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Death Without Company Hardcover – March 16, 2006

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Adult; 1st Printing edition (March 16, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670034673
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670034673
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (367 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #250,302 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Johnson's second Walt Longmire novel more than fulfills the expectations created by the series debut, The Cold Dish (2004). Longmire, the aging, kindly, but tenacious sheriff of Wyoming's Absaroka County, once again finds himself involved in a murder case with tentacles reaching deep into the fabric of daily life in his insular mountain community. It all begins with the death of a Basque woman in an assisted-living home, but the circumstances of that death prompt Longmire and his bantering, foulmouthed deputy, Victoria Moretti, to begin nosing around in the victim's past. The trail leads in multiple directions, most of which converge on Longmire's mentor, former sheriff Lucian Connally. Like C. J. Box in his Joe Pickett series, Johnson uses the landscape of the Wyoming high country to evoke the sense of lives crushing in upon one another, as secrets refuse to stay buried, and old wounds continue to fester. Box's hero, Joe Pickett, is an outsider in his world, however, and Longmire is very much a comfortable part of Absaroka County, a kind of old shoe, in fact, like former sheriff Bill Gastner in Steven Hamill's series set in the very different landscape of Posadas County, New Mexico. Johnson combines a vivid sense of the dailiness of life--and the way human relationships take root in that dailiness--with a sure--handed touch for jolting both his characters and his readers out of their comfort zones and deep into harm's way. It's hard to ask for more in a literary mystery. Bill Ott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


Walt and his idiosyncratic crew are terrific company--droll, sassy and surprisingly tenderhearted. -- Kirkus Reviews, starred

More About the Author

Craig Johnson has received both critical and popular praise for his novels The Cold Dish, Death Without Company, Kindness Goes Unpunished, Another Man's Moccasins and The Dark Horse. All five novels have been made selections by the Independent Booksellers Association, and The Cold Dish was a DILYS Award Finalist and was translated into French in 2009 as Little Bird and was just named one of the top ten mysteries of the year by Lire magazine and won the Prix du Roman Noir as the best mystery novel translated into French for 2010.

Death Without Company was selected by Booklist as one of the top-ten mysteries of 2006, won the Wyoming Historical Society's fiction book of the year. The short story, Old Indian Trick, won the Tony Hillerman Mystery Short Story Award and appeared in Cowboys & Indians Magazine.

Kindness Goes Unpunished, the third in the Walt Longmire series, was number 38 on the American Bookseller's Association's hardcover best seller list.

Another Man's Moccasins, was the recipient of Western Writer's of America's Spur Award as Novel of the Year and the Mountains and Plains Book of the Year.

The Dark Horse, the fifth in the series has garnered starred reviews by all four prepublication review services, one of the only novels to receive that honor and was named by Publisher's Weekly as one of the top one hundred books of the year.

Craig lives with his wife Judy on their ranch in Ucross, Wyoming, population 25.

Customer Reviews

Kept me reading, hard to put down.
Sherry Piper
We watched the series on TV so I wanted to read the books.
Good story with great character development.
Donna Ramos

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Liz at on March 19, 2007
Format: Paperback
Every once in a while you pick up a book by a new author, not knowing what to expect, and are completely blown away. This happened last year, when I read Craig Johnson's The Cold Dish. Wow! So I was really excited when I saw that his second book, Death Without Company, was out. And frankly, book number two is every bit as good as the first one.

Sheriff Longmire of Wyoming is back with his long-time friend, the intriguing Henry Standing Bear, crusty former Sheriff Lucian Connally, and Deputy Vic Moretti, a transplant from the big city whose bold attitude and colorful language spice up the book. I will warn you, though, this book takes place just a few weeks after the first one and the events of that book are discussed and the ending revealed. If you think you might like these books, read The Cold Dish first.

So what makes these books so good? Just the basics - good writing, setting, plot, characters that are really interesting, and a little humor thrown in. This book flows seamlessly and sucks you into the story of a modern murder and how it might be related to past events - and there are enough suspects populating this book that you have lots of people to audition for the role of bad guy.

This book is not going to be appropriate for cozy-only readers. It's not a hack and slash, but it does have some grit to it. This book reminds me of the early Robert B. Parker Spenser books, and if you enjoyed those, you will find this right up your alley. If you are looking to try something a little outside of your comfort zone, the quality of the writing and the approachable style make this a perfect choice.

Did I guess it? Only parts. Will I read another? Just as soon as it is available!
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Thomas H. Griffith on April 22, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Craig Johnson grows on one. I was intrigued into reading his first novel, THE COLD DISH, by a review on DorothyL. I wasn't sure what to think of it, for in many ways it turned the rules of mystery writing, if not on their side, at least at a severe angle. Who ever heard of a rural sheriff with a degree in English Literature and who quotes Shakespeare with great regularity? There have been Native American sidekicks before, but rarely one who speaks English with high grammar and never uses a contraction. Said sidekick has a degree in classical literature, but runs a rural bar and is conversant in the languages of four different tribes. And then there is the female deputy-female, mind you, whose favorite word is a four-letter word (or one of its variants) that begins with the letter "f." And the former Sheriff, who still struggles with the fact that the style of law enforcement of the old west is no longer accepted in modern jurisprudence.

However, I was intrigued enough to read Johnson's second book, DEATH WITHOUT COMPANY. I'm glad I did. The same characters are back, as they look into whether the death of an elderly woman in a rest home was a death by natural causes or a murder. In so doing, they look back at the history of Basque sheepherders who settled in Wyoming, after the Second World War, and how their culture and that of the Anglo culture interacted while never mixing.

Sheriff Walt Longmire, a Vietnam War veteran who got his degree in English Literature before being drafted, is the Sheriff of the least-populated county in Wyoming, one that covers about the same number of acres as the State of Vermont. He is sensitive, grieving from the deaths of both his wife, five years earlier, and a woman with whom he was falling in love, in the first novel.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Pat Browning on December 22, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book has a little something for everyone. It's a crime story, a western and a love story, all connected, all liberally sauced with Indian mysticism, and beautifully written to boot.

Throw in Wyoming during a blizzard and you've got so much geography and weather that DEATH WITHOUT COMPANY will blow your hat off.

In one scene Sheriff Walt Longmire and his pick-up posse go to the Busy Bee looking for a killer: "The place was packed as we flooded in, all the patrons freezing at the sight of an armed sheriff, two deputies, an Indian, and a construction worker; we probably looked like the Village People."

And a pop-rock group is about all that's missing here. A brief summary: Sheriff Walt is caught in the snare of two murders that occurred 50 years apart. He has a couple of very close calls but survives with the help of friends and deputies, while the Old Cheyenne pound drums for him in the Camp of the Dead. When he stumbles across the secret that is key to the murders he is stunned to learn how many local folks knew it and never talked about it.

At times I wasn't sure whether Walt is dreaming or hallucinating, but in any event those sequences are beautifully wrought. One of the most interesting characters, and one who keeps showing up in Walt's dreams, is an old Basque woman named Mari.

The catalyst for the story is Mari's death at the Home for Assisted Living. It may not have been as natural as her family would have the sheriff believe. As Walt untangles the threads of Mari's past she always appears in his dreams as the young and beautiful woman she once was.

Henry Standing Bear, the wise and funny old Cheyenne, is a great character, as is Lucian, the retired sheriff, and Sancho, the new deputy.

This is one of the best books I've read this year. If it hasn't won an award or two, there's no justice.
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