Welcome to Murder by the Book's blog about what we've read recently. You can find our website at www.mbtb.com.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Any Other Name by Craig Johnson

Viking Adult, 336 pages, $26.95

When the grumpy and determined ex-sheriff of Absaroka County, Wyoming, namely Lucian Connally, coerces the current sheriff of Absaroka County, namely Walt Longmire, into investigating the suicide of a police detective in a neighboring county, you know nothing will run smoothly.

Cady, Walt’s daughter, is expecting her first child in Philadelphia. It will be a difficult birth so Cady wants Walt there. With all the complications of the case, as well as his well-honed sense of justice,  tethering poor Walt to Wyoming, it will be too close to predict whether Walt will make it to Philly or not.

When is a suicide not a suicide? When there doesn’t seem to be a valid reason for it. Gerald Holman was working in the cold case department. It soon becomes obvious to Lucian and Walt that the case of a missing woman Holman was working on has many layers to it.

Forget about the TV series, enjoyable though it is. Get the actors’ faces out of your mind. (Although you can keep Robert Taylor’s visage for Walt if you want.) Craig Johnson’s series is different. The most significant difference is in Walt’s character. TV Walt is a laconic good-old boy. Book Walt is a complex, well-educated, funny, laconic good-old boy. And let’s not get into a bean bag fight about Vic and Bear. And who the heck is Branch when he’s not smoldering on TV?

Of course, “Any Other Name” is entertaining. Thank you, Craig Johnson, for giving us a reason to keep reading your series.

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