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Author Anne Hillerman's debut novel, Spider Woman’s Daughter, received the Western Writers Spur Award as best first novel. That book and the six novels that followed were all New York Times best sellers. Her ninth mystery, Lost Birds was launched April 23, 2024 and the tenth book in the series is due for release in 2025. Her mysteries continue the Navajo detective stories her father Tony Hillerman made popular. When she’s not working, Anne likes to read, cook, ski and travel. She lives in Santa Fe and Tucson with frequent trips to the Navajo Nation.    


About Anne Hillerman


When I was a youngster, I remember grownups asking if I wanted to be a writer like my father, Tony Hillerman. I lied and said no, but secretly I did. My Dad was my hero. He went to work in the morning and came home with something wonderful---stories. At first, they were stories of the news he had covered as a journalist; then stories of the students he taught at the University of New Mexico and, finally, stories of the joys and challenges of his ultimate career as a mystery fiction writer.

Stories have been like oxygen to me from the time I was old enough to climb onto a welcoming lap and snuggle up with the storyteller. My parents shared their deep passion for reading: something vitally important to a potential writer. They also shared their sense of adventure. My five brothers and sisters and I would pile into the family station wagon for trips exploring the Southwest. 

From hearing and reading stories, the next step was writing my own. I started with true stories for student publications, then wrote and edited for newspapers, radio newsrooms, and magazines. That segued into opinion columns, feature stories and reviews, and then to travel guides and other non-fiction books.

After Tony Hillerman died in 2008, I got the happy idea to write a novel that would keep the stories he created alive by putting his characters to work solving new crimes. One of his minor characters, Navajo police officer Bernadette Manuelito became my central protagonist.

Here I am, many novels later, amazed and delighted at what these characters still have to say. And eager to see what happens next.

 Among Anne's career highlights are: 

Anne's Awards Include 

  • 2024 Will Roger Medalian for Western Mystery Fiction

  • Multiple Winner, Southwest Book Design Award, New Mexico Book Association

  • New Mexico Department of Agriculture Rounders Award “to honor those who live, promote and articulate the Western way of life”

  • New Mexico Book of the Year, New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards

  • Best mystery fiction and best cover design, New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards

  • The Frank Waters Award for literary excellence

  • Mountains and Plains Booksellers Award for Best Non-fiction (Tony Hillerman's Landscape)

  • Spur Award, Best First Mystery, Western Writers of America 

  • Best Novelist, Reader's Choice Finalist Albuquerque Journal, Santa Fe Reporter, and Albuquerque The Magazine 

  • Finalist, Zia Award for best novel 

  • Finalist, Oklahoma Book Awards

  • Amazon Best Mystery

  • New Mexico Press Association, first place, editorials

  • Communicator of Achievement, New Mexico Press Women 

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