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The Cold Dish: A Longmire Mystery Paperback – March 28, 2006
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"We in the West have a major new talent on our hands." —The Denver Post
"A winning piece of work, and a convincing feel to the whole package." —The Washington Post
"Craig Johnson does it right, with style, grace, wildfire pace, and a sense of humor." —Bob Shacochis
Praise for Craig Johnson and the Walt Longmire Mystery Series
"It's the scenery—and the big guy standing in front of the scenery—that keeps us coming back to Craig Johnson's lean and leathery mysteries." —The New York Times Book Review
"Johnson's hero only gets better—both at solving cases and at hooking readers—with age." —Publishers Weekly
"Like the greatest crime novelists, Johnson is a student of human nature. Walt Longmire is strong but fallible, a man whose devil-may-care stoicism masks a heightened sensitivity to the horrors he's witnessed." —Los Angeles Times
"Johnson's trademarks [are] great characters, witty banter, serious sleuthing, and a love of Wyoming bigger than a stack of derelict cars." —The Boston Globe
"The characters talk straight from the hip and the Wyoming landscape is its own kind of eloquence." —The New York Times
"[Walt Longmire] is an easy man to like. . . . Johnson evokes the rugged landscape with reverential prose, lending a heady atmosphere to his story." —The Philadelphia Inquirer
"Stepping into Walt's world is like slipping on a favorite pair of slippers, and it's where those slippers lead that provides a thrill. Johnson pens a series that should become a 'must' read, so curl up, get comfortable, and enjoy the ride." —The Denver Post
"Johnson's pacing is tight and his dialogue snaps." —Entertainment Weekly
From the Back Cover
"We in the West have a major new talent on our hands."
The Denver Post
"A winning piece of work, and a convincing feel to the whole package."
The Washington Post
"Craig Johnson does it right, with style, grace, wildfire pace, and a sense of humor."
Top customer reviews
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First off, Walt is kind of a goofball, and Vic tolerates him more than respects him. That's probably not the case, but she calls him names like fat****. That would ordinarily get you fired in most sheriff's offices.
Henry is also bigger and seems to be a very good shot with a Sharp's rifle, the murder weapon in Walt's most recent case. Somebody is shooting four boys who were tried for raping Henry's niece, Melissa Little Bird. They were found guilty, but the judge gave them limited sentences in juvenile facilities.
Whoever is killing the boys is shooting them at a very long distance, 500 yards. Walt could make that shot, as could Henry, and Melissa's father. Lonnie, who's missing his legs, and Omar, a Buffalo Bill like character who's an expert on the Sharp's rifle.
In the middle of the book there's a kind of surprise. Walt is reflecting on his life—he's met a woman, Vonnie, who seems very interested in a relationship. Then there's the surprise. Martha, Walt's deceased wife, didn't really love him. Walt stuck it out because of his daughter, who is now a lawyer who doesn't call her father often enough. I don't remember hearing that in the TV series. Vic is also enduring an unhappy marriage, and she cares about Walt more than she lets on.
There are some interesting minor characters: Lucian, the old sheriff, is living in a senior citizen's home. Walt plays chess with him once a week. In this book, Walt hires Lucian as a dispatcher for two days a week. He's an old-time western sheriff who sort of made his own rules as a case progressed, but Walt respects him and leans on him for advice. Turk is Lucian's nephew, an announced candidate for sheriff after Walt retires. Walt wants Vic to take his place.
THE COLD DISH is just another instance of the book being better than the TV show. Walt has a sense of humor in the book. He also has a great deal of respect for Native American spirituality. There's a scene where Henry is wounded and Walt has to carry him back to safety in the middle of a blizzard. He almost freezes to death. He hears bells and sees ghostlike Cheyenne Indians who lead him out of danger, left with frost bitten ears and hands. You might want to read this section twice. I had no idea what was going on. Somewhere in there Vic was also coming to his aid.
You won't be able to guess who killed those boys. But I'll give you a hint: remember the old adage, “It's always the one you least expect.”
I have to add that the story is all over central Wyoming and Montana. Some places do not exist. Others are miles away from each other. The reservation is in Montana. The roads have the wrong numbers. So don't worry about any of that. Just enjoy the story.