If you like Longmire…

We are getting ready for our favorite sheriff to come to town. Craig Johnson will be here at BookPeople on Tuesday, September 13th at 7 PM to sign and discuss An Obvious Fact, his latest novel to feature Sheriff Walt Longmire, our Pick Of the Month for September. Craig’s visit just so happens to coincide with the book’s release date, so be one of the first to get a copy and one of the first to get it signed! You can find more information about the event and pre-order signed, personalized copies here. If you can’t get enough Longmire, and you’d like to hang out with similar lawmen, we though of these fine gentlemen.


Gabriel Du Pré (creator Peter Bowen)9781497676589

This Montana cattle inspector (or “cow ass inspector” as he refers to his profession) is not only a good investigator, but a champion fiddle player as well. His Métis French-Indian background gives him a unique perspective on Montana culture.

First appearance: Bitter Creek by Peter Bowen


Manny Tanno (creator C.M. Wendelboe)9780425240021

An FBI agent sent back to the place he couldn’t wait to leave, South Dakota’s Lakota Reservation. Along with murder, he has to deal with his old high school rival, now the tribal police chief; his brother, a native rights activist and sometimes suspect; and his old flame. A very human and often humorous look at life on the rez.

First appearance: Death Along the Spirit Road by C. M. Wendelboe


9780393350784Officer Henry Farrell (creator Tom Bouman)

Another fiddle playing lawman, this time in rural Pennsylvania. His jurisdiction and authority can sometimes be questionable, but the violence brought into his town by the meth trade isn’t. Picture a younger Walt Longmire dropped into Daniel Woodrell’s world.

Only appearance (so far): Dry Bones in the Valley by Tom Bouman

500,000 Bikers and one Sheriff: MysteryPeople Q&A with Craig Johnson

  • Post by Crime Fiction Coordinator Scott Montgomery

Our Pick Of The Month is Crag Johnson’s latest, An Obvious Fact, one of the best to date in his sheriff Walt Longmire series. The Wyoming sheriff, his Cheyenne buddy, and his foul mouthed deputy (and sometimes love interest) from Philly have to solve a mystery during The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in a small town with connections to a woman from Henry’s past.

Craig will be with us on Tuesday, September 13th, at 7 PM, the same day as the book’s release, so come by BookPeople for a chance to be one of the first to get a signed copy! To get everyone excited for Craig’s visit, we got in a few questions in early to one of our favorite authors.

MysteryPeople Scott: I saw this book as your acoustic set, stripping the series down to its three main characters and solving the mystery with little of the drama that has been building in the series. Was this an intentional shift?

Craig Johnson: Well, I try and do something different with each book and I think the stripping down was a result of that, but the drama in the characters lives is always going to be subjugated by the action and pace of the plot. Strangely enough, this may be the funniest and best- paced novel I’ve written–I wish I knew why.

MPS: There is a lot of focus on Walt and Henry’s friendship. What do they provide each other, aside from back up?

CJ: It’s the backbone of the series ever since The Cold Dish when I had to have two individuals who represented their different cultures. I think the bond and most important the easy banter between the two characters is what I enjoy the most. This was a departure in the sense that we learn a little more about Henry’s personal past and that provides a few conflicts between the two men, but even with all the hurdles they face, there’s a camaraderie and a true friendship that never fails.

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MysteryPeople Pick of the Month: AN OBVIOUS FACT by Craig Johnson

Craig Johnson comes to BookPeople to speak and sign his new Longmire mystery, An Obvious Fact, on Tuesday, September 13th, at 7 PMAn Obvious Fact comes out the same day as the event, so come on by for a chance to be one of the first to get the book signed. Click here to pre-order a copy! Can’t make it to the event? We’ll get it signed for you – just let us know!

  • Post by Crime Fiction Coordinator Scott Montgomery

9780525426943At times we can take a fine series for granted to the point of detriment. We continue to read the adventures of our favorite character with great enjoyment, but less appreciation. However, when the series is written by an author who knows what he or she is doing, we get a title that reminds us why we got hooked on our hero in the first place. Such is the case with An Obvious Fact, the twelfth book featuring Craig Johnson’s Sheriff Walt Longmire.

The book is the literary version of an acoustic set, stripping the series down to his three essential characters. Walt and and his Cheyenne buddy Henry Standing Bear go up to Hullett, a town near Devil’s Tower hosting a motorcycle climb, in which Henry is participating. The climb has been organized as part of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, bringing 50,000 bikers to a town of 400. The book captures the feeling of purgatory these towns assume to non-bikers during the rally. The two are asked to help out an investigation of a young biker gang member who may have been run off the road and put into a coma. Before long, we learn that he is the son of Lola, an old flame Henry named his famous Thunderbird after. With help from Walt’s under-sheriff, Victoria “Vic” Moretti, they find themselves in a mystery involving motorcycle gangs, illegal weapons, and star crossed lovers.

Taking Walt, Henry, and Vic outside Absoroka County and dropping them in the middle of another jurisdiction breathes fresh life into these characters. They are able to get away from the events that have been building up around them since the novel Serpent’s Tooth and focus on the crime at hand, with little interference of trouble in the past and future. The mystery reveals much about Henry and, in turn, his friendship with Walt. There is a great passage between the two as they argue why each takes crazy risks. The focus on the here and now allows Johnson a faster face and more of his trademark humor than in the previous couple of novels.

There is also time for Johnson to reflect on the mystery genre itself. The title comes from the Sherlock Holmes story “The Speckled Band”: “There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.” We get to hear several quotes from Arthur Conan Doyle’s sleuth, since Henry has brought along Les Klinger’s annotated collection, needling Walt at who the better detective is. There is an insightful monologue Walt has where he explains to Vic what kind of detective he is compared to Sherlock. Johnson uses the device of the Sherlock Holmes books to be self aware and entertaining in a way that does not take you out of the story.

By giving Walt, Henry, and Vic a mini-vacation, An Obvious Fact, does the same for readers of the series. I can can tell that Craig Johnson is building the next few books into an epic tale of moral dilemmas, putting our sheriff up against a foe like no other. I’m looking forward to that, yet I was happy he could find time for Walt to simply relax with his friend, lover, some bikers, a bunch of guns, and a few bodies.

An Obvious Fact comes out Tuesday, September 13th, just in time for Craig’s visit to BookPeople. Pre-order now!

Craig Johnson Calls in to the Murder in the Afternoon Book Club

9780143113133– Post by Scott M.

Our next Murder In The Afternoon book club, meeting this Monday at 1 PM on BookPeople’s 3rd floor, will have noted author Craig Johnson calling in to our discussion. We are reading the third book in his Walt Longmire series, Kindness Goes Unpunished. In the novel, Craig takes the Sheriff out of his Wyoming surroundings and drops him in the big city.

Walt and his best friend Henry Standing Bear drive to Philadelphia, partly to visit Walt’s daughter Cady. They find her hospitalized by her abusive fiancé. The morning after Walt threatens the man, he gets a visit from the police, letting Walt know the man was hung from the Ben Franklin bridge. To get off the suspect list, Walt must solve a mystery involving corruption, a white Indian, and a horse chase through Philly.

This is a rare chance to talk about all aspects of a book with an author, including the ending. Craig is an incredibly entertaining conversationalist, so it’s worth your time and trouble. Join us this upcoming Monday, August 15th, at 1 PM, on the third floor. The book is 10% off to those who attend.

You can find copies of Kindness Goes Unpunished on our shelves and via bookpeople.com. Craig Johnson joins us to speak and sign his latest Longmire on Tuesday, September 13th. The Murder in the Afternoon Book Club meets the third Monday of each month at 1 PM on BookPeople’s third floor. For updates on all things Murder-In-The-Afternoon, join our new Facebook Page!

MysteryPeople Q&A with Craig Johnson

 

Craig Johnson’s latest Walt Longmire novella, The Highwayman, has the author dipping into the ghost story genre. Walt and Henry are asked to help out a state trooper who is getting radio calls from a fellow statie who died over forty years before. Craig was kind enough to talk to about the book and the supernatural.

MysteryPeople Scott: What made you want to tackle a ghost story?

CJ: I’ve always loved the Charles Dickens short story The Signalman, a little, thirteen-pager he wrote about a train wreck north of London. It’s an interesting piece, and I’ve always wondered how you would update it in the face of modern technology. Well, I was talking to a Highway Patrol buddy of mine, and we were discussing one of our favorite places in the state–the Wind River Scenic Byway– and he told me that because of the two thousand foot granite cliffs on the sides of the canyon, radio frequency didn’t work and how the old-timers used to refer to it as no-man’s land… Hence, The Highwayman.

“I’ve always loved the Charles Dickens short story The Signalman, a little, thirteen-pager he wrote about a train wreck north of London. It’s an interesting piece, and I’ve always wondered how you would update it in the face of modern technology.”

MPS: What did you learn about the form while writing it?

CJ: I’ve flirted with the form before, but this was a full-blown, straight-ahead ghost story, and I knew I was going to have to walk the tightrope on this one. I think the genre is best served when you don’t get too heavy-handed and try and stay in the margins of what’s possible and what’s not. I was interested in the method of legend making and seeing if I could construct a worthy adversary for Walt and Henry who might not be there at all.

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Three Picks for May

9780735220898The Highwayman by Craig Johnson

This novella featuring Sheriff Walt Longmire is as much ghost story as mystery. Walt and buddy Henry Standing Bear help out a Highway Patrolman who is receiving “officer needs assistance” calls from a trooper who died over thirty years ago. Johnson takes a unique riff on his entertaining series. The Highwayman comes out May 17th. Pre-order now!

9780399170850


Robert B. Parker’s Slow Burn by Ace Atkins

Boston private eye Spenser is back and up against an uncommon enemy. Looking into the fire of a church, he closes on a group of arsonists with a mysterious agenda. Once again, Atkins delivers everything you expect from Robert B Parker’s hero. You can find copies of Slow Burn on our shelves and  via bookpeople.com

9780802313607


St. Ernan’s Blues by Paul Charles

Irish Inspector Starrett and his colleagues must solve a murder with the most unusual suspects, priests in an Abbey where they have all been moved to for causing problems with The Church. A fun take on the classic whodunnit. You can meet Paul Charles with the authors who make up Miles Arceneux on May 11th. You can find copies of St. Ernan’s Blues on our shelves and via bookpeople.comFind out more about this event

April is for Mystery Lovers: Tons of Upcoming Events!

As we all enjoy the brief Texas spring, come take shelter from the pollen counts and enjoy our full roster of mystery events coming up in April here at the store. On April 2nd, Philip Kerr started off our April events with a blast, speaking and signing his latest continuation of his Bernie Gunther series, The Other Side of SilenceIf you missed the event, signed copies of his latest, as well as many of the previous volumes in the series, are available on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.

This past Sunday, April 10th, at 2 PM, Laurie R. King, author of the beloved Russell and Holmes series, as well as the fantastic Kate Martinelli series, joined us to speak and sign her latest installment in her Mary Russell series, The Murder of Mary Russell. While I’ve been reading the Mary Russell novels for many years, King’s newest addition to the series, delving deep into Mrs. Hudson’s backstory, might be my favorite in the series to date!

For those who missed this event, library enthusiasts will be pleased to note that in support of Austin Public Library, 5% of sales of all Laurie R. King titles sold in store on Sunday April 10th and 5 % of sales of The Murder of Mary Russell the week of April 5th (ending April 12th) will be donated to the library. Come by today or tomorrow, grab a copy of King’s latest, and support Austin Public Library. Signed copies available!

Just one day after Laurie R. King’s visit, Stuart Woods and David C. Taylor will be speaking and signing their latest novels, Family Jewels and Night Work, respectively, today, Monday, April 11th, at 7 PM. This event is a wonderful opportunity to catch up with Stuart Woods on his large oeuvre of bestselling thrillers, while getting to know David C. Taylor, an up-and-coming crime novelist who started out in the film biz.

Next up, Jessica Knoll, author of the stunning debut, Luckiest Girl Alive, comes to speak and sign this amazing novel on Saturday, April 16th, at 3 PM. Knoll has worked as senior editor at Cosmopolitan. She draws on both life and fiction for her debut, an intense look at high school trauma and its lingering effects, even for those who manage to reinvent themselves in adulthood.

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On Sunday, April 17th, Scott and Molly will reprise our panel discussion on how we compiled our MysteryPeople Top 100 Crime and Suspense Novels at the first ever Pflugerville Book Pfestival, happening Saturday the 16th and Sunday the 17th at the Pflugerville Library. The festival is sponsored by KAZI Austin, 88.7 FM, and put together by Hopeton Hay, host of Kazi Book Review with Hopeton Hay. Thanks to Hopeton and KAZI for putting this festival together and bringing the MysteryPeople Top 100 list out into world.

Then on Monday, April 18th, at 1 PM, the Murder in the Afternoon Book Club will discuss The Professionalsby Owen Laukkanen, with a call-in from the author. The Hard Word Book Club, meeting Wednesday, April 27th, at 7 PM, also has a special guest calling in to the discussion – Craig Johnson, author of the Longmire series, will call in to discuss his novel As The Crow Flies

Finally, we’ll finish out the month with a visit from Melissa Ginsburg on Saturday, April 30th at 3 PM. Ginsburg’s Houston-set debut, Sunset City, follows a barista on the hunt for her best friend’s murderer. Sunset City is our April Pick of the Month, and we’re glad to celebrate a powerful new voice in Texas crime fiction.