Tony Hillerman was born in 1925 in Oklahoma. Earned a masters degree and taught journalism in Albuquerque, New Mexico where he resided with his wife until he died in 2008. There are 18 books in his "Navajo Series" and he wrote more than 30 books overall.
In the following list a single star indicates a book that I own. Two stars indicate a book that I have read.
The Blessing Way 1970, the first Joe Leaphorn novel. Hillerman himself recommends not starting with this book.
* Dance Hall of the Dead 1973, the second Joe Leaphorn novel.
* Listening Woman 1978, one of the best.
The first 3 novels (above) featured Joe Leaphorn only, the next three feature Jim Chee, after three of those we find them together.
People of Darkness 1980, introduces Jim Chee
* The Dark Wind 1982, badly handled by a movie starring Lou Diamond Phillips. (Even includes Leaphorn in the movie, though he is missing in the book).
* The Ghostway 1984, Chee and Mary Landon crisis comes to a head.
The rest of the books feature both Chee and Leaphorn.
* Skinwalkers 1986, Chee and Leaphorn reluctantly collaborate. very good. Leaphorns wife dies after this novel and before the next.
* A Thief of Time 1988, Maybe one of the best.
* Talking God 1989, The Smithsonian book, "Mr. Leaphorn goes to Washington". The worst of the books.
Coyote Waits 1990, a good one. introduces Leaphorns friend Louise Bourbonette
* Sacred Clowns 1993,
The Fallen Man 1996,
The First Eagle 1998,
* Hunting Badger 1999, Too many villians, an editing error repeats an entire scene.
The Wailing Wind 2002, Good, Bernie Manuelitos novel.
The Sinister Pig 2003, The pipeline book, somewhat weak.
Skeleton Man 2004,
The Shape Shifter 2006, Jim and Bernie are married!
Tom's Favorite Books / firstname.lastname@example.org