Skeleton Man (2004)
Skeleton Man is Tony Hillerman's seventeenth Navajo Mystery novel and the second to last book published in this series. This novel features Jim Chee of the Navajo Tribal Police and a retired Joe Leaphorn.
Former Navajo Tribal Police lieutenant Joe Leaphorn comes out of retirement to help investigate what seems to be a trading post robbery. A simpleminded kid nailed for the crime is the cousin of an old colleague of Sergent Jim Chee. He needs help, and Chee and his fiancée, Berni Manuelito, decide to provide it.
Proving the kid's innocence requires finding the remains of one of 172 people whose bodies were scattered among the cliffs of the Grand Canyon in an epic airline disaster fifty years in the past. That passenger had handcuffed to his wrist an attaché case filled with a fortune of diamonds-one of which seems to have turned up in the robbery.
The daughter of that long-dead diamond dealer is also seeking his body. So it is a most unpleasant fellow, willing to kill to make sure she doesn't succeed. These two tense tales collide deep in the canyon at the place where an old man died trying to built a cult reviving reverence for the Hopi guardian of the Underworld. It's a race to finish in a thunderous monsoon to see who will survive, who will be brought to justice, and who will finally unearth the Skeleton Man.