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Sacred Clowns (Joe Leaphorn / Jim Chee Bk 5)
Sacred Clowns - Joe Leaphorn / Jim Chee Bk 5
Author: Tony Hillerman
During a kachina ceremony at the Tano pueblo, the antics of a dancing koshare fill the air with tension. Moments later, the clown is found bludgeoned to death, in the same manner a reservation schoolteacher was killed only days before. — Officer Jim Chee and Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn believe that answers lie in the sacred clown's final cryptic ...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780061092602
ISBN-10: 0061092606
Publication Date: 7/1/1994
Pages: 384
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.

3.9 stars, based on 127 ratings
Publisher: HarperTorch
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Sacred Clowns (Joe Leaphorn / Jim Chee Bk 5) on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This is a wonderful book. My son read it for his summer reading for school. There is a lot of history to this book. I liked it so much I found other books by Hillerman. A must read!!
reviewed Sacred Clowns (Joe Leaphorn / Jim Chee Bk 5) on + 68 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
i really enjoyed this book. the story held my interest as well as the characters. any fan of tony hillerman and his characters joe leaphorn and jim chee will enjoy this book. pbs has shown a couple of tony hillerman's novels as shows under their "mystery" series. i enjoyed these mysteries shows also. mr. hillerman gives the reader an education into the native american indian culture with the different tribes mentioned within his stories.
reviewed Sacred Clowns (Joe Leaphorn / Jim Chee Bk 5) on + 459 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Vintage Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn mystery. Soemone has killed one of the sacred clowns at a Kachina dance. During their investigation, they turn up a connection between this murder and two others.
reviewed Sacred Clowns (Joe Leaphorn / Jim Chee Bk 5) on + 32 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This story takes place in the United States Southwest. It is about a Navajo Tribal Police Officer and the lore and traditions of the Navajo.
MELNELYNN avatar reviewed Sacred Clowns (Joe Leaphorn / Jim Chee Bk 5) on + 669 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Against his editor's counsel, Tony Hillerman switched from nonfiction to fiction writing over 30 years ago, with a story ultimately entitled "The Blessing Way;" introducing an (at the time) new type of hero and a new setting to the realm of the mystery novel - a Navajo policeman named Joe Leaphorn and the world of the Diné, i.e. [Navajo] "people," living on the rugged plains, deserts and mountain ridges of the southwestern Four
Corners Country. From the first book on, Hillerman's novels drew in equal parts on the author's natural gift as a storyteller, his upbringing within and hence, intimate knowledge of the world he describes, and his training as a writer; all of these elements blending into fascinating storylines and vivid and accurate portrayals of the land and its people.

Based on the success of his Leaphorn series, Tony Hillerman then created a new hero and (initially: a second) series set in Dinetah (Navajo country): tribal policeman Jim Chee. But while Joe Leaphorn was married and methodical and seemed, over the course of the years, to have found a way to harmonize Navajo traditions and 20th century American life, the younger Chee, unmarried, initially trained to be a shaman and deeply traditional, yet at the same time drawn to women living in the white man's world, was struggling to find that same sense of balance.

Whether or not Hillerman's unequal heroes were always meant to meet, they eventually did so in "Skinwalkers" and have been solving crimes together ever since, and their disparate tempers and approaches to police work add another level of tension to the stories, in addition to the cultural differences between the Navajo and the world(s) surrounding them, and the tribal policemen's perpetual clashes with the federal authorities. In more than one novel, Hillerman transcends the world of the Navajo, bringing in and contrasting to it the views and traditions of other tribes of the Southwest, not all of them historically on friendly terms with the Navajo (e.g. the Hopi in "The Dark Wind," the Ute in "Hunting Badger" and the Zuni in "Dance Hall of the Dead"). In "Sacred Clowns," Chee and Leaphorn (who has long since gained a reputation as the "Legendary Lieutenant") must delve into the society of Tano Pueblo to solve the murder of a teacher at a Navajo school, which seems to be connected to a death in the pueblo. As they dig through layers and layers of secrets, they again face the skepticism of a society that has had its "issues" with the Diné in the past. Yet, they slowly unravel the mystery surrounding the Kachina dancers ("sacred clowns") at the heart of the story and finally come to an, as always, surprising conclusion.

If you have never read a book by Hillerman and it's important to you to get to know the main characters of a series as they develop over the course of time, you'll have no choice but to go all the way back to "The Blessing Way" and read your way through to this particular book (which in a way makes sense, of course and, given the caliber of these stories and their author, should be a lot of fun, too). But like every good writer, Hillerman provides enough background for Leaphorn and Chee for even a first-time reader to be able to understand and appreciate his heroes and the things that drive them from the context of any of their stories - and I'll almost guarantee that this won't remain your only Hillerman book for a long time anyway: you'll be hooked midway through the tale at the very latest and will want to know more about the Legendary Lieutenant, Sergeant Chee and their people as soon as possible and before long, will find yourself swallowing every other book about them, too. Oh, by the way ... they are still at work together, never mind that Joe Leaphorn retired from the police a couple of years ago; so you should probably also be prepared for new installments. Yet, while I have no doubt that those will all be good reads (so far, there isn't one weak book in the series), "Sacred Clowns" will forever remain one of my favorite stories about Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn and Sergeant Jim Chee.
Read All 15 Book Reviews of "Sacred Clowns Joe Leaphorn Jim Chee Bk 5"

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reviewed Sacred Clowns (Joe Leaphorn / Jim Chee Bk 5) on + 12 more book reviews
I love all the Tony Hillerman books... fascinating insights into Native American culture, great scenic descriptions, characters you care about, interesting and captivating plots.
reviewed Sacred Clowns (Joe Leaphorn / Jim Chee Bk 5) on + 517 more book reviews
A dancing koshare is murdered shortly after doing his dance. Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn investigate in true Navahoe fashion. A koshare is from the Hopi tribe and for anyone who is interested in Indian lore this is explored by Hillerman who is one of the best. Very good book
reviewed Sacred Clowns (Joe Leaphorn / Jim Chee Bk 5) on + 26 more book reviews
A great Leaphorn/Chee yarn.