Reader reviews for Skeleton Man

Decent enough story, but the true appeal of the Chee/Leaphorn mysteries are their details about Navajo and Hopi life, culture, and myths, and this one has very little of any of that. I'd recommend any of the other books in this series, but you can stay away from this one. I have a feeling this (17th) is the last of Hillerman's Chee/Leaphorn stories, and even if it isn't, it's probably the last one I read. The story is a little too convoluted, and its solution pretty predicable. Too bad, I've always enjoyed these characters.
Permalink · Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Although not great literature, Tony Hillerman delivers a tight story around characters one has come to consider family over the course of his writing.
Permalink · Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Slumped in the middle via repetition, but always interesting characters solving am interesting mystery.
Permalink · Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Outsiders are a big part of this mystery. Their actions result in problems that Leaphorn and Chee must deal with. When a friend of cowboy Dashee gets arrested for stealing a diamond that he claims was given to him by an old Indian, Dashee asks Jim to help him prove his friend is innocent. This chain of events gets Leaphorn remembering a diamond an old trader claimed to own. Are they real diamonds? Where did they really come from? Were they lost during a major disaster involving two passenger planes? And why are so many Easterners suddenly interested in the diamonds? Leaphorn does most of the thinking while Jim, Dashee and Bernie are involved in most of the action.
Permalink · Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Typical Hillerman, with Joe Leaphorn in a supporting role as the legendary retired lieutenant and Jim Chee still on the force. The story centers on the results of a mid-air collision of two aircraft in the 1950s, lost diamonds, and the rapacity of greedy Easterners, and features Jim and Bernie and Cowboy Dashee.
Permalink · Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
No rating provided
A disapointing book: I've read all the previous Chee-Leaphorn books and I've thoroughly enjoyed them. Up until now. Hillerman's previous books were sometimes a bit clumsy but the story and Navajo culture kept me involved. This time, the story simply became too tedious and the errors in the text became too irritating. A little over halfway through this book, I stopped reading it and I never returned.

Not since reading "Finding Moon" by Hillerman have I been so disappointed. In "Finding Moon", it appeared Hillerman lost interest in the story and ended the book abruptly. In "Skeleton Man", Hillerman began the book with a confusing first chapter and continued to confuse. For instance, the character Tuve said he traded a military entrenching tool (a type of shovel) for his diamond and, in the story told by the old storekeeper, the cowboy traded a knife. Later in the book, however, Tuve was referred to as trading a "fancy jackknife" for the diamond. I think Hillerman confused himself. Also, the basis of the book seems to be flawed--I, like a previous reviewer, thought DNA could be traced through generations rather than just from parent to child. And, worst of all for me as a Hillerman fan, the Chee and Leaphorn characters simply bored me to tears in this book.

As stated, I did not finish the book. At some point I decided my time was worth more than "Skeleton Man" had to offer. Very disappointing.
Permalink · Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
An okay way to pass some time, but nothing to highly recommend. A little tighter than some other of his recent mysteries, but nothing like the first Leaphorn/Chee mysteries. As others have said, the native American culture is no longer central to his plots, only background color. I wish he had stayed more with Leaphorn's handling of his retirement which seemed central at the beginning, but simply disappeared as the book wore on.
Permalink · Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Although I can't fault the plotting, I feel that I now read Tony Hillerman's books more to keep up on what's happening with Jim Chee, Joe Leaphorn and Bernie Manuelito. Still, well worth the time spent.
Permalink · Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Tony Hillerman returns to the bookshelf with this tale based on a 1956 plane crash in the Grand Canyon. While Jim Chee is suffering a little anxiety over his forthcoming marriage to Bernie Manuelito, Joe Leaphorn is called in for a consultation. Leaphorn digs up old memories and, with Chee, an old case. As always, Hillerman’s characters are as welcome as old friends.Published in hardcover by Harper Collins.
Permalink · Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Navajo County Deputy Sheriff Cowboy Dashee’s cousin is accused of stealing and pawning a large diamond. Sargent Jim Chee, Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn (ret.) and Chee’s fiancée Bernie Manuelito work together on this case, and prove that the diamond is connected to a plane crash that took place in the Grand Canyon area fifty years ago. A diamond dealer was among the 172 passengers who died in that plane crash, and he had a case of diamonds handcuffed to his wrist at the time. His body was never found but someone had seen a severed arm with the case attached to it, which had been washed away by the canyon water before it could be obtained. The diamond dealer was planning to marry a woman who was carrying his child and their engagement ring was among the missing diamonds. Unfortunately his father did not approve of the fiancé and refused to give her, or the child, any of the estate. After the man’s father died the woman kept trying to obtain a fair share of the estate for her daughter, but the family’s attorneys prevented it and controlled the large estate. Now the daughter is grown and when she heard of the severed arm being spotted she realized that DNA from it could prove that she was the diamond dealer’s daughter and she could receive a portion of the estate of her father. However, the unscrupulous attorneys who controlled the estate, where willing to do whatever was necessary to prevent her from finding that arm. Leaphorn was the narrator of this story and he did not play a large role in it. However, he visited his old friend, McGinnis, at the trading post which had been a hub of activity for many years, but now was abandoned, except for its owner, McGinnis. Leaphorn lamented about the loss of old friends and how things had changed. This novel seems be bringing the Leaphorn and Chee adventures to an end. Pat and I wonder whether it may be the last in the series.
Permalink · Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
scribd