She's in a lot of trouble with the FBI for fucking up, but her boss whom she has a crush on, Jim Chee, calls up his old boss Joe Leaphorn, and they do their best to get her out of trouble. Chee busting his ass to protect Bernie is SO ADORABLE. But of course, Jim Chee is shit at communicating, and so Bernie is sad and upset and thinks she's let her boss/love down. But Chee's having very different thoughts about Bernie. Even though Leaphorn and Chee are still not what I would call "besties," they are warming up to each other. Chee's still hesitating to corroborate with Leaphorn on cases. The men are extra cute in this book, just very adorable, especially when they come together to defend Bernie and also to trick the FBI. <3 Louisa and Joe Leaphorn are still living together but still not kissing or doing anything romantic/sexual. Of course, Leaphorn is still mourning his dead wife. But touching only her pillow - reaching for the woman he loved and feeling only the cold vacuum her absence had left - always started his day with grief. And even though he brings Louisa along on his police private investigations and discusses cases with her, he feels guilty about it. But he couldn't think of a way to tell her that maybe it would be better if she went about her academic business and left homicide to the cops. Another thing that annoyed me was the end of the novel, when Bernie (view spoiler)decides to leave the police force because "it's too violent" - which I think is a bunch of crap - and so she severs her work connection with Jim Chee and they'll be free to date and snuggle.
The murder of this man, Doherty, and an old case Joe Leaphorn worked years ago seem to be related. It is tied to the legend of The Wailing Woman, the lost treasure of The Golden Calf, and the Halloween night years ago that Wiley Denton shot the con man McKay. Tony Hillermans Navajo Mysteries with Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn are infamous. He wants to know if it has any relation to his previous case where Wiley Denton shot a con man trying to sell him the location The Golden Calf. Everything from the old case gets turned over, including Dentons missing wife, who was supposed to go to a lunch with her friends the day of the murder. Denton, in fact, hires Leaphorn during this book to look into her missing persons case. Leaphorn cant shake the feeling this has something to do with the police report of three kids on that Halloween night. By the end of the night two of the kids were convinced they heard La Llorana/the wailing woman, another one was sure it was a Skinwalker, and the last thought it was vampire. I read all of Hillermans books several years ago.
I especially enjoyed the interplay of Navajo culture throughout the novel and how it was essential to the plotline, even from the initial scene when a Navajo police officer does not fully examine a dead body because of Navajo taboos about death.
Another good story with a nice twist at the end.
Joe Leaphorn, if not the main character, is definitely right up there with Jim and Bernie.
This book features Joe Leaphorn, Jim Chee and Bernie Manuelito as they worked the same cases from different aspects..
One of the later books in Hillerman's series of crime novels set in the Navajo Reservation in Arizona and New Mexico, with regular characters Joe Leaphorn (now retired, no longer the "legendary lieutenant") and Sgt. Jim Chee. Along the way, Jim Chee finds a new love with Officer Bernie Manuelito (Janet Peet having left the scene in a previous book).
I love Hillermans trio of retired Officer Leaphorn, Lt. Jim Chee and beautiful Officer Berni Maunuelito who wend their way through Navajo cultural parables, taboos and medicine men to solve another murder on the reservation. When will the FBI get a truly competent Navajo speaker who can unravel the medicine tales of a cultural icon such as Hostiin Peshlakai?
The problem is that he is also attracted to this young woman and finds it difficult to separate his feelings from his judgment of her abilities. Enter retired Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn who trained Chee who also believes in Bernadette's abilities.
Hillerman, a consistently bestselling author, was ranked as New Mexico's 25th wealthiest man in 1996.