A packed room greeted Anne Hillerman at Mesa Public Library last Wednesday. Many of those attending were fans of Anne’s father, Tony Hillerman, who had come to learn more about “Spider Woman’s Daughter,” Anne’s continuation of his popular mystery series set in Navajo country.
“The book was released Oct.1, and I feel like this month has been one giant baby shower,” Hillerman said.
Hillerman has won numerous awards for her nonfiction writing. Her books include “Tony Hillerman’s Landscape: on the Road with Chee and Leaphorn,” which combines Hillerman’s narrative with photographs by her husband, Don Strel. This was Hillerman’s first venture into fiction.
After providing some biographical information about her father and his career, Hillerman spoke about growing up with his two main characters, Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee. Tony wrote 18 mystery novels in the series, as well as 12 nonfiction books, two non-series novels and three stories for children.
“Dad’s work was praised for its pioneering use of a new kind of detective: crime solvers who were not jaded white guys with a bottle of bourbon in their desk drawer, but guys like him who appreciated a good cup of coffee,” Hillerman said.