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Reviews
Bo at Iditarod Creek by Kirkpatrick Hill
A Buss from Lafayette by Dorothea Jensen
The Cathedral of Fear by Irene Adler
Cave of Bones by Anne Hillerman
Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
Every Hidden Thing by Kenneth Oppel
A Fatal Chapter by Lorna Barrett
Front Desk by Kelly Yang
Giant Days, Volume 7 by John Allison The Good Little Book by Kyo Maclear
Herding Cats by Sarah Andersen
How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child by Sandra Uwiringiyimana and Abigail Pesta
The Left-Handed Fate by Kate Milford
Monstrous by MarcyKate Connolly
Murder Most Frothy by Cleo Coyle
My Life in Dioramas by Tara Altebrando
Noragami Volume 05 by Adachitoka
Paper Girls, Volume 4 by Brian K. Vaughan
Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
Puerto Rico Strong edited by Hazel Newlevant
Sovereign by April Daniels
Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente
Spy on History: Mary Bowser and the Civil War Spy Ring by Enigma Alberti
Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartmen
This Fallen Prey by Kelley Armstrong
Title Wave by Lorna Barrett
Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles
When the Silliest Cat Was Small by Gilles Bachelet
Zack Delacruz: Me and My Big Mouth by Jeff Anderson

Miscellaneous
Children's fantasy that isn't British
March 2018 Sources
March 2018 Summary
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (April 02) It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (April 09) It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (April 16) It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (April 23) It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (April 30)

Road Essays
Mapping Labyrinth (1986)
The Monster in the middle

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The Cave of Bones: 04/28/18

The Cave of Bones

Cave of Bones by Anne Hillerman is the 22nd of the Navajo mysteries, and her fourth one. This one has Jim Chee and Bernadette Manuelito working on separate missing persons cases.

Bernie's case involves a missing camp counselor who has failed to return after bringing back a girl who had wandered away from her campsite during an overnight solo. Chee meanwhile is looking for a man who was last seen doing landscaping jobs but hasn't returned now that it's the winter season.

Jim Leaphorn, meanwhile, is recovered enough now to be able to do the research Bernie and Chee need while working out in the field. While it's nice to see him doing better, if this series continues, Leaphorn will eventually need to die to keep any sense of realism. Or Hillerman will just have to decide that the characters are living in the "now now" like Elizabeth Peters did with her Vicky Bliss series.

The set up of Cave of Bones reads like The Wailing Wind (book 15) in the setting of a Thief of Time (book 8). There are old remains and new remains, missing people, and gossip getting in the way of the investigations.

But the big difference here is that Anne Hillerman has a much better grasp on the characters and setting than her father ever did. Hillerman originally started the series as a gimmick, a way to set his mysteries apart from others.

As his series gained readership and the attention of the Navajo Nation, he at least recognized that his initial portrayals were pretty shitty and he did his best to fix his mistakes. Jim Chee was part of that effort (and a way to have a character that Hillerman had control over when it looked like he had lost Leaphorn to the movie and tv studios).

But Jim's traditional beliefs and his studying to be a haatali come across a lot of times as exotic tourism. Nearly every book has superstition, fears of the supernatural putting the investigations on hold. Anne Hillerman, working with the same characters, same setting, same traditions, doesn't fall into this trap. Joe, Jim, Bernie and everyone else act like people. Their reactions to things, while couched in tradition, are also rounded by common sense.

So this book doesn't waste time on blaming chindi and skinwalkers. Instead it builds suspense on the foibles of personal shortcomings and with the harsh changeability of the landscape.

Five stars

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