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Month in review

Reviews
Amelia Peabody's Egypt by Elizabeth Peters
Angelina on Stage by Katharine Holabird
Arthur and the Invisibles by Luc Besson
Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Search Part 1 by Gene Luen Yang
Bad Machinery: The Case of the Team Spirit by John Allison
Cardboard by Doug TenNapel
The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan by Nancy Springer
The Cats on Ben Yehuda Street by Ann Redisch Stampler
Daisy's Defining Day by Sandra V. Feder
The Deeds of the Disturber by Elizabeth Peters
Don't Forget the Bacon! by Pat Hutchins
Emile by Tomi Ungerer
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
Grandfather's Journey by Allen Say
The Grilling Season by Diane Mott Davidson
Gunnerkrigg Court, Vol. 2: Research by Thomas Siddell
A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg
How Did You Get This Number by Sloane Crosley
Let's Meet a Librarian by Gina Bellisario
The Monstore by Tara Lazar
My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett
Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs by Tomie dePaola
Navajo: Visions and Voices Across the Mesa by Shonto Begay
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
Pie by Sarah Weeks
Pippi in the South Seas by Astrid Lindgren
Ruth Fielding in the Saddle by Alice B. Emerson
The Shape Shifter by Tony Hillerman
Tough Cookie by Diane Mott Davidson
The Viper's Nest by Peter Lerangis
Yoga For Cats by Traudl Reiner

Other Stuff
Canadian Book Challenge 7

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Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8




The Shape Shifter: 07/08/13

cover art

The Shape Shifter is the last of the Navajo mysteries written by by Tony Hillerman. His daughter is now restarting the series — the first of the new books being Spider Woman's Daughter in which Bernie Manuelito (now Mrs. Chee) will play a greater role.

My one complaint with Hillerman's novels is the sheer number of times witches / skinwalkers / shape shifters are initially blamed for a crime. Usually it's only taken as a piece of rumor, but it's still rather tedious.

Now while the Chees are enjoying being newlyweds, Leaphorn, retired, takes on a curious case involving a rug with ties to the Long Walk. The rug (rumored to possibly be cursed) surfaces in a magazine spread years after it was presumed lost to fire.

Tied up with the rug is the shape shifter in question. Here it's not a Navajo witch, but identity theft. Leaphorn uses the traditional stories to rationalize the thought process behind the crime.

When I first read the book it felt like a winding-up of the series. To me, Leaphorn felt like Hillerman's authorial stand-in. Although Hillerman wasn't a Navajo, I think he was of the same generation as Leaphorn. I think the future books, by Hillerman's daughter, it would be fitting to say a quiet goodbye to Leaphorn and let Jim and Bernie take center stage. I also have to wonder if Bernie will be Anne Hillerman's authorial stand in.

Four stars

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