Wayne Winterton evokes MWA Grandmaster Tony Hillerman's Southwest in Whistler's Gold, his debut murder mystery-cum-romance-cum-treasure
hunt thriller set in the remote Navajo community of Tsaya in the 1970s.
years ago, Anderson Shorty was murdered in the trading post after an argument
with his employer Caleb Harris, the bilagaana who inherited the business from his old uncle.
The mystery of the murder lies in the seemingly impossible disappearance of both
the killer and his victim's body within minutes after the deed. Theories abound
on what precipitated the murder, but everyone leaves a wide berth around the
now-crumbling trading post that most believe is haunted by chin'di - evil spirits.
And running like an underground stream throughout is the legend of an
unbelievable treasure whose secret lies in the crumbling pages of a lost
A Navajo boy from Tsaya falls in love with an Anglo classmate in Escondido. Kee Notah and Grace Garretson marry early and raise their daughter, eking out a living as courier service drivers. While transporting the diary of two traitorous Spanish conquistadors and a gold coin believed to be from their stolen treasure, Grace is seriously injured in the robbery of her cargo. As the unscrupulous treasure hunters close in on their prize, Kee and Grace's teenaged daughter and Kee's enigmatic Uncle Harry will play integral roles in the discovery of the secret at Nizhoni Toh - and of a revelation that will rock their family.
Wayne Winterton carves his own place in the desert cliffs of Southwestern Indian mysteries. Following in the broad wake of Tony Hillerman, Aimee and David Thurlo and others, he brings a sharp eye and a tender heart to this tale of a conquistador treasure hidden somewhere in the vast Navajo Reservation. Whistler's Gold is a promising debut from an author whose life
spent as an educator on the reservation and work with New Mexico's Pueblo
Indians has made him an expert on the territory.