Tony Hillerman Leaves the Mystery of Justice Unsolved

Tony Hillerman has gone to reap his heavenly reward.

I begin that way only because I’m sure that the comment would bemuse Hillerman, who died this week at age 83.

You could sum up Hillerman’s career by saying he wrote murder mysteries, mostly about two Navajo policemen. But for my money, that would be like saying that Jane Austen wrote romances, as if they were bodice-rippers.

I’m not usually a reader of mysteries. Raymond Chandler’s critique of the mystery writers before him, in his essay “The Simple Art of Murder,” is blunt, brutal and accurate:

Read more