ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — James McGrath Morris, himself an award-winning author, is unflinching in his praise of late New Mexico mystery novelist and journalist Tony Hillerman.
“I think he is under appreciated,” Morris, 64, said during a recent phone interview from a vacation home in Colorado. “He used the genre of mysteries to unravel the mysteries of the Navajo people for the world. He (revealed) who the Navajo people are and what their culture is all about, making them perhaps the best understood American tribe in the world.”
Hillerman, who died in Albuquerque in 2008 at the age of 83, is best known for his 18 mysteries featuring the exploits of Navajo tribal policemen Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee, books that earned him Edgar Allan Poe and Grandmaster awards from the Mystery Writers of America and Spur Awards and the Owen Wister Award for lifetime achievement from the Western Writers of America, among other honors.
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