The Coyote Waits Book: A Brief History

“Coyote Waits” is a thrilling mystery novel written by Tony Hillerman, an acclaimed American author known for his Navajo Tribal Police mystery series. Published in 1990, this book captivates readers with its compelling storyline and intriguing characters.

The Plot

This book revolves around the engaging protagonist duo, Joe Leaphorn, and Jim Chee, both officers in the Navajo Tribal Police. In “Coyote Waits,” they find themselves deep in a perplexing case involving a murdered tribal policeman and a missing tapestry.

The story kicks off with the murder of John Tso, a respected tribal policeman known for his integrity and commitment to solving crimes. During their investigation, Leaphorn and Chee discover that Tso had been assigned to guard an invaluable and sacred Navajo tapestry, which has mysteriously vanished after his death.

As they dig deeper into the case, Leaphorn and Chee uncover a complex web of secrets, deceit, and hidden motives. They encounter numerous challenges and obstacles as they navigate the twists and turns of the investigation, all while trying to shed light on the truth behind the murder and the missing tapestry.

Awards, Criticism, and Praise

“Coyote Waits” received widespread acclaim from both critics and readers alike. Hillerman’s rich storytelling and his ability to immerse readers in the Navajo culture while maintaining a gripping suspenseful narrative have been lauded by many.

This book was a recipient of the prestigious Anthony Award for Best Novel in 1991. It also garnered glowing reviews from renowned publications and authors, cementing its position as a remarkable addition to the mystery genre.

Important Characters

The book “Coyote Waits” introduces readers to several significant characters, each playing a crucial role in advancing the plot and adding depth to the story:

1. Joe Leaphorn: A seasoned Navajo Tribal Police Lieutenant, known for his astute investigative skills and deep understanding of the Navajo culture.

2. Jim Chee: An ambitious and resourceful officer in the Navajo Tribal Police, who also embraces his traditional Navajo beliefs.

3. John Tso: The murdered Navajo tribal policeman, whose death sparks the investigation.

4. The Coyote: A symbolic and recurring element throughout the novel, representative of cunning and trickery.


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