Book Review ~ Bad Medicine by Aimee & David Thurlo

Title: Bad Medicine
Author: Aimee & David Thurlo
Series: Ella Clah #3
Format: Kindle edition, 353 pages

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Set on the Navajo reservation packed with Native American wisdom, Aimee and David Thurlo’s Ella Clah novels are written with a sharp eye for conflict between the traditionalist and modernist ways of life.

Former FBI Agent Ella Clah is now a special investigator with the native police force on the Navajo reservation. Ella’s brother Clifford, a Hataali or medicine man, says that her investigative skills are gifts from the spirits who guard and guide the Navajo, but Ella insists it’s her FBI training that has honed her instincts.

When the daughter of Senator Yellowhair is killed in a suspicious car accident, the Senator accuses Ella and the tribe’s medical examiner, Dr. Carolyn Roanhorse, of tampering with evidence and falsifying the autopsy results. An outbreak of meningitis leads to more trouble when many of those who are vaccinated begin dying from an unknown disease. Riots between Indian and White workers at the Navajo-owned mine stretch the resources of the tribal police even thinner.

Convinced that solving one mystery means solving them all, Ella plunges into her investigations despite threats from all sides and her suspicions that Navajo witches are somehow involved. Ella Clah has sworn to protect her people from all menaces—spiritual and physical—and she’s not going to back off now.

Recommended if you enjoy: strong female lead characters, TONS of who-done-it moments, loyalty, a not-so-obvious villain, and learning about Native American culture


I started reading the Ella Clah series on a whim. For some reason I am drawn to mysteries that have strong female leads and/or Native American “undertones.” I just find learning about other cultures to be very fascinating. Mysteries as a whole are a new-to-me genre and I’ve been pretty impressed with what I’ve read so far.

Bad Medicine starts off kind of slow to be honest, kind of like a roller coaster, but once things got rolling this book was hard to put down. Ella is on her way to a crime scene when she gets the call about an erratic driver. Turns out that the driver is the daughter of Senator Yellowhair. Well the now deceased daughter of Senator Yellowhair. Once at the original crime scene she finds a brutal murder has taken place.

As the book progresses violence breaks out at the mine between the Navajo miners and the Anglo miners. Good people are drug through the muck courtesy of our killer and a certain Senator who is up for re-election. Ella and her crew are having shots taken at them, figuratively and literally. There is also a new character introduced in Bad Medicine that I really think is going to add a new dimension to the other Ella Clah novels.

Overall, I was really impressed with Bad Medicine. The authors both seem to have a solid grasp on the Navajo culture and it really shows in there books. I really think that the authors have developed a solid kick ass character in Ella Clah. I can hardly wait to read the other books in this series!