November 2, 2006

The Cold Dish

by Craig Johnson

A refreshing and readable mystery with a fine sense of place and superb characters, major and minor. Walt Longmire, a veteran sheriff in small-town Wyoming, is hoping to retire from a fractious department when a body is found on nearby BLM land. Johnson is funny without silliness, bizarre without absurdity, and captures the West without sentiment or contempt. The Cold Dish merits consideration as one of the best mysteries of the year, in what seems to be a strong year.