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Annotated Reference Guide to Collectible Books

Hillerman, Tony

Some authors are a pleasure to collect, for their personality as expressed through their inscriptions. One such author is Tony Hillerman, a man who had consistent success with his detective-thriller books throughout his life, despite being relatively little known outside of the US.

When it comes to writing, Tony Hillerman was an unabashed entertainer. He delivered action-packed, thrilling, and often times creepy or fearsome tales of crime, revenge, and murder in the American south-west. What separated his books from others perhaps, was his attention to detail and loving attention to their setting: that of the Navajo Tribal Police (who exist concurrently with Federal Authorities in America, and between which there is rich grounds for tension, conflict, and constant negotiation). Hillerman set the vast majority of his detective fiction in Navajo regions, through the eyes of the Tribal Police, and used it as a vehicle to explore the differences between the two side-by-side cultures. Other books that Hillerman has written all lovingly evoke the American south-west, and he was ‘claimed’ as New Mexico’s greatest writer.

Of the books most commonly available at auction, The Blessing Way (Harper and Row 1970) can be found with prices ranging from three hundred US dollars up to a thousand. The varying factor is usually the quality of the dust jacket (which, for The Blessing Way is a very attractive blue design) and of any authorial inscriptions. Inscriptions usually seem to be of a personal nature, and not formulaic. Penned missives to store clerks who have asked their books to be signed and similar personal thanks for the support.

Another good option to collect of this authors would be Dance Hall of the Dead in the same series, (Harper and Row, 1973) which won the Edgar Award for the best mystery novel of that year, and pretty much describes the entire later landscape of south-west American crime literature. A copy can cost as much as a thousand dollars if signed with an attractive yellow, orange collage-like cover. Or, consider The Listening Woman (Harper Collins 1978) with a yellow-and orange colored dust jacket for slightly less (under $800).

If, however, your collecting tastes veer more towards the unique, then you may be interested in purchasing The Fly on the Wall (Harper and Row, New York 1971), Hillerman’s second novel, but, unlike most of the others was not in the same series as his Navajo Tribal Police. Still much sought-after, this slightly out-of-the-way novel can be worth from five hundred to up a thousand US dollars, if found inscribed by the author, and with a very fine dust jacket still intact.

Hillerman, Tony. The Blessing Way. Harper & Row, New York (1970). First 'Joe Leaphorn' mystery; multiple printings within same year

Hillerman, Tony. The Blessing Way. Macmillan, London (1970). First UK Edition; First 'Joe Leaphorn' mystery

Hillerman, Tony. Fly On The Wall. Harper & Row, New York (1971).

Hillerman, Tony. The Boy Who Made Dragonfly. Harper & Row, New York (1972). ?A Zuni Myth÷; Illustrated by Lazslo Kubinyi with 13 B&W illustrations; children's book; trade edition

Hillerman, Tony. Dance Hall Of The Dead. Harper & Row, New York (1973). 2nd book in Leaphorn series; multiple printings in first edition

Hillerman, Tony. Dance Hall of the Dead. Pluto Press, London and Sydney (1973). A Leaphorn Mystery

Hillerman, Tony. The Great Taos Bank Robbery. University of New Mexico, Albuquerque (1973). ?And Other Indian Country Affairs÷

Hillerman, Tony. The Spell of New Mexico. University of New Mexico, Albuquerque (1976).

Hillerman, Tony. Listening Woman. Harper & Row, New York (1978). 4th Leaphorn mystery series;

Hillerman, Tony. Listening Woman. Harper & Row, New York (1978). Special First Edition/First Priting; 20 pages of original b&w sketches; 4th in the Leaphorn mystery series

Hillerman, Tony. People of Darkness. Harper & Row, New York (1980). 1st in the Chee mystery series

Hillerman, Tony. People of Darkness. Victor Gollancz, London (1982). UK First Edition; A Chee mystery

Hillerman, Tony. The Dark Wind. Harper & Row New York (1982). 2nd book in Chee mystery series

Tony Hillerman. The Ghostway. Harper & Row, New York (1984). First trade edition; A 'Chee' mystery; multiple printings

Hillerman, Tony. Dance Hall of the Dead. Pluto Press, London (1985). First UK edition; A Leaphorn mystery

Hillerman, Tony. Ghostway. Harper Collins, New York. (1985). Trade edition; A 'Chee' mystery; multiple printings, first published in 1984

Hillerman, Tony. Skinwalkers. Harper & Row, New York (1986). Color illustrations by Ernie Franklin; A Chee/Leaphorn mystery

Hillerman, Tony. A Thief of Time. Harper & Row, New York (1988). Limited edition of 250 numbered copies, signed by Hillerman; A Leaphorn mystery; contains drawing by Ernest Franklin

Hillerman, Tony. Talking God. Harper & Row, New York (1989). Limited edition of 300 numbered copies, signed by Hillerman; full-page colour art by Ernie Franklin; A Chee/Leaphorn mystery

Hillerman, Tony. Words, Weather and Wolfmen. Southwesterner Books, New Mexico (1989). Eric Bulow; ?Conversations with Tony Hillerman÷; Illustrated by Ernie Franklin; Limited Edition of 350 copies, Deluxe Edition of 26 lettered copies with additional pen and ink drawing; signed by Hillerman, Franklin, and Ernie bulow

Hillerman, Tony. Coyote Waites. Harper & Row, New York (1990). Illustrated by Ernest Franklin (2 colour, 1 b&w full page); First Edition, first printing; Limited Edition of 500 numbered copies; signed by author

Hillerman, Tony. The Fly on the Wall. Armchair Detective, New York (1990). Reprint; Slipcase New Introduction by author; Limited Edition of 500 signed and numbered copies; Deluxe Edition of 26 signed and lettered copies

Hillerman, Tony. Dance Hall of the Dead. Armchair Detective Library, New York (1991). Limited edition of 100 numbered copies, signed by author; A Leaphorn mystery; Armchair reprint

Hillerman, Tony. Hillerman Country. Harper Collins, New York (1991). ?A Journey Through the Southwest with Tony Hillerman÷; Trade Edition; plus Limited edition of 200 copies signed by author; edition also includes trade edition; +200 colour photos by Barney Hillerman

Bulow, Ernie. Navajo Taboos. Buffalo Medicine, New Mexico (1991). Foreward by Tony Hillerman; Illustrations by Ernest Franklin; 50 cartoon illustrations; Limited edition of 50 copies with original watercolour, signed by Bulow, Hillerman, and Franklin

Hillerman, Tony. Talking Mysteries. Albuquerque, New Mexico (1991). ?A Conversation with Tony Hillerman÷; Text by Tony Hillerman and Ernie Bulow; Illustrations by Ernest Franklin; Signed by authors and artist

Hillerman, Tony. Sacred Clowns. Harper & Row, New York (1993). Illustrated by Ernie Franklin; Limited edition of 526 copies, 500 numbered copies, 26 lettered copies (for private distribution) signed by author

Hillerman, Tony. Listening Woman. Armchair Detective Library, New York (1994). New introduction by Hillerman; Limited Edition of 100 numbered copies and 26 lettered copies, signed by author; Slipcase; A Leaphorn mystery; Armchair reprint

Hillerman, Tony. People of Darkness. Armchair Detective, New York (1994). New introduction by Hillerman; Limited Edition of 100 numbered copies and 26 lettered copies, signed by author; Slipcase; A Leaphorn mystery; Armchair reprint

Hillerman, Tony. Finding Moon. Harper Collins, New York (1995). 2 colour illustrations by Ernest Franklin; first edition with slipcase; Limited edition of 326 copies, 300 numbered copies and 26 lettered copies, signed by author

Hillerman, Tony. The Fallen Man. Harper Collins, New York (1996). Illustrations by Ernest Franklin; first edition with slipcase; Limited edition of 326 copies, 300 numbered copies and 26 lettered copies, signed by author

Hillerman, Tony. Canyon De Chelly. Cahill, California (1998). Illustrated by Ernest Franklin; Limited Edition, 174 numbered copies and 26 lettered copies, signed by author and artists

Hillerman, Tony. The First Eagle. HarperCollins Publishers, New York (1998). Illustrated by Ernest Franklin; Limited edition of 250 numbered copies, signed by author; slipcase

Hillerman, Tony. Tony Hillermans Indian Country Map & Guide. Time Traveler Maps, Mancos, Colorado (1998). Fold-out map; art by Tharpe

Hillerman, Tony (editor). Best American Mystery Stories of the Century.. Houghton Mifflin & Co, New York (2000). Limited edition of 100 numbered copies signed by Hillerman

Hillerman, Tony. Sacred Land. Buffalo Medicine Books, New Mexico (2000). Illustrated by Ernest Franklin; Limited edition of 100 numbered copies signed by Hillerman, Franklin, and Bulow

Hillerman, Tony. Buster Mesquites Cowboy Band. Buffalo Medicine Books, New Mexico (2001). Illustrated with 26 paintings Ernest Franklin; Limited edition of 100 numbered copies and 26 lettered copies signed by Hillerman and Franklin

Hillerman, Tony. The Blessing Way. Sidewinder Publishing, Albuquerque, New Mexico. (2006). Illustrated with 11 full colour illustrations by Ernest Franklin; Foreward by Ernie Bulow; Limited edition of 100 numbered copies signed by Hillerman, Franklin, and Bulow