Leaphorn & Chee: Three Classic Mysteries (1992)

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Tony Hillerman's Navajo mysteries have comprised what the Washington Post Book World has called "one of the consistently superior - and definitely distinctive - mystery series of the last 15 years." In Skinwalkers, Lt. Joe Leaphorn and Officer Jim Chee of the Navajo Tribal Police are united for the first time in a murder investigation that leads them into the dark world of Navajo witchcraft.


When a noted anthropologist arrives at an ancient Anasazi Indian ruin dig for clay pots, she is at first angry to discover that the pre-Navajo burial site has already been despoiled, then terrified by what looms out of the darkness. Weeks later, Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn, investigating a report to the Navajo Tribal Police that the anthropologist has been stealing precious artifacts, discovers she has also been reported as missing. The case turns sinister when Officer Jim Chee, on a routine search for missing excavating equipment, finds more than he expected near a similar dig. Leaphorn joins forces with Chee to unearth the past and solve a bizarre and mystifying series of murders that seem to have only one thing in common-the beautiful and very valuable Anasazi pots.


When Henry Highhawk, a Smithsonian conservator who is part Navajo, sends a coworker the bones of her famous ancestors to protest the museum's policy of not returning ancestral remains to Native Americans, a warrant is put out for his arrest. Arriving at a tribal ceremony in New Mexico, Highhawk is arrested by Tribal Police Officer Jim Chee. Meanwhile, fellow detective Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn is called to investigate a seemingly unrelated case of a nearby murder victim whose body has been carefully stripped of identification.