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Death Without Company: A Walt Longmire Mystery (original 2006; edition 2007)

by Craig Johnson

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4332624,328 (4.01)74
Member:herschelian
Title:Death Without Company: A Walt Longmire Mystery
Authors:Craig Johnson
Info:Penguin Books (2007), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library, BJ
Rating:****
Tags:crime fiction, Walt Longmire series, Wyoming, Western crime, Native Americans

Work details

Death Without Company by Craig Johnson (2006)

Recently added byjghilard, hfineisen, cataylor, OldDan, stoic, private library, erikvanlaere, ssimon2000, Eisler

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Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
Never would have thought I would enjoy western crime stories but love the characters and dark humor. I just watched the first 2 seasons of the show inspired by the books and couldn't get enough! Now I have around 9 more books to read, hope I can stretch them out a bit though not likely as I read this one in roughly 24 hours. ( )
  viviennestrauss | Jun 11, 2014 |
The four stars I have given the second Walt Longmire mystery are devoted to the sarcastic sheriff himself; I love his droll humour, weak attempt at a gruff demeanour, and endearing community of friends and colleagues. The plot, however, was completely formulaic, and I'm only two books in. Stop with the death-defying action sequences and near-death, spiritual experiences! I was hard pressed to decide which character deserved the nickname 'Rasputin' most - Walt or the killer he was chasing. I know the sheriff is modern day cowboy, but even John Wayne would have stayed down after the beating he takes in this adventure (especially following on from the equally inventive trauma of the first novel). Great character, beautifully atmospheric descriptions of local scenery, well paced mystery - just please hold off on the violence in book three! ( )
  AdonisGuilfoyle | Feb 5, 2014 |
The publisher's blurb compares Craig Johnson to Ace Atkins, Nevada Barr, and Robert B. Parker. I have no idea what they must have been smoking when they wrote that. I have read some from each and Johnson is better. His use of language is far superior and evocative, not to mention the undercurrent of humor. Walt Longmire is someone you would really like to know; Spenser? Not me.

This is the second of the Longmire series, the third I have read. Probably not necessary to read them in order, but I have decided to do so except for the one I already read out-of-order. Lucien, Walt's predecessor and mentor in the Sheriff's office, has told Walt he needs to have an autopsy performed on Mari, his fellow resident at the assisted living home. Turns out he had been married to her for three days way back when. The investigation goes back many years and involves Basque culture (did you know that 27% of Basques have O-neg blood type -- as I do, coincidentally -- a normally rare type that is valued as it's the universal donor type. I'm rather proud that I am up to 8 gallons now of donated blood.)

Walt's department is such an interesting mix of personalities and stereotype-busters: he has a degree in English lit and quotes Shakespeare; Vic is an ex-homicide detective from Philadelphia with very colorful language. Santiago, the newest addition, is of Basque heritage - Absaroka County has a high percentage of Basques-- who is a linguist. Walt's best friend is Henry Standing Bear who speaks several dialects of Cheyenne (the relationship between the reservation and non-Indians is a recurring theme.)

Absaroka County is a mythical county supposedly about the size of Vermont (9200 sq miles similar to the real Femont county, the seat of which is Lander, population 7,800) and the least populated in Wyoming (unlike Fremont County). There is a real Absaroka mountain range along the border of Wyoming and Montana. For those of you who think it might be unrealistic to have such a small department for such a large territory, consider this. I was talking to Donald Harstad, a former deputy sheriff of Clayton County, Iowa who, incidentally, writes a terrific series of stories. Clayton County covers about 728 square miles in NE Iowa. (http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/406326.Donald_Harstad)Don said that at any given time at night in Clayton County, the department could field only two deputies for a dispersed population of about 18,000. That means to get to the site of an accident at the far end of the county requires some very high speed driving over very hilly roads. It's a very scary thought.

As one who has lived in large cities (Paris, Philadelphia, etc.) but also remote farming areas (the closest grocery store was 25 miles and the closest neighbor where I live now is 3/4 of a mile) I think those who grew up only in cities have little concept of the distances in places like Wyoming where the population is not quite 6 people per square mile. That being said, Harstad provides a better feeling than Johnson of the large distances that must be covered. BTW, I could find no reference to any real Cheyenne Indian reservation in Wyoming. There is an Arapaho and Shoshone reservation in west central Wyoming, but the closest Cheyenne reservation is in South Dakota.

Johnson is very good. I intend to read all of them. But read Harstad, too. ( )
  ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
I'm coming late to the Walt Longmire mystery series - and, of course, this is actually the second book in the series, not the first. Somehow, not having seen any of the TV shows, I knew absolutely nothing about the series and its characters before stumbling upon a copy of "Death Without Company." All that said, Walt Longmire was a pleasant surprise.

Set in a sparsly populated county, in a sparsly populated state (Wyoming), "Death Without Company" is long on small town atmosphere and characters with a shared history. The "mystery" in the novel, in fact, involves a family feud that goes back three generations and is still capable of getting people killed. Oil and gas is making millionaires out of a few, select families and, to some people, the money is big enough to kill for.

Walt Longmire, sheriff of little Absaroka County, finds himself trying to solve a murder at the Durant Home for Assisted Living, a facility that will soon be keeping him a bit busier than he imagined could be possible. But, along with a wonderfully interesting group of deputies and friends, Walt will somehow manage to identify the bad guys and bring them to justice - if they don't kill him first.

Among my favorite characters are: Victoria Moretti, the beautiful deputy with Philadelphia policing experience; retired sheriff, Lucian Connelly; and, of course, Walt's best friend in the world, Henry Standing Bear. Absaroka County is heavily populated by American Indians and a prominent Basque population, adding lots of color and ethnic culture into Craig Johnson's mix.

I'm looking forward to catching up on the series and have already watched the pilot episode of what has become a very successful television series (thank you NetFlix, for that). Yes, I'm hooked now. ( )
1 vote SamSattler | Sep 18, 2013 |
This is the second Walt Longmire mystery and, I thought, was even better than the first. It centers on the death of an elderly Basque woman in a nursing home, but then ranges far afield and involves events and relationships from the long distant past. I love the characters in this mystery series, not only Walt, but his deputy Victoria, a recent emigre to Wyoming from big-city Philadelphia, his wonderful office manager Ruby, his new deputy Sancho and many others. ( )
  gbelik | Jul 22, 2013 |
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Epigraph
Adiskidegabeko bizita, auzogabeko heriotza.

(A life without friends means death without company.)

- Basque proverb
Dedication
For Dorothy Caldwell Kisling (1930-2005)
for whom Istill look when I laugh
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"They used fire, back in the day."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
When Mari Baroja is found poisoned at the Durant Home for Assisted Living, Sheriff Longmire is drawn into an investigation that reaches back fifty years into the mysterious woman's past.

Her connections to Wyoming's Basque community, the lucrative coal-bed methane industry, and the personal life of the previous sheriff, Lucian Connally, lead to a complex web of half-truths and assumed alliances.

Aided by his friend Henry Standing Bear, Deputy Victoria Moretti, and newcomer Santiago Salizarbitria, Sheriff Longmire must connect events of the past to the present to find a killer.

Death Without Company is a riveting tale of the unspeakable viciousness that can lurk in the most beautiful and unlikely places.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0143038389, Paperback)

Walt investigates a death by poison in this gripping novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Cold Dish and As the Crow Flies, the second in the Walt Longmire Mystery Series, the basis for LONGMIRE, the hit A&E original drama series
 
Fans of Ace Atkins, Nevada Barr and Robert B. Parker will love Craig Johnson, New York Times bestselling author of Hell Is Empty and As the Crow Flies, who garnered both praise and an enthusiastic readership with his acclaimed debut novel featuring Sheriff Walt Longmire, The Cold Dish, the first in the Walt Longmire mystery series, the basis for LONGMIRE, the hit A&E original drama series. Now Johnson takes us back to the rugged landscape of Absaroka County, Wyoming, for Death Without Company. When Mari Baroja is found poisoned at the Durant Home for Assisted Living, Sheriff Longmire is drawn into an investigation that reaches fifty years into the mysterious woman’s dramatic Basque past. Aided by his friend Henry Standing Bear, Deputy Victoria Moretti, and newcomer Santiago Saizarbitoria, Sheriff Longmire must connect the specter of the past to the present to find the killer among them.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:18:30 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

"When Mari Baroja is found poisoned at the Durant Home for Assisted Living, Sheriff Longmire is drawn into an investigation of her death that proves to be as dramatic as her life. Her connections to the Basque community, the lucrative coal-bed methane industry, and the personal life of the previous sheriff, Lucian Connally, lead to a complex web of half-truths and assumed allegiances. As the specter of Mari's abusive husband arises, Sheriff Longmire, aided by his friend Henry Standing Bear, Deputy Victoria Moretti, and newcomer Santiago Saizarbitoria, must connect the past to the present to find the killer among them."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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