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review 2017-06-15 04:38
A strong introduction to this series.
The Cold Dish (Walt Longmire) - Craig Johnson,George Guidall

This is by and large what I had to say about the <a href="http://wp.me/p3z9AH-1pS" target="_blank"> book a couple of years ago</a> -- but I've expanded it a touch.

 

It's hard to believe this is a first novel. I love it when that happens. Johnson is assured in his writing, he knows his characters and their world, there's no mistaking that. The world and the characters are very well-developed, it's hard to believe that Johnson worked in as much backstory as he did for these characters in such a short space. Walt, Vic, Henry Standing Bear, Lucien -- they're all fully fleshed out and ready to go.

 

As always, the mixture of Cheyenne Mysticism (for lack of a better word) and Longmire's realism (and Vic's cynicism) is great -- even at this point, Johnson's ready to present things that could be Cheyenne ghosts, or it could be Longmire's mind playing tricks on him as a result of injury and exposure without taking a clear narrative stance. It's not a fast-paced tale by any means--Johnson saunters through his prose like Longmire would through the world. That doesn't mean it's not gripping, though. It's lush with detail, as scenic and expansive as the Wyoming country it takes place in.

 

It took awhile for Guidall's narration to work for me, I did eventually come around, and I expect I'll enjoy him more fully in the next book.

I figured out whodunit pretty quickly, but it took a while to get the why. The journey to the why was compelling, interesting and well worth the time. Looking forward to the next installment.

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text 2017-02-15 02:29
Reading progress update: I've read 105 out of 184 pages.
Wait for Signs: Twelve Longmire Stories - Craig Johnson

This is my first time reading Craig Johnson, and this is my introduction to his Longmire series. I have to say this is a great start! A great intro.

 

Of course, I picked it up first because it's a short story collection. And we all remember how much I LOOOOOOOVE short story collections! :D

 

I've enjoyed every single story in it so far. Some are funny. Some have action. Others are slower, but still great.

 

A quick read, too. I'm getting through this pretty fast. Not that I'm complaining!

 

I'm definitely going to check out the other books in the series.

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review 2016-12-13 17:31
Crime Plus Music: Twenty Stories of Music-Themed Noir by Jim Fusilli
Crime Plus Music: The Sounds of Noir: An Anthology of Music-Based Noir - Jim Fusilli,Craig Johnson,David Liss,Val McDermid,Alison Gaylin,Reed Farrel Coleman,Brendan DuBois,Willy Vlautin,Peter Blauner,Naomi Rand,Mark Haskell Smith,Erica Wright,Gary Phillips,Peter Robinson,Galadrielle Allman,Zoë Sharp

Modern life seems to have a soundtrack for everything. Even crime.

CRIME + MUSIC: The Sounds of Noir, collects twenty darkly intense, music-related noir stories by world-renowned mystery authors Brendan DuBois, Alison Gaylin, Craig Johnson, David Liss, Val McDermid, Gary Phillips, Peter Robinson and, from the music world, Galadrielle Allman, author of Please Be With Me: A Song for My Father, Duane Allman and award-winning songwriter-novelist Willy Vlautin. Edited by novelist and Wall Street Journal rock and pop music critic Jim Fusilli.

The lively anthology’s chilling, sinister tales tap into the span of rock and pop history, ranging from Peter Blauner’s heart-wrenching “The Last Temptation of Frankie Lymon” to Fusilli’s “Boy Wonder,” set in the world of contemporary electronic dance music; from Naomi Rand’s “The Misfits,” a punk-rock revenge saga to Mark Haskell Smith’s menacingly comedic “1968 Pelham Blue SG Jr.”; from Reed Farrel Coleman’s study of a one-hit wonder, “Look at Me/Don’t Look at Me” to Erica Wright’s account of betrayal among minor talents in “A Place You’re Likely to Find”—and many more.


In the hands of these modern masters of mystery fiction, CRIME + MUSIC exposes the nasty side of the world of popular music, revealing it to be the perfect setting for noir.


*********
 
The biggest reason for me to reading this collection of short stories was that a story by Craig Johnson was included. Unfortunately, it was a story I had already read and not a favorite short story of mine. But, re-reading made me like it better this time. Many of the names in this book were unknown to me, besides Craig Johnson have I previous read books by Alison Gaylin, Val McDermid, and Peter Robinson. So, I was curious to see which stories would work for me. And, I'm really pleased to say that most of the stories in this book were good. Only one or two did not completely work for me, the rest was enjoyable to read.

The big drawback, for me, was so many of the stories was interesting, but I would have loved to read them as full-length novels instead. So many of them had potentials, but often I felt that because of the length did they not really have time to develop the story and its characters. However, what I really liked was that this collection has me a chance to discover several new authors that I want to read more from.

I want to mention some of my favorite stories in this collection. For instance, Played by Death by Bill Fitzhugh is one that I would love to see as a full-length book. A serial killer that stages the victim's death to evoke the title of a classic rock song. That's just awesome! Earworms by Zoe Sharp is also pretty cool. Torture through music, with a twist. Another one is The Last Temptation of Frankie Lymon by Peter Blaunder. This one does not really feel like a crime novella, but it's good. The kind of story when, despite being so short you start to care for the character and its characters. Finally The Blackbird by Peter Robinson. That story just grabbed my attention, so tragic, so good!

I want to thank Three Rooms Press for providing me with a free copy through Edelweiss for an honest review!

Contributor Bio(s)

Jim Fusilli is the author of eight novels. He also serves as the rock and pop music critic of The Wall Street Journal and is the founder of ReNewMusic.net, a music website for grownups. He lives in New York City.

Craig Johnson is a award-winning, NY Times Bestselling author, best known for his Walt Longmire mystery series, which has garnered popular and critical acclaim, and was adapted for a TV series on A&E. He lives in Ucross, WY.

David Liss is a bestselling American novels and essayist, best known for his historical-mystery work including the Edgar Award-winning A Conspiracy of Paper, A Spectacle of Corruption, and The Whiskey Rebels. He lives in San Antonio.

Val McDermid is a Scottish crime writer, best known for a series of suspense novels featuring Dr. Tony Hill. She lives in Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland.

Alison Gaylin is the author of the Edgar-nominated thriller Hide Your Eyes and its sequel, You Kill Me; the standalones Trashed and Heartless; and the Brenna Spector series:And She Was (winner of the Shamus Award), Into the Dark, and the Edgar-nominated Stay with Me. She lives in Woodstock, NY.
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review 2016-10-30 11:43
An Obvious Fact by Craig Johnson
An Obvious Fact: A Longmire Mystery (Walt Longmire Mysteries) - Craig Johnson

In the midst of the largest motorcycle rally in the world, a young biker is run off the road and ends up in critical condition. When Sheriff Walt Longmire and his good friend Henry Standing Bear are called to Hulett, Wyoming—the nearest town to America's first national monument, Devils Tower—to investigate, things start getting complicated.

As competing biker gangs; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms; a military-grade vehicle donated to the tiny local police force by a wealthy entrepreneur; and Lola, the real-life femme fatale and namesake for Henry's '59 Thunderbird (and, by extension, Walt's granddaughter) come into play, it rapidly becomes clear that there is more to get to the bottom of at this year's Sturgis Motorcycle Rally than a bike accident.

After all, in the words of Arthur Conan Doyle, whose Adventures of Sherlock Holmes the Bear won't stop quoting, "There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact."


**********
 
If I had to list my favorite ongoing book series would Longmire definitely be on it! I discovered the series a couple of years ago and read all the books that had been published until I ran out of Longmire books and then I had to start waiting for new ones to be written. The agony!

An Obvious Fact is book 12 in the series and while it's good I still think the last really great book was book 9, A Serpent's Tooth. Not that the books after A Serpent's Tooth has been bad, it's just that, despite how much I adore the characters in this series the stories has not always been so fantastic that I found the one in A Serpent's Tooth to be. I had high hopes that this book would prove to be really good since the last book ended with the murder of a close family member to Walt Longmire. But, the story in this book instead was about a young man run off the road and the appearance of the original Lola, the person that Henry's '59 Thunderbird is named after and in some extension Walt's granddaughter. Of course, the murder was mentioned since it has affected many of the characters in this book, but that about it.

Nevertheless, despite not loving the story 100% was it quite enjoyable reading the book thanks to Walt, Vic, and Henry and of course Dog! Henry spent the book quoting Arthur Conan Doyle to Walt's annoyance, and Vic shows what a badass shooter she really is. And, Walt, as always got in trouble, well Walt, Vic, and Henry got in trouble. So, I can't say that I did not enjoy reading the book since I loved many parts of the book. It was just the "case" was not that interesting and the big bad was not a total surprise. And, Lola, well she was a real bitch and if I was Cady would I have renamed my child and definitely not called my car Lola again!
 
I want to thank Viking Books for proving me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!
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text 2016-09-27 23:45
Reading progress update: I've read 235 out of 320 pages.
Dry Bones - Craig Johnson

"You go ahead and do what you need to do, and when you're finished I'm going to shove that skinny knife down your throat, turn it sodeways, and yank it back out."

 

woah now

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