Though this is the first of the Charlie Moon series, he doesn't show up till the end and the main character is his friend, Granite Creek police chief Scott Parris. (They first meet at the end of the book.) A young graduate student is brutally murdered and the suspect, a Mexican illegal, has fled the scene. There's nothing spectacular about the story, but it's a solid mystery with intriguing characters, particularly that of the Ute shaman, Daisy Perika. Doss blends the supernatural beliefs of the Ute Native Americans with modern police procedure in a small town, and liberally sprinkles his book with colorful characters. I was impressed with the first Doss book I read, which was #7 in the series, and reading this has cemented my resolve to find the rest of the books. Although lacking in the humor that I enjoyed in White Shell Woman, it has the same quiet solidity. Looking forward to more.
Because of the Southwestern setting and the Native American characters, the temptation is to compare this book with Tony Hillerman; but the tone here is considerably more lightweight than a Hillerman novel. A graduate student in physics has discovered something extremely valuable in her off-hours work - something that gets her killed. Daisy Perika, a local Ute woman (must be the shaman of the title), has had some visions that will help the police. This book says it is a Charlie Moon mystery, although we only see Charlie in a couple brief appearances; I don't know why it isn't a Daisy Perika mystery or a Scott Parrish (he's a chief of police) mystery, since we spend much of the story with him. Anyway it's a nice enough mystery with a lot of shifting to various POVs - the shaman, the murderer, another criminal, a reporter and so forth. Short scenes and fairly snappy dialogue, the characters are mostly well realized with a couple of stereotyped exceptions, and a decent sense of place. A bit of woo-woo, a bit of humor, and some gratuitous killing all in one package. If you are a fan of the southwest or Native Americans in mysteries you might want to take
a look. If you like it, there are plenty more in the series.