Bernadette “Bernie” Chee and several of her fellow Navajo Nation police officers, including retired Officer Leaphorn, have just finished eating breakfast. She gets up to answer the phone as Leaphorn is exiting the café and witnesses him getting shot in the head. Comforting him while waiting for the ambulance, Bernie promises Leaphorn she will find the shooter. Her husband, officer Jim Chee, heads the investigation and although technically Bernie can’t be on the case, she is not about to be left out. But while trying to fulfill her promise to Leaphorn to find the shooter, she must also deal with family problems involving her sister and mother.
Tony Hillerman passed away in 2006 and his last mystery involving Chee and Leaphorn was published in 2008. For those who have missed these two characters, Hillerman’s daughter’s first mystery continues the series in fine form, evident by the fact that Spider Woman’s Daughter won the 2014 Spur Award for the best first mystery from the Western Writers of America. Navajo lore and tradition and the southwestern landscape are adeptly detailed and the plot line is compelling. By having the focus on Bernie Chee, a new dimension is added by exploring the relationship between her and her husband as well as her mother and sister. For readers, becoming reacquainted with Chee and Leaphorn will be a delight and it is hoped that Anne will continue the series for years to come.
Reviewed by co, 4/14. Other reviews by co.