Written by Ella Thomson on Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

We have gotten messages asking us about the potential continuation of the Leaphorn and Chee series after the unfortunate passing of author Tony Hillerman, and we are pleased to announce that the series will be continuing under Anne Hillerman, daughter of Tony.

Also, Anne will be expanding the role of Jim Chee’s girlfriend, Bernadette Manuelito.

“In [Skeleton Man], she really acts like a police officer and not just the love-struck girlfriend of Jim Chee,” Anne said.

“But in the end, Jim Chee saves the day. I was sad she had to get rescued. But [Dad] said, ‘I think you’re right. I could do more with her.'”

During his lifetime, Tony won every major mystery award and also served as the president of the Mystery Writers of America.

Anne has been spending most of her career writing non-fiction, but now she is ready to move onto fiction and to try and fill her father’s (deep) shoes. She would often get approached whenever she was talking about her father.

“People would say to me, ‘Was there another novel in his computer or in a desk drawer?'” Anne said. “There wasn’t.”

That’s what caused Anne to decide to continue the series.

“I felt like his characters were part of the family,” she said. “I had heard him talk about these guys like they were real guys. It was ‘Leaphorn this’ and ‘Chee that.'”

Order of Books » News » Despite Hillerman’s Death, Leaphorn & Chee Live On