Friday, August 8, 2008

Ella Clah

For a person who loves to read, discovering a new author is a fine experience. I recently came across not one, but two--Aimée and David Thurlo--who team up to write the Ella Clah mysteries. What a find for me! Not only is this a series that takes place in Navajo country, but there is a whole shelf and a half of their books in the library for me to look forward to.

In the first of the series, Blackening Song, Ella is introduced as a young FBI investigator who returns to her family home on the reservation when her father is brutally killed. Publisher's Weekly, in their starred review, says Contrasting the high-tech and hyperrational methods of the FBI with the ritual world of the Navajo (native witchcraft figures prominently) the Thurlos ratchet up a lot of suspense.

If you've been reading the Skinwalker Tales on this blog lately, you'll be pleased to find many more details about skinwalkers in Blackening Song.

Because David Thurlo was raised on the Navajo Reservation, until he left to go to the University of New Mexico, the Ella Clah books are filled with information about the culture of the Navajo, or Diné, people. The overall theme seems to be finding a balance between tradition and modern life or, as Booklist puts it, "walking in beauty" (being able to find the balance between positive and negative forces in life).

Ella Clah series

Blackening Song 1995
Death Walker 1996
Bad Medicine 1997
Enemy Way 1998
Shooting Chant 1999
Red Mesa 2000
Changing Woman 2002
Plant Them Deep 2003
Tracking Bear 2003
Wind Spirit 2004
White Thunder 2005
Mourning Dove 2006
Turquoise Girl 2007
Coyote's Wife (Oct. '08)
Earthway (coming in '09)

1 comment:

Sylvia K said...

Thank you for giving me some new reading material! I love reading, I love mysteries and particularly ones with interesting backgrounds and have read several about the Navajos, so I'm making a copy of your list and heading for the library today! Thanks, Clariz, always enjoy you blog and thanks for visiting mine.