Day Two: The Cold Dish

Cover for The Cold DishMy intention is to review a book a day. Of course, I don’t read a book a day, but I have a book journal, so I am cribbing my reviews from that.

Today’s book is a great mystery set in present-day Wyoming, The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson. I have been loving this series, which is full of interesting characters. The setting is almost a character in itself.

The main character is Walt Longmire, the sheriff of a rural Wyoming county, who is a widower nearing retirement. (I understand that A&E will be broadcasting a series based on these books, called Longmire, sometime this year, something to look forward to.) I often tire of series mysteries, principally because of the secondary characters, who are often one-dimensional. Johnson’s characters seem more like the actual inhabitants of a smallish western town.

In The Cold Dish, Cody Pritchard is shot to death at long range by someone using an unusual rifle. Two years before, he and some other high school boys participated in a brutal rape of a young Cheyenne girl, and he and his co-defendents got off lightly. Despite his abhorrence of their crime, Walt is worried that the other boys may be at risk, so he must try to keep them safe. He is also worried about what his best friend, Henry Standing Bear, might know, since Henry is the girl’s uncle.

The book features a good mystery, some exciting action, characters that you really care about, and perhaps even the ghosts of long-dead Cheyenne warriors (although Walt doesn’t think so).

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2 thoughts on “Day Two: The Cold Dish

  1. Maurice Bachand February 9, 2014 / 4:03 pm

    I’m late to this series of novels, I only became aware of them after the TV series premiered on A&E. The TV series is good, but these novels are a thousand times better. One thing that the TV series missed is Walt’s sense of humor, his observations on the inhabitants of Absaroka county have caused me to just burst out in laughter.
    One character you didn’t mention, one who is one of my favorites in the series is Walt’s dog, “Dog”. His asides to and about “Dog” are both hilarious and touching, such as his description of Dog tracking snow across his car seat and his aside that he really needed to get seat covers.
    Fantastic series of novels, great characters and darned good mysteries, though as the series has progressed I find myself caring less about the mystery and more about the people Walt encounters during his investigation.

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