Browse Authors:
  • Home
  • C
  • R. Allen Chappell

R. Allen Chappell books in order

R. Allen Chappell is an American author of historical mystery and historical fiction novels.

He is the author of the Navajo Nation Mystery, and derived his inspiration for the series from the fact that he grew up with the Navajo, attended school with them, and even worked alongside them later in life; experiences which impacted his life greatly.

Chappell once passionately intimated that he has no interest in romanticizing his characters, but rather paints a vivid picture of how he finds them. And just like everyone else, they have both positive and negative attributes.

He continues to follow his lifelong interest, in the prehistory of the Four Corners region and its people, from his home in Western Colorado.

More about R. Allen Chappell

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Mystery

United States


  1. The Fat of The Land (2012)

Navajo Nation Mystery

  1. Navajo Autumn (2013)
  2. Boy Made of Dawn (2013)
  3. Ancient Blood (2014)
  4. Mojado (2015)
  5. Magpie Speaks (2016)
  6. Wolves of Winter (2016)
  7. The Bible Seller (2017)
  8. Day of the Dead (2018)
  9. The Collector (2019)
  10. Falling Girl (2020)
  11. Yellow Dirt (2021)
  12. DeadFall (2022)

Detailed book overview


The Fat of The Land

Everyone has a story ...but not every story has a hero. This collection from New Mexico and the Southwest is about those who give life to that land – the outliers, and those who have no one to tell their tale. While some of these narratives are loosely based in fact, they are written with a large dollop of literary license. The characters are not “politically correct” in today’s parlance and speak in the vernacular of their time and culture. Some of them you will like...others you may not. No disrespect or offense is intended in the telling. These are their stories.

Author: R. Allen Chappell
First Release: 2012
ISBN: 978-1480111929
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Navajo Nation Mystery

Navajo Autumn

Thomas Begay is found dead-drunk under the La Plata Bridge...not unusual for Thomas Begay. What is unusual, is BIA investigator Patsy Greyhorse, found lying beside him...not drunk, or even a Navajo, but very dead nonetheless.

Long time friend Charlie Yazzi, fresh from law school, risks his career...and even his life to help his old schoolmate. The Answer seems to lie with the Yeenaaldiooshii...should one choose to believe in such things. In the far reaches of the reservation there still are traditional Navajos living their lives with few concessions to modern mores.

Guided by their strong sense of cultural heritage these outliers remain a strong anchor for the Navajo Nation. This story follows the lives of such people, caught up in a plot that could have far reaching implications for the entire tribe. "The depth of characters and culture transcends that generally seen in novels of the genre."

Author: R. Allen Chappell
First Release: 2013
ISBN: 978-1482393187
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Boy Made of Dawn

An irascible Ute family and their shrewd ranch-woman neighbor, become caught up in the plot to place certain tribal leaders above the law, as new characters emerge to unravel ongoing corruption in the upcoming Patsy Greyhorse murder trials.

“Man has always felt most vulnerable in that lonely, netherworld between darkness and dawn. Often it is then death takes the sick and weak, they give up finally, unable to bear the weight of another day. A person may - not knowing why - suddenly awaken, if only for an instant, to assure himself all is well. Charlie woke that morning in the darkness, with just such a feeling. It was now late afternoon and hunger was finally getting the best of him. In old Navajo, when one was hungry, he said, ‘hunger is hurting me.’ Hunger was hurting Charlie now.”

Author: R. Allen Chappell
First Release: 2013
ISBN: 978-1492358442
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Ancient Blood

Thomas Begay’s longtime drinking buddy Harley Ponyboy, along with Investigator Charlie Yazzie’s former Archaeology Professor, become the target of a ruthless Indian rights movement—a group bent on destroying a dig that could change the perception of an ancient people. Dark secrets are revealed in this fast-paced mystery of the Southwest's most fascinating culture.

Author: R. Allen Chappell
First Release: 2014
ISBN: 978-1500714772
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Chappell is at his best with this gripping new mystery/thriller. Both traditional and modern Navajo culture are artfully woven around the tale of Mexico’s most ruthless killer loose on the reservation.

“ No one knew what a really bad man was… now they do!”

Charlie, Thomas, and Harley Ponyboy can track prey but can they catch a killer before he catches them? Old and new characters join, in this exciting new addition to the Navajo Nation Mystery series.

“Chappell takes a bold new direction with this thriller, raising storytelling and knowledge of the Navajo culture to an entirely new level. We dare you to put it down before the hair-raising end.“

Author: R. Allen Chappell
First Release: 2015
ISBN: 978-1514317907
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Magpie Speaks

Dreams tell old man Paul T’Sosi he’s dying. So why is Navajo trickster, Magpie, trying to tell him a far more terrifying secret? Hungry for revenge, Ma’iitsoh Dine’, the Navajo Wolf, is out for blood. Summoning his darkest powers, the Witch of Ganado circles tribal investigator Charlie Yazzie’s young son.

Some may survive the witch’s evil vendetta, but others will die to settle an old score. The unexpected happens when a woman from the past re-emerges to take control in this fast paced thriller critics now hail as the best yet of Chappell’s sensational new southwestern mystery series.

Author: R. Allen Chappell
First Release: 2016
ISBN: 978-1523956401
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Wolves of Winter

Even from the grave, an ancient and disabled girl who once divined the future holds one more secret; A key to unlock two modern day murders on the Diné Bikeyah. Archeology and murder entwine in Chappell's latest canyon-lands thriller. In ancient times hunger drove the search for survival. Now greed is the enemy. Ride along as Charlie, Thomas and Harley Pony Boy walk a razor's edge between two worlds…only to discover wolves still stalk the ancients.

Author: R. Allen Chappell
First Release: 2016
ISBN: 978-1540854940
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
The Bible Seller

"Beware false prophets in sheep clothes--they can be hungry wolves."

(Lay Pastor Eddie Red Horse reading from Matt 7:15)

An old silversmith's body is dumped along the highway and Legal Services Investigator Charlie Yazzie isn't content to stand by while the FBI and Tribal look for clues--not when he sees his friends Thomas Begay and Harley Ponyboy sucked into a tightening web of evil.

When a beautiful stranger knocks on Harley's door the game changes...and so does Harley's loyalties. One thing is clear in this chilling new addition to Chappell's Navajo Nation Mystery Series--a spate of murders and an outlier with a deadly agenda--should be warning enough for anyone.

Author: R. Allen Chappell
First Release: 2017
ISBN: 978-1548327804
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Day of the Dead

Tressa Tarango’s husband lost his soul somewhere on the cold high desert of the Navajo Reservation. She doesn't know who killed him and only by venturing among warring drug cartels can she exact the revenge to pacify his restless soul. Only she can ensure Luca’s troubled spirit finds peace in the underworld. Though his murderous rampage will keep him from heaven—Tressa hopes she might yet secure him a higher place in hell.

The dead have secrets yet to tell, and in the mysterious world of the desert southwest, no writer tells them better than Chappell. With a rock solid grip on the people, history and lives of the Diné, Chappell now leads the reader further into a world of mystery and intrigue as two powerful cultures clash. And while the spirit of a serial killer whispers to Tressa Tarango, Paul T'Sosi finds himself suspended between life and death—and with only one old friend to rescue him from the darker forces of both the real and ethereal world.

Author: R. Allen Chappell
First Release: 2018
ISBN: 978-1717016607
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
The Collector

When the local trader is found murdered the only clue points directly at Lucy Tallwoman. The FBI sweeps in to discover a decades-old trail of deceit and betrayal as the darker days of Lucy’s past come back to haunt her. The family decides they need help…and fast.

Caught up in a chilling plot to control the burgeoning trade in Native American art Investigator Charlie Yazzie finds himself dangerously out of his league as two billionaire collectors struggle to dominate the market. It soon becomes clear the only thing that will make Lucy’s work more valuable is…her death.

In a last-ditch stand against imported killers is there no one Charlie and his friends can trust? Will it fall to a stranger to intervene and is it really a stranger?

Author: R. Allen Chappell
First Release: 2019
ISBN: 978-1092290128
Publisher: Independently published
Falling Girl

An icy chill foretells a harsh winter for the Navajo people—and for perpetually down on his luck Harley Ponyboy the situation grows increasingly desperate. What evil is this that dogs his every step? When a lucky lottery ticket comes his way, Harley uses his new resources to search for a lost love—only to find she has fallen to appalling depths. His stubborn resolve to help puts him on a collision course with her abusive companion…and with his own mortality.

Fast paced and unflinching, Chappell’s knowledge and respect for the Navajo people shines through as readers welcome back old friends, along with a surprise addition to the Navajo Nation family. Characters as unforgettable as a New Mexico sunset lead readers on yet another journey through the color, mystery and ethereal aura of that land which is the Diné Bikeyah.

Author: R. Allen Chappell
First Release: 2020
ISBN: 978-1657588790
Publisher: Independently published
Yellow Dirt

Yellow dirt gathers in the creases of the toddler’s dirty blue jeans and on the little hands used to brush away a pesky fly. The same yellow particles that cling to the walls of the Hogan, contaminates the drinking water and fills the air where his father works and comes home covered in yellow dust. Yellow dirt. That enriches the powerful, at the expense of the unsuspecting Dinè.

Sam Klah, now a teenager and left to fend for himself after his mother’s death, is determined to leave the Chindi plagued Hogan and track down his only living relative—little knowing something far more terrifying than Chindi spirits awaits him just down the trail.

Author: R. Allen Chappell
First Release: 2021
ISBN: 979-8714447693
Publisher: Independently published

This twelfth installment of the Chappell’s Navajo Nation Mystery series tracks Charlie Yazzie, Thomas Begay, and Harley Ponyboy  into unfamiliar territory. When a family member unexpectedly dies, a debilitating sense of loss overcomes our friends on the Dinetah. The ties that have bound them together begin to unravel. What witch’s evil is at work? Is the bond forever broken? Or is there a connection to the ancient past that might bring this malevolent aura to an end.

Author: R. Allen Chappell
First Release: 2022
Ebook: B09HP6X16Y