Anne Hillerman: Biography

Anne Hillerman

Anne Hillerman is the daughter of award-winning mystery author, Tony Hillerman. She worked as a journalist for nearly 20 years before deciding to continue her father’s literary legacy.

Tony Hillerman’s novels were obviously a great inspiration to his daughter. He wrote 15 novels starring Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn, who has become the protagonist in Anne Hillerman’s first novel. Tony Hillerman’s books are renowned for the level of cultural detail that they give as well as their well-thought-out mystery plots. Anne Hillerman has clearly worked hard to convey her father’s sense of place and culture within her own book. She has clearly drawn a great deal of inspiration from her late father’s work for her own novels, but she is not a ghostwriter, she has put her own stamp on them too and has injected her own style rather than trying to recreate that of Tony Hillerman.

Hillerman has published 7 non-fiction titles, but has only recently decided to branch out into writing fiction. After her father’s death in 2008, Hillerman decided to continue his well-established and long-running mystery series, Leaphorn, Chee and Manuelito, with a new novel she had written. She took her father’s characters and wrote them into a new mystery story, titled The Spider Woman’s Daughter. It took years to perfect as she wanted to make sure that it did her father’s writing justice and so was published 5 years after his death. This first novel was well received both by fans of her father’s work and by the literary community in general and it was nominated for the best book prize at the Dilys Awards.