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)
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)
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
Officer 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
Craig Johnson is one of our closest friends. For close to ten years, he’s given us mysteries full of humor, humanity, and western flavor with his Wyoming lawman Sheriff Walt Longmire. While you’re waiting for the next for the next book, here are three other writers in the same vein you might enjoy.
1. Death Along The Spirit Road by C.M. Wendelboe
FBI agent Manny Tanno is forced to go back to the Lakota Reservation where he grew up to look into a murder after his brother is named prime suspect. To make things worse, his high school rival has become the tribal police chief. Much like Craig, Wendelboe gives his American Indian characters humor and humanity.
2. A Killing At Cotton Hill by Terry Shames
Retired chief of police, Samuel Craddock, is brought back onto service in his Central Texas town when a woman he grew up with is murdered. A great look at aging and community.
3. Windigo Island by William Kent Kruger
The latest Cork O’Connor novel has the former Michigan sheriff turned PI looking for a missing Ojibwa girl from the Bad Bluff reservation tied to a legendary creature. Craig and Kent are often compared to each other due to their rich characters and feel for setting.
Also, you still have time to sign up for Craig’s newsletter and get his latest Walt holiday story sent to you on Christmas Eve. Here’s the link….
We’re kicking off 2012 in The Hard Word Book Club, our group that discusses hardboiled crime fiction and westerns, with Death Along The Spirit Road, a book the straddles both genres. The author CM Wendelboe (Curt or “Chick Magnet” to his friends) was a protege of Craig Johnson, creator of the Walt Longmire series, and shares Craig’s human and often humorous representation of American Indians. Picture a slightly less politically correct Tony Hillerman.
Death Along The Spirit Road is the first in a series featuring Lakota FBI agent Manny Tanno. Manny is sent to the place he wanted to get away from, The Pine Ridge Reservation, to solve the murder of developer Jason Red Cloud, who was killed with a war axe. Under a deadline, Manny has to deal with the chief tribal cop who was his high school rival and his brother who is a suspect. The book has incredibly well developed characters and some funny dialogue, and takes an interesting look at the notions of tribe, family, honor, and history in a place where Crazy Horse, Wounded Knee, and the arrest of Leonard Peltier still linger.
Curt will be calling in to our group discussion of the book on Wednesday, January 25th, 7p. I’ve gotten to know him through moderating a panel he was on at the Texas Festival of Books. He’s funny and very knowledgeable about law enforcement on the reservation, being a deputy near Pine Ridge.
Our next discussion on February 29th will also have an author call in, Wallace Stroby, when we discuss his unique heist yarn, Cold Shot To The Heart.