Farewell, Mr. Hillerman
I never had the privilege of meeting Tony Hillerman, but I knew him through his books. I immersed myself in the adventures of his two Navajo cops. Wonderful characters: experienced, level-headed, secular Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn, opposed to rookie Detective Jim Chee, who had such a hard time mixing his police duties with his ongoing training as a medicine man, and such a knack for discovering exactly the wrong love interest.
Tony Hillerman, like all great writers, knew how to share his passions with his readers. His affection for the Navajo Nation and the other native inhabitants of the Four Corners was matched by his love for the immense open spaces of the Rez, the Hopi mesas, the pueblos, the wonderful painted walls of Canyon de Chelly. I should add that he was as popular in France as in the United States.
Today Tony Hillerman died at the age of 83, and it feels like the loss of a friend.