Tony Hillerman was an American crime novelist and author of 29 books, 18 of which comprised a series about two fictional Navajo police officers named Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee. The first book in the series was titled "The Blessing Way" and was published in 1970.
Joe Leaphorn is introduced in the first book and is the principal character in the second and third books, titled "Dance Hall of the Dead" and "Listening Woman" respectively. Jim Chee is introduced in the fourth book, titled "People Of Darkness," which was published in 1980. The next novels, "The Dark Wind" and "The Ghostway" also feature Chee.
Leaphorn and Chee work together solving murders for the first time in the series' seventh title, "Skinwalkers," published in 1986. The series continued after this, focusing on crime on the Navajo reservation, with the titles "A Thief of Time," "Talking God," "Coyote Waits," "Sacred Clowns" and "The Fallen Man."
The "Navajo Tribal Police" series ran from 1970 to 2006, when the final book, titled "The Shape Shifter," was published. Hillerman's died in 2008, but his daughter, Anne, continued the series in 2013 with "Spider Woman's Daughter," which focused on Jim Chee's wife Bernadette Manuelito, also a Navajo tribal police officer.
From 1988 to 2002, Hillerman was nominated numerous times for the mystery writers' Anthony and Macavity Awards.