So you can read my books

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Have You Met LONGMIRE?

“A writer, like a sheriff, is the embodiment of a group of people and without their support both are in a tight spot.”
― Craig Johnson, Another Man's Moccasins

Waiting for the latest X-Men movie, I watched the previews for an A&E series, LONGMIRE.  It intrigued me.

I later saw the first season at Wal-Mart for $14.95 and decided to take a gamble and wound up really liking the series.

a sheriff with an unquiet mind, haunted by his losses and driven not to let anyone else down.

I knew that it sprang from a series of 11 mysteries, so I decided to buy the first one, THE COLD DISH. 

And it surprised me with how good it was, not going where I thought it would.

Going on the Cheyenne Reservation where he has no jurisdiction but is more respected by the Cheyenne than their own police force,

Longmire is given the legendary Cheyenne Rifle of the Dead, which was used in the Battle of the Little Bighorn and,

it's implied, killed General Custer.

The rifle is haunted by the Old Cheyenne who sometimes use it to call people to the land of the dead.

Intriguing, right?

Then things get really exciting because more hated young people are murdered.

From that time on, Longmire is haunted by the Old Cheyenne spirits throughout the books.

Here is is one of many typical exchanges between Walt and his dispatcher, Ruby (love her):

“Anything you need from me?
“Like where you are?”
“Yep, like that.”
“No, we don’t care.”
I thought I heard someone laughing in the background but I wasn’t sure. (page 90)

THE COLD DISH takes its time and many who prefer fast cars and hot women will chaff, but stick with it, for the ending will hand you your heart.

“I thought about Maggie and how passion was a difficult thing to sustain, but that friendship had a pace that could go on forever.”
― Craig Johnson, Death Without Company

Johnson is beyond belief with how he details relationships. 

Lucien, Walt's frontier-mentality mentor, is now in the Durant Home for Assisted Living. 

The two play chess every Tuesday.  And if the books were just about those games, you would read them:

"We looked at each other like we had for decades, a blind man talking to a deaf one.

There was a line that neither of us was able to cross;

his sneering at my supposed weakness and my righteous indignation at his immorality." -- Death Without Company

Johnson dares to tug at your heart.

In ANOTHER MAN'S MOCCASINS, Walt's only daughter is struggling to recover from severe injuries that initially put her into a coma.

Take this scene -

Walt is standing in an empty ballroom with his daughter, and she asks him to dance even though there is no music playing:

"After a full sweep of the dance floor, I bent down to kiss the U-shaped scar at her hairline and attempted to keep time to the counting of my blessings."

Johnson says he’s sometimes asked if he ever suspected that his mysteries would be as popular as they’ve become.

“The honest answer is no, I didn’t. When I started a string of novels that took place in the least populated county in the least populated state in the U.S.,

I kind of figured the following for such a series might be relatively limited.

But I always remember a piece of advice [best-selling author] Tony Hillerman gave me when I first met him:

‘Follow your heart and write what you enjoy.’

“So I continued to write about a sadder but wiser sheriff, a detective for the disenfranchised,

a little over-aged, a little overweight, but with a considerable amount of miles left in him.

It would appear that there are a lot of us out there like that,

folks who look at themselves in the mirror every morning and aren’t completely satisfied with what they see — but we try,

 and in that there’s a certain, worn-to-perfection dignity.”

The audio books are read by George Guidall, who has read them all. 

It is a treat to listen to Guidall read a Walt Longmire novel. So, go ahead, sample one!

The poetry of Johnson's prose envelopes the reader, blocking the rest of the world out.

And when the reader turns that last page,

and Johnson releases him/her,

a small part of that world goes along in their head and heart  until the reader can return once again.


  1. Drat you Roland. I really, really don't need more bookish temptation put in my way. They sound good though. Very good.

  2. I have heard really good things about Longmire. I may have to add it to my list of things to watch!

  3. I dig the show, but haven't read any of the books. Will download The Cold Dish and give it a try.

  4. Elephant's Child:
    I am evil, evil! :-) No, I wish to share a classic in the making.

    Wal-Mart still has the first season inexpensively priced. The books are better -- as they always are versus screen adaptations.

    I think you will enjoy it - each book, though a mystery, is done in a slightly different format to keep things from going stale.

  5. Reading it now, thanks to a kind friend. I never say I have enough reading.

    It's so easy to get into a western movie. Watching westerns made me like horses and cowboy lawmen. It's why I liked the Quigley (Selleck) character too.

    Hope you're getting at least 40 winks! Nearly finished the excerpt for TSBM.

  6. D.G.:
    Friends share. :-)

    You and I are a minority it seems. Westerns are, for most, a thing of the past. I really enjoyed the Quigley Western -- it was the catalyst for McCord in a way.

    Yesterday was slow, but it is weird, having to live a day with one ear poised for the phone call.

    I hope you are enjoying TSBM. I'm up to 46,000 polished words now -- and they are only now heading to the desert ruins of Amarna. :-)

  7. I'm a big fan of the series

    I need to check out the books they're based on.

    Going to

  8. R. Mac:
    I think the books are even better than the TV series. :-)