A Thief of Time Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of A Thief of Time

This is probably one of the most suspenseful of the Chee/Leaphorn mysteries. In it we encounter a melancholy and downbeat Joe Leaphorn who, after the sad death of his wife Emma, decides to retire from his job with the Navajo Tribal Police. But then a young anthropologist specializing in ancient Anasazi pottery goes missing, and Leaphorn decides that he must solve the case because Emma would have wanted him to.
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When several murders are committed all involving illegal grave-digging at the sites of the Anasazi ruins, the case becomes more complicated, and Leaphorn teams up with Officer Jim Chee. At least one of the murders was committed with the missing anthropologist's gun. Is she a killer who just faked her own disappearance? If so, what was her motive? The investigation leads Leaphorn into his past as a young police officer when an old acquaintance is murdered whose mentally ill son's life he had once saved.

The review of this Book prepared by Dorothea Lotter

Chapter Analysis of A Thief of Time

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 30% Tone of story    -   very upbeat How difficult to spot villain?    -   Challenging Time/era of story:    -   1980's-1999 What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   60% Special suspect?    -   chronically deranged person Murder of certain profession?    -   criminals Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   "All in the family" murder    -   Proving innocence of very obvious suspect Kind of investigator    -   American Indian mystery Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   police/lawman Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   West

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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Tony Hillerman Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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