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Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson

Johnson, Craig.  The Cold Dish.

Another author who likes allusion, Johnson scatters them throughout the novel, but the title says it all.

When the library didn't have Johnson's The Dark Horse, I picked up this one that Wendy reviewed a couple of years ago.  The wiser course, because The Cold Dish is the first in the series featuring Sheriff Walt Longmire and assorted friends.

When a young man turns up dead, Longmire hopes it is the result of a hunting accident, but has an uneasy feeling that there is more to it.  The young man and 3 of his friends  were involved in the rape of a young Indian girl three years previously, and the fact that the young men received suspended sentences still bothers Longmire and many others.

Cody Prichard's death is a homicide, and Longmire needs to keep the other young men safe, if he can, and discover the murderer.

I particularly enjoyed some of the banter between Henry and Longmire, as well as some of the dialogue between Longmire and others.  The old friendships and peculiar knowledge of personality between the characters helped lighten the mood on several occasions.

Having lived in Wyoming when very young, I enjoyed the atmosphere: the references to the Powder River, the Little Big Horn Mountains, Custer, and more.  I remember the cold winters, the snow, and the fierce wind quite well.  Revenge is, indeed, served cold in several different ways.

It is reassuring to know that I can continue my own association with these characters in future novels.  "Um-hmm yes it is so..."

Fiction.  Mystery/Crime/Western.  2005.  354 pages.


  1. Isn't this a fabulous mystery? I read it a couple of years ago with my mystery book group and one of the members who only likes English mysteries, a la P.D. James, was hesitant to take it. She came back full of enthusiasm and telling me how well written it was and how much she loved it. Just goes to show ya! Don't you love Henry? And Walt?

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed it...although it gave me a few bad moments! I was going to retire the series early if Henry had not survived!

  3. I'm always thrilled when I find another reader who's enjoyed Walt and his friends. This is one of my absolute favorite series.

  4. Cathy, I'm thrilled that I have others in the series yet to read! Since this was a first novel, I'm even more impressed.

  5. I can't wait to read this one so I'm glad to hear you liked it. My mystery book group is discussing this one in July so I can't wait!

  6. Johnson's characters have a real draw to them, even those that play really minor roles. Hope you and your book club enjoy it!

  7. Getting this out of the library, in LP, for my husband. He hasn't had a good read, in a while.

    Whereas I have had, and have coming, a lovely 'bunch' of good reads!!!!

    Thank you!