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Local authors add to mystery series

Thurlo-bookA Navajo female police investigator hunts the person who murdered an old friend in a new novel by a Corrales couple.

Aimée and David Thurlo have written 17 Ella Clah mysteries, the latest of which — “Ghost Medicine” — has just been published.

According to publisher Tor/Forge, in the book, Navajo police special investigator Clah begins working with county deputy Dan Nez when her murder case connects with his investigation into stolen government property. She also must deal with mutual attraction between her and Nez, and with balancing traditional and modern aspects of Navajo culture.

“These aren’t just police procedural,” Aimée said of the books in the series. “They’re about a woman trying to walk between two cultures.”

The first Ella Clah novel was published in 1996. It was the Thurlos’ first foray into the mystery genre, although they had written romantic suspense in the past. Aimée said the inspiration for the series came as she and David were driving back from his high school reunion in Shiprock and trying to decide what writing project to do next.


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David said since their romance novels were told from the woman’s point of view, they wanted a female Navajo police officer. His high school classmates gave supportive feedback about the idea, especially its local setting.

Clah may take a hiatus after “Ghost Medicine,” Aimée said, because she and David are each working on other series. Still, since the response to the Clah books has been so good, she expects the fictional detective to be back.

“Ghost Medicine” is available at most book stores.