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The Thieves of Shiny Things: a Stone Age mystery

By Dickinson, Charlie

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Book Id: WPLBN0100302004
Format Type: PDF (eBook)
File Size: 864.83 KB.
Reproduction Date: 8/6/2019

Title: The Thieves of Shiny Things: a Stone Age mystery  
Author: Dickinson, Charlie
Language: English
Subject: Fiction, Drama and Literature, Prehistoric peoples--California--Fiction. Cave dwellers--California--Fiction. Miwok Indians--History--Fiction. Mystery fiction. Bildungsromans. Detective and mystery stories.
Collections: Mystery Fiction, Authors Community, Education
Publication Date:
Publisher: Cetus Editions
Member Page: ChDickinson


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Dickinson, C. (2019). The Thieves of Shiny Things. Retrieved from

In prehistoric California, among rolling foothills of the Sierras, young Jupa discovers his father dead by an old oak tree. An elder, Keleli, concludes it was murder. How will the murderer be caught? How does loss change Jupa, coming into his own as a man? The Thieves of Shiny Things weaves murder, coming-of-age, and social bonds into a Stone Age mystery that evokes the Native America that once was.

A murder mystery from the Stone Age, The Thieves of Shiny Things takes place among a tribelet of cave-dwelling Native Americans. They lived in what came to be known as the Sierra Nevada foothills of Northern California. The Miwokituls have no quarrel with their neighbors, enjoy a pleasant climate, and subsist on a bountiful diet that features oak acorns. For one young Miwokitul, however, this idyllic life is shattered late one afternoon. By an old oak tree, Jupa discovers his father Naketi lying dead from no apparent cause. Jupa rushes back to his hamlet and returns with Keleli, a wise elder. Acting as investigator, Keleli soon concludes Naketi was murdered. Without the benefit of modern forensic tools, Keleli and Jupa must solve the crime. They have only keen observation, persistent questioning, and their wits to find the murder weapon, establish the motive, and reveal the killer. The Thieves of Shiny Things weaves murder, Jupa's coming-of-age, and social bonds in a Native American community now vanished. But in the evocative prose of this Stone Age mystery, the oak-studded landscape of Northern California's prehistory once more comes alive.

Jupa rubbed his left temple. These ravens? He glanced down to where he might climb off the path. Then his gaze ascended a dirt bank thick with the sere yellow of wild rye fallen upon itself. Above, a bone-gray sky drifted closer in late afternoon and already shrouded verdant conifers higher up the mountain. The ravens flapped dusky circles about an oak tree, raucously. Alone atop the bank, the black oak stood in silhouette. He stared at its tracery of leafless branches, his left thumb and fingers toying with the bristly strap of his mule-deer buckskin, a garment worn to bare leather in more than a few spots. But these ravens, what were they krahnking about? He hooded his eyes, his left palm tight to the spill of dark hair at his eyebrows. Did they know of something hidden by the wild rye? He was on his way back to the caves of his people, the Miwokituls, and an evening meal of the sweet acorn porridge everyone would soon enjoy. After dark, in this eleventh moon, was when they ate around a fire on the commons. But that meal could wait.

Table of Contents
Chapter One: Bunch Grass, Black Oak, Bracken Fern ~ p. 1 Chapter Two: Playact, Knife In The Water, Bargain Bride ~ p. 16 Chapter Three: Lizard Chaser, Bark Painter, Stream Wader ~ p. 31 Chapter Four: Dried Fiddlehead, Obsidian Arrowhead, Ewti ~ p. 47 Chapter Five: Training Offal, Yew Wood, Bowl Of The Spirits ~ p. 61 Chapter Six: Rufous Hair, Stick Hut, Death Mask ~ p. 76 Chapter Seven: Two Cups Tea, Banished Brother, Eavesdroppers ~ p. 90 Chapter Eight: Flying Stick, Herbal Poultice, Mother Earth Rage ~ p. 103 Chapter Nine: Underwater Treasure, Shiny Bait, Cougar Man ~ p. 116 Chapter Ten: Last Words, Shamanic Answer, Gold Rush ~ p. 129 Chapter Eleven: Anger, Levity, Apathy ~ p. 142 Chapter Twelve: Dream Killer, Brew Carriage, Spilled Secret ~ p. 156 Chapter Thirteen: Blue Lips, Brotherly Fate, Floating Snail ~ p. 170 Chapter Fourteen: Suspect, Inquisitor, Bodyguard ~ p. 183 Chapter Fifteen: Night Watchman, "Deer Who Lost Legs," Picture Pouch ~ p. 195 Chapter Sixteen: Silver Liquid Of Happiness, Gold Offering, Bear Grass Gift ~ p. 207 About The Author ~ p. 219


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