HarperCollins Speakers Bureau

Anne Hillerman

New York Times Bestselling Author of Southwestern Mysteries


  • What I Learned about Writing from Tony Hillerman
  • How Public Libraries Saved My Life
  • Landscape as Character: Writing About the Sites and People of the American Southwest
  • Tales from “The Tale Teller”: How History Helped Me Write a Mystery
  • Willows to Widows: My Unlikely Journey from Garden Books to Murder Mysteries
  • Why Stories Matter


New Mexico
More Media

Anne Hillerman came to New Mexico as a child with her mother, Marie, and her father, Tony Hillerman. She grew up in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, the eldest of the family’s six children. She received a journalism degree from the University of New Mexico and worked as a newspaper reporter, editor and columnist before becoming a full-time author. She is the New York Times bestselling author of Spider Woman’s DaughterRock with WingsSong of the Lion, and Cave of Bones, as well as several nonfiction books.

She is honored and delighted to continue the mystery series Tony Hillerman created. The Joe Leaphorn stories began with the publication of The Blessing Way in 1970 and continued through The Shape Shifter in 2006. Anne’s debut novel, Spider Woman’s Daughter (Harper), follows the further adventures of the characters her father made famous, Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee. It places one of Tony’s supporting characters, officer Bernadette Manuelito, in the spotlight to make the series her own. The book received the Spur Award from Western Writers of America for the Best First Novel of 2013.

Her second mystery in the series, Rock with Wings (Harper), quickly became a New York Times bestseller. Set on the Navajo Nation in the beautiful country near Shiprock, New Mexico and in Monument Valley, the book involves a missing woman, a mysterious car fire, solar energy, a movie company, and an unexpected grave.

The third book, Song of the Lion (Harper), also is a New York Times bestseller. It opens with a deadly explosion in the Shiprock High School parking lot and takes the detectives to the Grand Canyon and a mediation to help determine the fate of a controversial development.

The fourth book in the series, Cave of Bones (Harper), was released to glowing reviews in April 2018. The story takes the reader and Bernadette Manuelito to the rugged landscape of El Malpais near the Ramah Navajo reservation. The plot follows a lost teenager and the group leader who goes to search for her. Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn come into play as the situation grows more dangerous and complex.

The fifth, The Tale Teller (Harper)returns Joe Leaphorn to his role of protagonist and crime solver in a case that has ties to the Navajo’s Long Walk. While Leaphorn is hard at work, Bernie and Chee travel to the Canyon de Chelly/Chinle area to solve an unexplained murder and the theft of an old man’s prized possession.

Hillerman also is the author of the award-winning Tony Hillerman’s Landscape: On the Road with Chee and Leaphorn, created with husband/photographer Don Strel, and honored as the best photo book of the year by the Mountains and Plains Booksellers.

A popular presenter for festivals, conferences, historical societies and libraries, Hillerman charms audiences with her tales of the Southwest and her journey as a writer.

In addition to working on the next novel, Hillerman is a director of Wordharvest Writers Workshops, a past board member of Western Writers of America, and a staunch supporter of public libraries.

Praise for Anne Hillerman:

“Anne Hillerman’s signing/talk at the Cibola County Historical Society (March 2019) was very well received. All of those in attendance were very interested. Comments such as “She really let us see her family and how she writes.” And “Her books are so true to New Mexico and the Southwest.” I still encounter people who thank the Historical Society “for the event and the chance to meet Anne”. I really enjoyed the fact that Joe Leaphorn was back in the latest book. I think Joe is my hero. Of course, I enjoy that Bernie is earning her place even more and has a great marriage with Chee.” We are waiting for the next book!!
--Mary Savacheck, President, Cibola County Historical Society

“The Placitas Community Library has hosted talks by Anne Hillerman six times in the last eight years and will have the honor of her presence and generous donations for our building expansion fund raiser May 25. Anne always packs the house to overflowing and provides a warm, lively talk about her writing, her father's writing, and/or her life experience. Usually, we get a bit of all three topics which pleases everyone. She is easy to work with and an all-around delight.”
--Anne Grey Frost, Director, Placitas Community Library

“Anne Hillerman is a great storyteller and spoke from the heart. Her appearance and remarks were an entertaining and welcomed addition to our Master Agents trip to Santa Fe, NM. She set the tone for an amazing week.”
--William W. Montgomery, Chairman, President & CEO, Celina Insurance Group

Praise for The Tale Teller:

“Hillerman’s writing becomes stronger with every new installment in the series, deepening the development of each character. Fans will be intrigued by the intertwining stories that keep them guessing. The picturesque Southwest, as well as the history of the Navajo, come through on each page.”
-- Library Journal (starred review)

“A natural hit with Hillerman’s many fans; [The Tale Teller] is also a good
choice for readers who are interested in fiction touching on today’s social issues.”
-- Booklist

The Tale Teller is more than just a police procedural set in the Southwest, it’s a reading experience not to be missed. Anne Hillerman has reached a new level of storytelling in this one, and she deserves recognition as one of the finest mystery authors currently working in the genre.”
-- New York Journal of Books

Praise for Cave of Bones:

“As Hillerman continues her father’s legacy through his beloved characters, she’s gradually and gratifyingly finding her own voice.”
-- Kirkus

“Hillerman seamlessly blends tribal lore and custom into a well-directed plot, continuing in the spirit of her late father, Tony, by keeping his characters (like Chee) in the mix, but still establishing Manuelito as the main player in what has become a fine legacy series.”
-- Booklist

“Anne’s voice is exceptional, the tool of a natural storyteller.”
-- NewsOK

Cave of Bones is simply a pleasure to read...Hillerman’s best novel yet.”
-- Comic Book Bin

“This fictional universe now belongs firmly in the hands of Anne Hillerman”
-- New York Journal of Books

Praise for Song of the Lion:

“Fans of Leaphorn, Chee, and Manuelito, characters created by the author’s father, Tony Hillerman, will savor this multilayered story of suspense, with its background of contemporary environmental vs. development issues.”
-- Library Journal

“Though seasoned mystery readers may guess the perpetrator before the tense denouement, the book offers insights on the strength of family ties and the possibilities of redemption after a history of pain.”
-- Publishers Weekly

“The latest from Hillerman continues worldbuilding in a tale that will reward long-term readers.”
-- Kirkus Reviews

“Hillerman seamlessly blends tribal lore and custom into a well-directed plot, continuing in the spirit of her late father, Tony, by keeping his characters (like Chee) in the mix, but still establishing Manuelito as the main player in what has become a fine legacy series.”
-- Booklist

Praise for Rock with Wings:

“Hillerman uses the southwestern setting as effectively as her late father did while skillfully combining Native American lore with present-day social issues.”
-- Publishers Weekly

“With a background of tribal law and custom, Anne Hillerman ties up multiple subplots in concise prose, evoking the beauty of the desert and building suspense to a perilous climax. Tony would be proud.”
-- Booklist

Praise for Spider Woman’s Daughter:

Spider Woman’s Daughter is an intricately plotted, suspenseful, colorful, and unforgettable journey. Readers will fall in love with Bernie Manuelito and look forward to Anne Hillerman’s next effort in what should be a long, enjoyable, successful series. Her depiction of the Navajo Nation is spot on. I loved this book.
-- Jo-Ann Mapson, author of award-winning Solomon's Oak and Finding Casey

“Chip off the literary block—there are a lot of things Tony taught is daughter, Anne, and one of them was how to tell a good story. Spider Woman’s Daughter is a proud addition to the legacy, capturing the beauty and breath of the Southwest as only a Hillerman can.”
-- Craig Johnson, author of the Walt Longmire Mysteries

“A daughter takes on her famous father’s legacy in resuming a series focused on Navajo culture…maintaining the integrity…throughout.”
-- Kirkus Reviews

“[H]eart-stopping, action-packed...VERDICT Fans of Southwestern mysteries will cheer this return of Leaphorn and Chee.”
-- Library Journal (starred review)

“Difficult to put down...If you love mysteries, this book is for you.”
-- Examiner.com

Praise for Tony Hillerman’s Landscape:

“A multilayered odyssey . . . Tony Hillerman’s Landscape is an alluring and assiduously researched travel memoir, and a revealing behind-the-scenes chronicle of the peoples and settings that inspired Hillerman’s atmospheric mysteries. It’s a must-have for fans of Southwest mysteries and devotees of Indian Country.”
-- New Mexico Magazine

“You’ve read the books, now see the land. . . . It’s like having Tony Hillerman still with us.”
-- Denver Post