Friday Book Memes #1: Song of the Lion

Here are two more memes that I am participating in for the very first time. Most bloggers combine these into one post so I am following along in that fashion.

As mentioned in my WWW Wednesdays post a couple of days ago, I am currently reading Anne Hillerman’s Song Of The Lion (and got to the 63% point in my eReader last night). I am moving slowly through it but hope to finish by next Friday.

The first Friday meme I am debuting today is Book Beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, where bloggers share the first sentence or more of a current read, as well as initial thoughts about the sentence(s), impressions of the book, or anything else that the opening inspires. 

Song of the Lion by Anne Hillerman. Purchase here: (affiliate link)


Navajo Police Officer Bernadette Manuelito stood in the lobby of the Shiprock High School gym, fondly known as the Chieftain Pit of Pain, trying to decide if she should buy a hot dog or a Frito pie from the booster’s stand. Despite the decibel level produced by more than a thousand fans screaming from the bleachers, she recognized the new sound even as she felt the building shake.

This opening paragraph evokes a few memories in me. I have been to Shiprock on several occasions but never for a sporting event. If you don’t know what a Frito pie is, then you are missing out on one of the best unhealthy snacks around (and the debate continues between Texas and New Mexico over who invented it and who has the best-tasting Frito pies — I side with those from the old Woolworth’s on the Santa Fe Plaza).

What do noisy occurrence do you think is causing the building to shake?

The Friday 56 hosted by Freda’s Voice, where you a two-sentence teaser from page 56 of your book, or 56% of the way through your e-book or audiobook (no spoilers!).

At 56%:

The interruption was coming from the desk, electronic music based on a Native flute melody. Reluctantly, he left his lovely wife and picked up Palmer’s forgotten phone.

Who is Palmer and why did he leave his phone behind? Who are the married couple and what were they doing when the phone interrupted them? Do any of you have a Native American ringtone?


The start of the Goodreads overview contains a spoiler to the question I posed in the Beginning, so just an excerpt appears below:

“. . .what seems like an act of ecoterrorism turns out to be something far more nefarious. Piecing together the clues, Bernadette and her husband, Sergeant Jim Chee, uncover a scheme to disrupt the negotiations and inflame tensions between the Hopi and Diné tribes. Retired Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn has seen just about everything in his long career. As the tribal police’s investigation unfolds, he begins to suspect that the bombing may be linked to a cold case he handled years ago. As he, Bernadette, and Chee carefully pull away the layers behind the crime, they make a disturbing a meticulous and very patient killer with a long-simmering plan of revenge. Writing with a clarity and grace that is all her own, Anne Hillerman depicts the beauty and mystery of Navajo Country and the rituals, myths, and customs of its people in a mystery that builds on and complements the beloved, bestselling mysteries of her acclaimed father, Tony Hillerman.”

Are you interested?

Would you want to read more? Have you read any of Anne or Tony Hillerman’s novels before? Let me know in the comments.

I have been a fan of the series since at least the mid-1990s and eventually moved from Kansas to New Mexico partially as a result of reading these books. The place is just as mystical in real life as on the book page. I long to return someday. When I do, I will probably eat a Frito pie even before I get out of the Albuquerque Sunport.

7 thoughts on “Friday Book Memes #1: Song of the Lion

    • At its most basic, a Frito Pie is Fritos corn chips with beef chili as a topping. It was historically served right inside the chips bag, which is split down the middle; toppings typically include shredded cheese and chopped raw onion, and may also include additional items like sour cream and jalapeños. Although with New Mexican cuisine what it is, there are many variations on this now with it often being made as a casserole. I prefer the old-fashioned “walking taco” variant in the Fritios chips bag.

  1. My dad was a huge Tony Hillerman and later Anne Hillerman fan when he was a alive. I haven’t read any of their books, however, which seems like a crime considering I enjoy mysteries and he and I often liked the same books. I hope you have a great weekend!

  2. I loved Tony Hillerman’s books, and I’m glad Anne is carrying on in a similar tradition. I haven’t read this one yet.

    And I love a good Frito pie! I’ve never been to Shiprock, but I lived in Texas for a fair number of years. Frito pie probably has very little redeeming nutritional value, but it is tasty and delicious. And now I want one.

    As for what made the building shake, hmm, I don’t know. Is New Mexico an earthquake hotspot? Did a cement mixer hit the building? I’ll have to read and find out!

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