The Walt Longmire [Sheriff of Absaroka County, WY] mysteries are a long-running series (this novel is the 13th), and he is entering his fifth season as a television hero as well. The tales are not only filled with great stories, but words of wisdom, superb descriptions of the Big Sky Country, and odd bits of history and culture, especially of the Cheyenne.
Discovery in a pong of the body of a dead rancher, Danny Lone Elk, leads Walt and his Undersheriff, Victoria Moretti, on a wild and wooly chase involving the largest and most complete T. Rex skeleton ever discovered. The skeleton of the dinosaur, named Jen after the paleontologist who discovered it on Lone Elk’s ranch, finds itself in the middle of a controversy between the family, a local museum, the Cheyenne tribe, and the Federal government, each claiming ownership. While Walt goes about trying to solve the cause of Lone Elk’s death, he is confronted with a personal tragedy: his son-in-law, a Philadelphia policeman, is shot and killed, leaving his daughter widowed and with a five-month-old baby.
The Longmire novels are not only filled with grand scenery descriptions, but witty banter and deep characterizations. Just one negative comment: I felt that the ending was somehow contrived and part of the solution to the crime didn’t ring true. Other than that, it was another excellent entry in the series. And we have a new one just about to appear on our bookshelves shortly [the novella The Highwayman], to which we look forward with great anticipation.