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Sunday Night Journal — October 26, 2008

Tony Hillerman, RIP

The author of some of my favorite mysteries died yesterday. Here is a nice obituary, one of a great many that will no doubt be forthcoming.

I’ve spent many enjoyable hours listening to his books on tape or cd while traveling, and there are still some I haven’t read, so I have them to look forward to even if there will be no more. I think—no, I know—that part of the reason I like his work so much is that I’m fascinated by their physical and cultural setting: the Navajo reservation of the Four Corners area in the Southwest. But that doesn’t explain it entirely; he was a very good writer who wrote stories that came alive and meant something, about people who became real for as long as you were reading. For me he’s in the ranks of Raymond Chandler and Ross Macdonald, mystery writers whose work continues to give pleasure when read a second or third time.



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