Synopses & Reviews
FBI area supervisor Simmons asks the Navajo Tribal Police to help locate Andrew Thomas, a federal agent who disappeared after interrupting a Navajo ritual being performed by a group of medicine men or hataaliis. Simmons voices his displeasure when Special Investigator Ella Clah is assigned to the case; he believes that Ella became an FBI agent, more than a decade earlier, due to affirmative action-and that she left because the job was too tough for her.
Ella ignores Simmons' pettiness, knowing that finding the missing man is the highest priority. She won't allow family issues to get in the way, so she asks her daughter's father to become a full-time parent for the duration of her investigation. She even questions her brother, a hataalii himself, about Agent Thomas. Could a medicine man have punished Thomas for disturbing the Sing?
Startlingly, Ella receives a disturbing cell phone call that seems to be from Thomas himself. He's trapped in a dark place, lost and hurt. Ella realizes that time is running out.
With the hataaliis cleared, Ella follows up on Thomas's investigation into Social Security fraud. She is disturbed to see evidence that seems to point to her old friend and Thomas's immediate superior, FBI agent Blalock. Could Blalock steal money and assault one of his own men? Ella can't believe it.
The fraud trail leads through a maze of paperwork, banks, government offices, mortuaries, and into the Navajos' most dearly held-beliefs about death. Only by finding the truth-and fast-will Ella be able to save Andrew Thomas.
"Ella is wonderful, a strong yet caring woman who is as smart as she is beautiful."
Romantic Times BookClub Magazine
Critical acclaim for White Thunder
"Illustrates the typical strengths of the Thurlos with a solid grounding in Native American traditions and beliefs. Well-constructed plots and a recurring cast of growing characters make this one of the best series featuring a Native American sleuth."--Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine
"Ella is a wonderful protagonist, a strong yet caring woman who is as smart as she is beautiful. Readers need not be acquainted with earlier installments to enjoy this latest Clah novel."--Romantic Times BookClub Magazine
"Thoughtfully and intelligently plotted. An excellent entry in an underappreciated series."--Booklist
Critical acclaim for the Ella Clah novels
"Gripping. The Thurlo team brings the tensions inherent in Navajo life alive by showing the myriad ways in which the tribe's traditionalists conflict with the progressives. The Thurlos also focus on how modern crime investigation conflicts with the Navajo belief in chindi, or the evil that remains at death scenes and must be avoided. A spirited blend of Navajo culture and police procedure."--Booklist (starred review) on Tracking Bear
"Tracking Bear is a great police procedural that gives readers an insightful look into the culture of the Navajo living on the reservation today. The who-done-it is complex, compelling and exciting."--Midwest Book Review
"Realistic, fast-paced, and intense. Action scenes keep the plot moving at a quick pace with some surprises along the way, adding to the excitement."--School Library Journal on Changing Woman
"A hair-raising opening. The Thurlos hit all the right notes: they have an intriguing, growing character at the center of a series that combines fast-moving plots and a wealth of fascinating cultural information."--Booklist on Wind Spirit
"Red Mesa is an engrossing mystery as intricately woven as a fine Navajo rug. It kept me guessing to the end."--New York Times bestselling author Margaret Coel
"A fascinating story. Ella Clah, strong and vulnerable at the same time, is an intriguing character of great depth, and the surprise ending will delight all mystery lovers."--Romantic Times on Red Mesa
"An intense, spellbinding family drama in which the battle between good and evil affects both modernist and traditionalist Navajo. Prime reading for fans of Tony Hillerman and other Southwestern mysteries."--Library Journal on Red Mesa
"Thoughtfully and intelligently plotted. An excellent entry in an underappreciated series."
"A solid grounding in Native American traditions and beliefs. One of the best series featuring a Native American sleuth."
Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine
FBI agent Andrew Thomas has disappeared after interrupting a Navajo ritual being performed by a group of medicine men or hataaliis
. Navajo Police Special Investigator Ella Clah is assigned to the case over the objections of Thomas's supervisor, who unfavorably recalls Ella's time with the FBI and believes her to have received special treatment because she is Native American.
Determined to find the missing man, Ella studies Thomas's latest case--a fraud investigation--and finds that evidence is missing or has been tampered with. Clues lead both to the interrupted Sing and to Ella's old friend, FBI agent Blalock. Ella knows Blalock is incapable of assaulting one of his own men--but that leaves the focus on the hataaliis.
The fraud trail leads through a maze of paperwork, banks, government offices, mortuaries, and into the Navajos' most dearly held-beliefs about death. Only by finding the truth--and fast--will Ella be able to save Andrew Thomas.
About the Author
Aimée and David Thurlo
are the authors of the Ella Clah series, the Lee Nez series of Navajo vampire mysteries, and the Sister Agatha novels, mysteries featuring a nun. Their other works include Plant Them Deep
, a novel featuring Rose Destea, the mother of Ella Clah, and The Spirit Line
, a young adult novel.
David was raised on the Navajo Reservation and taught school there until his recent retirement. Aimée, a native of Cuba, has lived in the US for many years. They live in Corrales, New Mexico, and often make appearances at area bookstores.