Ron Fortier’s Review Of The New Longmire Short Tales

Ron Fortier reviews  LongmireWAIT FOR SIGNS
Twelve Longmire Stories
By Craig Johnson
Viking Penguin
183 pages

We reviewers are always trying to come up with fancy descriptions that will instantly cue the reader into exactly what kind of experience awaits them in the title we are reporting on. It’s that tight-wire routine of giving away just enough of the idea without spoiling the actual contents. With any Craig Johnson Longmire title, that’s not all that difficult.

Like the best fictional detective series ever put to pen, the joy in these mysteries is always the characters themselves with the actual who-dunnits really only an excuse to visit them time after time. And the Longmire books are no exceptions. Rather they excel at this process and every time a new one comes out, we can’t wait to spend more time with Sheriff Walt, Deputy Vic, George Standing Bear and all the marvelous characters who inhabit Johnson’s Absaroka County, Wyoming.

Over the past years, since beginning the series, Johnson has written a dozen short stories dealing with this series. Some are poetic epilogues to certain novels while others are simply stand alone vignettes that do not require any real familiarity with the books. What they all have in common is Johnson’s grasp of humanity with all its foibles and his unique homespun humor. Here’s the bottom line, if Mark Twain had written mystery stories, they would have read a whole lot like the dozen between the covers of “Wait For Sign.” That’s the best compliment this reviewer can offer.

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