Talk about a page turner! I had no intention of reading Anne Hillerman’s newest mystery, “The Way of the Bear” for another week. It had just hit the NYT best seller list but I was saving it for a treat after I’d finished the four important projects I was buried in; but, I just thought I’d take a quick look at the beginning — you know, so I’d know what I was looking forward to.

(Yeah, I knew I was treading on dangerous territory — but I have discipline.)

I guess I had forgotten the power of great storytelling and the talent of Anne Hillerman to outdo herself with each new book. Especially this one. And maybe if Bernadette Manuelito hadn’t heard warning shots in the first sentence … but whatever the case, I just refused to put the book down after that.

Those urgent projects could wait and discipline be … well, you know!

The book is firmly set in and around the breathtaking landscape of Bears Ears National Monument. That alone would have been enough to keep me reading as Bernie wanders through the tall sandstone walls on her way to investigate some strange sounds she hears as well as some out of place artifacts she discovers.

Yet even in the evening light she can’t help but admire the panels of petroglyphs that she knows were “painstakingly created by pecking or carving into the rock” in this place sacred to her ancestors as well as those of many other tribal nations past and present.

Finally, she has to set all that aside for the present and return to the motel where she is supposed to meet up with her husband, Jim Chee, so they can spend some time together.

Another factor that contributes to the compelling nature of the novel is the short (two day) time span within which so much happens as Bernie and her husband try to find time together. Though the time period may be short, the novel is certainly not short — of complexity nor of characters in trouble as well as characters causing trouble, as if pieces of an intricate but unknown puzzle have been scattered by the wind and keep turning up in odd places.

And there seems to be so much danger and surprise at every turn that I found it impossible to put the book down until I knew what happened; of course, by then, so much else was going on with both Chee and Manuelito that I still couldn’t let things rest.

In short, you have a great read awaiting you!

And as if that weren’t enough, Anne Hillerman herself will be at the Peregrine on Saturday, May 20, at 2 p.m. to read from and talk about the writing of this wonderfully engrossing mystery. Check out our website,, or call us at 928-445-9000 to find out more.

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