What there's to say? Tony Hillerman was one of the great writers and great gentlemen of mystery fiction. Sarah Weinman has an excellent round-up of respones to his death. http://www.sarahweinman.com/
I thought the Christian Science Monitor's was especially good.
In appreciation of Tony Hillerman
By Marjorie Kehe | 10.27.08
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“Tony Hillerman’s place alongside such great mystery writers as Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is certain,” wrote Monitor Book editor Jim Bencivenga in 1997. Today, as readers worldwide mourn Hillerman’s death at the age of 83, there are many who would agree.
Hillerman wrote “lyrical, authentic and compelling mystery novels set among the Navajos of the Southwest,” books that “blazed innovative trails in the American detective story,” writes Marilyn Stasio in an obituary in today’s International Herald Tribune. “Hillerman’s evocative novels, which describe people struggling to maintain ancient traditions in the modern world, touched millions of readers, who made them best sellers.”
Hillerman’s childhood prepared him well for the books that would eventually make him famous. Born in Sacred Heart, Okla., in 1925, he grew up surrounded by native Americans and their culture. Eventually he landed in New Mexico, where he worked as a journalist till the age of 40 when, restless, he decided to try his hand at writing fiction.
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My novel Sleeping Dogs will soon be available on audio. Here are the details: