gas field, the FBI suspects nothing more than an ordinary hunting accident. But Officer Jim Chee knows better – will he be able to unravel this sinister mystery before it gets colder? The Sinister Pig promises a thrilling and suspenseful ride through New Mexico while trying to uncover what really happened!

Skeleton Man

The thrilling narrative “Skeleton Man” tackles the concept of human greed and its perils. This idea is presented in the form of a highly intriguing hypothesis that is investigated by Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee, two fascinating individuals.

172 people perished in a terrible plane disaster in 1956. They still exist somewhere among the Grand Canyon’s cliffs. Additionally, a wealth is dispersed on those rocks. It was interesting to see someone carrying a briefcase loaded with gems and jewels.

The Shape Shifter

An old case is revived by The Shape Shifter, and this time Joe Leaphorn must solve it in order to remove it from his head like a thorn. Even though Leaphorn is revered for his ability to crack cases, his final case is the only one that hasn’t been cracked.

However, recent events suggest that there is more to the case and that it has not yet been resolved. A man delivers a picture of a priceless Navajo rug that was damaged to Leaphorn. However, it might still exist someplace.

Spider Woman’s Daughter

Given that Tony Hillerman did not author this book, it is a crucial part of the series. After his passing in 2008, Anne Hillerman picked up the manuscript and finished it. Additionally, she did a fantastic job at adjusting to the writing style.

Since she was so used to her father’s writing style, even though this book was written by a different author, it never felt unique from the other volumes in the series. It seamlessly blends in and adds a ton of fresh details to the narrative.

Rock with Wings

Jim Chee and Bernie Manuelito, the two central figures in the narrative, are highlighted in Rock with Wings. Despite their attempts to become close and spend time together, the demands of duty keep them apart.

 Song of The Lion

Song of the Lion, the third book in the Navajo book series by Anne Hillerman, is a horrifying and shocking thriller novel that will catch you off guard. She has a strong idea of where to navigate this massive ship of the Navajo book series.

The death of a young man in a car bomb shocks the entire town, along with Joe Leaphorn, Jim Chee, and Bernie Manuelito.

Unprecedented in scope, the strike leaves little doubt that a person of great authority is responsible. A young mediator who was killed was working on a multi-million dollar project.

Cave of Bones

Cave of Bones again places Bernie Manuelito at the front stage as she drives an investigation of a case that’s disturbing and downright scary. When a young girl goes on a trek and doesn’t come back, the trek leader goes looking for her.

Chee is working hard to find solutions to his share of issues while Bernie is having trouble with the probe. But after a few hours, Annie comes back, shocked by witnessing a human skeleton. Although she has returned, the threat still exists because the instructor has gone missing.

The Tale Teller

Fans of the illustrious Joe Leaphorn will adore this book. He has reclaimed the spotlight. But what’s more is that the supernatural implications—witchcraft, magic, bad omens, and so forth—were what made the Navajo series so fascinating. All of these components gave the stories new depth.

With this book, that distinctive aspect is returned. Leaphorn must look into a ceremonial garment that is important. But the inquiry has so many dead ends, and the death of the main suspect causes confusion. There is some witchcraft being conducted, and someone is behind this whole thing.


The plot of Stargazer is led by Bernie Manuelito once again. The book begins gently and slowly until picking up speed when Bernie is asked to assist one of her old friends and roommate Maya.

Since Maya has been absent for a few days and there has been no sign of her, the worst has already been predicted. Bernie is asked by her brother to learn what happened to his sister. The results of Bernie’s preliminary inquiry show that Maya killed her husband. However, as the investigation develops, it reveals perverted facts as well as something more sinister.

The Sacred Bridge

You are correct if you believe Jim Chee was left out of the series once Anne Hillerman took over. Chee was constantly in the backseat while Bernie and Leaphorn were getting their stories. The Sacred Bridge, the most recent book in the series, brings about a change in that.

Jim Chee travels to Lake Powell and Antelope Canyon. Chee required this getaway after enduring numerous internal and external hardships. Even so, he unearths something shrouded—a mystery Leaphorn faced long ago.

The Way of the Bear

The next book in the series, The Way of the Bear, is due out in 2023. Chee and Bernie are baffled by a mystery murder. Just a few steps from his automobile, a paleontologist freezes to death. What led to this? But before anything is discovered, another fatality worsens the situation. This book will undoubtedly be excellent, just like the other volumes in the series.

The Fly on the Wall

In 1971, The Fly on the Wall was released and became popular. The book is about a police officer named John Cotton. Cotton is the type of person who lives life to the fullest. Although he is aware of the corruption, schemes, and plotting, he is unconcerned by it. He is an eavesdropper.

The Cotton character is incredibly nuanced. Although he is hardly a hero, he makes an effort to stay out of trouble. His familiarity with powerful individuals makes him a target. But after his companion is killed, circumstances shift, and he finds himself in a difficult situation.

Conclusion: tony hillerman books in order

The Leaphorn, Chee and Manuelito series is a great collection of books by Anne Hillerman. These books capture the essence of Navajo culture while keeping readers intrigued with spine-tingling mysteries. Each book has its own unique plot with intertwining narratives that will keep you guessing throughout. If you’re looking for a good mystery novel to get lost in, this series is a great place to start!

There are plenty of other books written by Anne Hillerman, so if you’re looking for something a little different from the Navajo series, be sure to check them out as well.

FAQs: tony hillerman books in order

What order should I read the Tony Hillerman books?

The books in the Tony Hillerman series should be read in order of publication date. Starting with The Blessing Way and ending with The Shape Shifter, this is the recommended way to read the series for maximum enjoyment.

Where does the Tony Hillerman books start?

The series starts with The Blessing Way, which was first published in 1970. This novel introduces Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee, two Navajo tribal police officers who investigate a missing professor.

What is the first book in the Tony Hillerman series?

The Beneficial Path (1970)

The Navajo Nation Police’s Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee are the main characters. The Blessing Way, Hillerman’s debut book, features Lt. Leaphorn (1970). Sgt.

What genre is Tony Hillerman?

Writer of Tribal Mysteries

A Pioneering Tribal Mystery Author, Tony Hillerman The author’s 18 novels, which are set on Indian reservations in the Southwest, were evocative of a setting and culture that had been largely disregarded and contributed to the development of the “tribal mystery” subgenre.

What kind of books does Tony Hillerman write?

Navajo Nation Police officers Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee appear in several of Anthony Grove Hillerman’s mysteries. Anthony Grove Hillerman (May 27, 1925 – October 26, 2008) was an American writer of detective novels and nonfiction books. Movies for theaters and television have been made from several of his books.

What does Tony Hillerman write about?

A Pioneering Tribal Mystery Author, Tony Hillerman The author’s 18 novels, which are set on Indian reservations in the Southwest, were evocative of a setting and culture that had been largely disregarded and contributed to the development of the “tribal mystery” subgenre. October 26 saw Hillerman pass away in New Mexico.

Is Dark winds a Hillerman book?

The fifth book in Tony Hillerman’s “Leaphorn & Chee” series is titled “The Dark Wind.” It is also the second straight Jim Chee novel. It’s quite nicely done, much like the majority of other Hillerman books I’ve read. But because of certain corruption, it’s a little less “pleasant” to read than the other books in the series.

Is Dark Winds accurate?

Although the early episodes of the AMC mystery series “Dark Winds” offered excellent acting, suspense, and entertainment, several Diné specialists claim that the show generally falls short when it comes to correctly portraying Navajo language and culture.

Where is tony hillerman from?

Tony Hillerman was born in Sacred Heart, Oklahoma on May 27, 1925. He spent his childhood moving around the Southwest before eventually settling in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In 1943, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps and served as a navigator in World War II.

What reading level is tony hillerman books?

Most of Tony Hillerman’s books are meant for a general adult audience, and are classified as “general fiction.” However, some of his later works have been adapted for middle grade readers. The reading level of the individual book is usually printed on its cover or spine.

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