Saturday, September 29, 2007

Traveling New Mexico with Tony Hillerman and Michael McGarrity

My two favorite New Mexico authors are Tony Hillerman and Michael McGarrity.
I read the Hillerman books some years ago - following the adventures of Navajo tribal policemen Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee as they solved crimes in northwestern New Mexico; the names Shiprock, Crownpoint, Farmington, Gallup, Bisti Badlands, etc. became familiar to me. Also, I learned a lot about Navajo culture from the Leaphorn series.

Just this past year, I began reading the series of police mystery novels written by Michael McGarrity, set in locations all over the state, following the cases worked on by fictional Santa police chief Kevin Kerney and his son Clayton Istee, a Mescalero Apache from southern NM.

I like the style of both writers, I like the tales of mystery they weave, I like the characters they bring to life … but maybe what I like best is the setting: New Mexico. Their books add to my education about the state.

I heartily recommend these two authors to anyone who loves New Mexico and has not discovered their work.

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