Talking Mysteries: A Conversation with Tony Hillerman (1991)


In this collection, Tony Hillerman talks about his writing process. This volume contains an autobiographical essay by Hillerman entitled "Mystery, Country Boys and the Big Reservation," an in depth interview with Tony Hillerman by Ernie Bulow, and a Jim Chee mini mystery called "The Witch, Yazzie and the Nice of Clubs" and 12 illustrations inspired by Thief of Time, by artist Ernest Franklin. Talking Mysteries is a revised and rearranged version of Words, Weather and Wolfmen, with the addition of several photos of Tony Hillerman and a map of "Hillerman's territory" which marks locations mentioned in the Navajo mystery novels.


In Talking Mysteries Tony Hillerman discusses the craft of mystery writing, his approach to plot, characterization, and setting, and the wrinkles and twists that make his brand of fiction unique. Included in this book are an extensive interview by long-time friend Ernie Bulow (who has made cameo appearances in three of the Hillerman novels) and an autobiographical piece by Hillerman detailing his early years in Oklahoma, first encounters with Navajo culture, and his eventful life as journalist and author.

As an additional treat a Jim Chee mini-mystery, originally published in 1981 and long unavailable, is included here.

This book contains twelve sketches of Hillerman characters by Navajo artist Ernest Franklin. Speaking of these, Hillerman recently thanked Franklin "for showing me what Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn look like." There is also a map of the Four Corners country in the American Southwest marking locations mentioned in the mysteries.

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