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The Cold Dish: A Longmire Mystery (Walt Longmire Mysteries Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Craig Johnson
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (919 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $7.99
Kindle Price: $7.59
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Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

Introducing Wyoming’s Sheriff Walt Longmire in this riveting novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Hell Is Empty and As the Crow Flies, the first in the Longmire Mystery Series, the basis for LONGMIRE, the hit A&E original drama series

Fans of Ace Atkins, Nevada Barr and Robert B. Parker will love this outstanding first novel, in which New York Times bestselling author Craig Johnson introduces Sheriff Walt Longmire of Wyoming’s Absaroka County. Johnson draws on his deep attachment to the American West to produce a literary mystery of stunning authenticity, and full of memorable characters. After twenty-five years as sheriff of Absaroka County, Walt Longmire’s hopes of finishing out his tenure in peace are dashed when Cody Pritchard is found dead near the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. Two years earlier, Cody has been one of four high school boys given suspended sentences for raping a local Cheyenne girl. Somebody, it would seem, is seeking vengeance, and Longmire might be the only thing standing between the three remaining boys and a Sharps .45-70 rifle.

With lifelong friend Henry Standing Bear, Deputy Victoria Moretti, and a cast of characters both tragic and humorous enough to fill in the vast emptiness of the high plains, Walt Longmire attempts to see that revenge, a dish best served cold, is never served at all.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A strong sense of place, a credible plot and deft dialogue lift Johnson's good-humored debut novel, the first of a new series, set in Bighorn Mountain country. Walt Longmire, the veteran sheriff of Absaroka County, Wyo., usually has little to do on his patrols. When Cody Pritchard is found shot to death near the Cheyenne reservation, everyone, including Deputy Victoria Moretti, a transplanted Philadelphian, believes he died in an accident. But two years earlier, Cody was one of four high schoolers convicted of raping a young Native American girl. All were given suspended sentences, and when another of the four turns up dead, it appears that someone is out for revenge. As fear mounts, Sheriff Longmire feels tension in the air between the white population and the Native American community, and he's not pleased to think that his lifelong friend, Henry Standing Bear, might be directly involved in the murders. While the prose could stand tautening at times simply to up the suspense, Johnson has made an assured start that should appeal to a wide range of mystery fans.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Bookmarks Magazine

The Cold Dish, a multilayered whodunit mystery, stands out in its genre. Shades of racism, mysticism, and revenge give the novel nuance; dead-on dialogue, good-natured humor, and flesh-and-blood characters, including the foul-mouthed deputy Victorian "Vic" Moretti, give it life. Johnson, who lives in Ucross, Wyoming, knows the Western landscape well, and creates stunning and violent scenes (including a raging blizzard) of the Rocky Mountains. Only The Philadelphia Inquirer faulted the novel’s roughness and comparatively immature prose. The other critics look forward to reading more from Johnson’s powerful voice and reconnecting with his eccentric mélange of characters.

Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2579 KB
  • Print Length: 380 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (December 29, 2004)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0023SDPS6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,019 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
151 of 158 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous - 6 stars at the least! May 11, 2005
In Wyoming where the endless beauty of nature gives you the chance to let your spirit flow freely, things take time - and that is good.
Craig Johnson uses that time to paint a wonderful picture of the setting and to introduce us to a cast of characters any reader would dream of. Although they say it's a mystery - and they're right - there is also so much more. It's a tale about the people, their stories and the magical countryside.
True, other writers have written about this part of the world, but when Craig Johnson paints the story, you can feel the wind blow and even hear the snowflakes fall. Every detail that is mentioned helps you sense the atmosphere and lets you create your own picture in your head without ever being overdone.
It is not one of those fast who-dun-it mysteries that keep you chasing after the clues. But that doesn't mean you'll lose your patience - the storyline is much too good for that.
Sherif Walt Longmire of Absaroka County, together with his friend Henry Standing Bear and Deputy Victoria Moretti must solve the murder of Cody Pritchard, one of four high school boys who, a couple of years earlier had been convicted of brutally raping Melissa, a young Cheyenne girl. Walt never got over the horrible crime, but now it may be only him left standing between the other three boys and the bullets.
It's fiction at its best and it also happens to be a tremendously well written mystery you wouldn't want to end. And when it does you're probably going to start all over right away. A strong tale with great characters you won't forget.
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72 of 75 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Darn Palatable April 19, 2006
Being in the book business, I'm always on the lookout for the next big thing, the kind of author with so much talent and drive that anyone who buys one of their works will be back the next day to buy the rest. I've seen writers like Lee Child and Michael Connelly go from buzz to best seller, and I love that brief window of opportunity when I can hand sell a relatively unknown author I know will knock people out.

Craig Johnson is a new voice that his publisher Penguin believes can become the next Hillerman. Both Craig and Penguin have sent our bookshop posters, postcards and various promotional items (word to the wise - chocolate and money work best) in order to bring him to the attention of our customers. Johnson's protagonist is Walt Longmire, an aging, small town sheriff in Wyoming. (The aging thing is always a poignant touch, but it can get awkward when it's the starting point in a continuing series - those Vietnam vets aren't going to be able to keep punching people out for very much longer.) Walt's rather pedestrian duties are suddenly enlivened by the death of a young man who had been involved in the gang rape of a Native American girl. When a second guilty party is also killed it becomes apparent that the first death was no accident, and unless the crimes are solved the town could explode.

Longmire is a likeable, gruff and very decent character, a man just emerging from mourning the death of his long time wife, and the reader is drawn effortlessly into his world. Johnson skillfully immerses the reader in the rhythms and mores of the West, smoothly integrating history and folklore into the evocative landscape.
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51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'The Cold Dish' is a gem of a first novel June 27, 2006
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Discovering a wonderful new author is a special treat for readers, and Craig Johnson's 'The Cold Dish' is especially delicious. Set in a fictional small town in northern Wyoming and featuring grieving, 50-something widower Sheriff Walt Longmire, the book is a beautifully crafted mystery that will hold your attention from the first page. A marvelous supporting cast of eccentric locals including Longmire's best friend, Henry Standing Bear, both assist and hinder the Sheriff as he makes his way through a maze of suspects to solve a grisy series of murders. By the last chapter of this terrific first novel, the reader will feel that he, too, knows the starkly beautiful country at the foot of the Big Horn mountains. A guaranteed great read!
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read It! November 19, 2004
I grew up on an Indian reservation. I have read many books that have attempted to show the true relationship between the White Man and Indian. None have ever hit so close to home as the "Cold Dish" I recommmed this book to all my Native brothers and sisters. It will fill your heart with pride, your gut with laughter and your eyes with tears. All this in a few pages, over and over again.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read Novel: Review by a Literary Cowboy November 20, 2004
What do Herman Melville, Cervantes, Zane Grey, Raymond Chandler and Cheyenne Chief Wooden Leg have in common? They would have loved this book.

With characters and a story that stay with you long after you put it down, this is an exceptional story told by an exceptional storyteller. A murder mystery unlike any I have ever read, The Cold Dish is as thought provoking as it is readable, as rich and beautiful as the Wyoming sky under which it is set.

In expertly weaving together threads of tragedy and revenge with the redeeming power of humor, integrity, and friendship, Mr. Johnson is an authentic voice. His gift for bringing to life the emptiness, majesty and struggle of the Western landscape and the people it forges has created characters and a friendship between Walt and Henry Standing Bear that will stay with you for a long time.

Complex issues of history, race, murder, and love against the backdrop of sagebrush and Western skies. Characters so real you wish you could talk to them. The Cold Dish is a powerful addition to the literary canon dealing with that hard but beautiful part of America we simply call the West.

Point blank: Mr. Johnson spins a great yarn. This is one book you will read again and again. Guaranteed.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid mystery with strong characters
Enjoyed the general style, character development and story line. Although I am not a Wyoming resident, the aspect of the descriptions of the mountain scenery, climate and outdoor... Read more
Published 9 hours ago by Richard C.
5.0 out of 5 stars Cold Dish
This is the beginning of the Walt Longmire stories answers some questions if you did not start here. Longmire works to solve two murders and there is a surprise ending. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Robert Jordan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 days ago by Adell Phillis
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed....
I am a huge fan of the Longmire series on TV. Therefore I was totally thrown for a loop when I started reading this book and realized that it was very different from the series. Read more
Published 3 days ago by S. Duke
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Loved it! I'm a huge fan of the television show and the books have not been a disappointment!
Published 3 days ago by Kathryn M. Steigerwaldt
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great story, characters and how they all meld together to keep you reading
Published 3 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Love this series! It is excellent!
Published 5 days ago by Nancy Shokraeifard
5.0 out of 5 stars I love these books
The author is difficult to understand at first but after awhile I understood what was happening ... mostly anyway. Mr. Johnson is very descriptive ... he paints with words.
Published 6 days ago by Gail Wade
3.0 out of 5 stars Strong Language, but good theme.
Loved the show, but thought the cussing in the first episode was added by the movies. Other than the bad words it's great. I may have had a warning I didn't look for one. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Cherley Grogg
4.0 out of 5 stars Unusual and entertaining style plus well-crafted characters mostly...
I'm rounding up significantly here -- but I suspect I won't need to do so when I read subsequent books in this series or by this author. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Karen A. Wyle
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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.


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Kindle edition too expensive
I agree entirely! I will not pay $11.99 for an e-book published seven years ago and long available in paperback. What can they be thinking?
Jun 18, 2011 by James R. Lea |  See all 3 posts
Character names in Longmire books vs TV Be the first to reply
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