Staff Recommendation: "Longmire" Mystery Series

I discovered a good series for readers who like mysteries and murder investigations set out West with beautiful back country settings. The Walt Longmire mysteries are written by Craig Johnson. The overlapping jurisdictions of law enforcement officers in the rural counties, tribal lands and federally controlled forest and mountain wilderness areas set up some funny confrontations.The characters of Sheriff Walt Longmire of Absaroka County in Wyoming and Chief Long, the Tribal Chief of Police of the Northern Cheyenne Reservation that crosses from Wyoming into Montana are often confounded by the FBI Agents in Charge or BIA agents. The dry humor  of the Sheriff and the Native Americans living on the reservations is so wise and hilarious. I just finished the first one in the series, Cold Dish, c.2005, Viking Press, NY  ( as in “revenge is a dish best served cold” ), and am reading the second one Death Without Company, c.2007, and just finished the most recent one, As the Crow Flies, c. 2012. Some of the adventures go so deep, and show how courageous Sheriff Longmire and his friend, Vietnam Vet Henry Standing Bear are. The native sense of time, nature, mysticism, power, honor and relationship makes  these books really great! I just saw that A&E has a new television series this summer called Longmire based on these wild and heavy characters! The premier episode was Sunday night, June 3rd, at 10:00 p.m. I liked Longmire, but had pictured Vic, his undersheriff, Victoria Moretti, who had five years law enforcement in Philadelphia, differently, more cool, more Italian. Henry Standing Bear, the Bear, was a lot bigger in my imagination. I was only just introduced to their Basque deputy, Santiago Saizarbitoria, or Sancho, as Vic has christened him, so I do not have a picture of him in my imagination yet. They also changed the plot with the teenage Northern Cheyenne girl. It’s fun to see these books made into film, for the characters and for the plains and mountain scenery. Just have to adjust for how my mind imagined it all. I’m looking forward to the rest of the series. It should be great.  — Suzan Smyth

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