Sacred Clowns (1993)
Sacred Clowns is the eleventh Navajo Mystery Novel and features Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn of the Navajo Tribal Police. Leaphorn and Chee have been recently reassigned as a team for the Special Investigations Office of the Navajo Tribal Police, but their working relationship is an uneasy one. They must put this unease behind them and work to solve a case whose murders will lead them both to a mission school on the Navajo Reservation and out of their jurisdiction to Tano Indian pueblo.
Yesterday a teacher was killed at a mission school on the Navajo Reservation, but today in the Tano Indian pueblo murder seems inconceivable as a tribal ceremony unfolds. The sacred kachinas have danced into the ancient plaza, and the koshare in their grotesque disguises have tumbled down from the rooftops to ape the foolishness of humankind. At first, the crowd welcomes this troupe of sacred clowns with laughter. But something in one clown's red wagon hushes the crowd. And then murder strikes at Tano.
Leaphorn and Chee have been recently reassigned as a team for the Special Investigations Office of the Navajo Tribal Police, but their paring is still an uneasy one. Though the murder at Tano is out of their jurisdiction and seemingly unconnected to the murder of the school teacher, when a runaway student ties the cases together they must get past their unease to solve this case.